The Tennessee Titans and Jason Jones have entered the preliminary phase of contract discussions. According to Titans Insider, the team is making an effort to prevent their defensive lineman from slipping away in free agency. Re-signing Jones carries potential implications for the St. Louis Rams.
Jones is one of more than a dozen free agents from the Titans 2011 roster. He is also one of their top priorities to keep among that list of players. Jones, a natural three technique tackle, was moved to defensive end last season. He struggled in that role. Jones has indicated in the past that where the Titans want him to play may determine his future with the team.
The Rams need help in the middle of their defensive line. Justin Bannan, who signed a three-year, $8 million contract last year, gave the Rams a stout presence against the run, but the decline of Fred Robbins left the front four without a legitimate pass rusher in the middle.
Jones had an overall grade of -9.3 from Pro Football Focus in 2011, including a -10.9 rating as a pass rusher. In 2010, working in the middle as a three technique, Jones had an overall rating of 21.6 and a pass rush rating of 17.3. I'll offer my usual caveat that PFF's ratings are somewhat subjective, but offer a handy guide for individual performances. It's hard to overstate the difference in production for Jones between the two seasons and two spots on the defensive line.
On a side note, you have to vote for our own Tevin Broner (TST front page author T.Ram) in this sports broadcaster challenge thing.