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NFL Free Agents: Free Agency Could Make Titans DT Jason Jones A Very Rich Man

Defensive tackle Jason Jones could be an expensive pickup for the St. Louis Rams.
Defensive tackle Jason Jones could be an expensive pickup for the St. Louis Rams.

Cortland Finnegan is not the only Tennessee Titans free agent in the news lately. Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones could be headed for a big pay day on the open market as one of the top interior linemen available. The St. Louis Rams are expected to be interested based in no small part on the connection between Jeff Fisher and a big need in the middle of their defensive line.

The bidding for Jones could get intense. Jason LaCanfora estimates that he might be able to fetch $9 million per season as a free agent. Yowzers!

There has been some talk of tagging Jones, says LaCanfora.

That seems a little high. Jones is a three technique tackle in a 4-3 system. There are some marquee names potential available that fit as a five technique or a nose in a 3-4, including Calais Campbell and Paul Soliai, but Jones is the top defensive tackle for teams with a four-man front. There is also Red Bryant from Seattle, who has played more like a nose and also has some appeal as an end in a three-man front.

$9 million per season may be a little much. A more reasonable offer would be something akin to the five-year, $25 million contract Brandon Mebane signed last season to stay with the Seahawks.

Of course, Jones has 15.5 sacks in his first four seasons of play. He is a very good pass rusher from the inside. On the outside, not so much. Tennessee moved him to defensive end in 2011 with mediocre results.

Jones, just 25, would give the Rams interior line some badly needed youth. Last year, they leaned on Justin Bannan and Fred Robbins, who will be 33 and 35, respectively.

Bannan is a bulky presence in the middle, a run stopper, and could still be useful at less than $3 million this season. Robbins is a different matter. He played well enough, but the Rams cut his snaps to just about half of the total snaps per game. Robbins is due $3.75 million this season, the final year of his contract.