Steelers: Should Pittsburgh Look into Signing Jacoby Jones?
The Baltimore Ravens released their former Super Bowl hero on Wednesday when they cut veteran return man Jacoby Jones to save some salary cap room. Could the Ravens’ loss be the Steelers’ gain? The Steelers don’t necessarily need to upgrade anything in the wide receiver corps, but could very much benefit from Jones’ return abilities.
Last November, Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards against the Steelers at Heinz Field. Jones also had a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half of Super Bowl XLVII, the longest play in Super Bowl history.
One of his most memorable returns came in 2013 on Thanksgiving night against the Steelers when he had to change direction to get out of Mike Tomlin’s way, as he was “inadvertently” standing in the field.
The Ravens cut the veteran receiver to avoid having to pay the soon-to-be 31-year old $2.5 million for primarily being a return man. He only had nine receptions for 131 yards for the Ravens in 2014. However, he had a combined 1,253 yards for returning both kickoffs and punts.
The Steelers are most likely to honor Lance Moore’s request for a release. Per ESPN’s Scott Brown, he was to account for about only a $1 million on the cap for 2015, it could be worth the money for the Steelers to turn around and invest that $1 million in a legitimate return man that can actually get kickoff return yards and potentially take Antonio Brown off of punt return duties.
The Steelers ranked at the bottom of the barrel, tied for 26th in 2014 in kickoff return yards, averaging 21.7 yards per kickoff return. Jones himself averaged 30.6 yards per kickoff in 2014, the second-best in the league. Is that worth $1 million for the Steelers? Jones wouldn’t necessarily be the return man for the future, being that he’s at the magic number of 30 already but the Steelers need to have a “win right now” mindset to them, at least a little bit at this point, wouldn’t you think?
The Steelers could benefit by having Jones on their roster as a pure return man and could actually improve their offense by taking the burden off of Antonio Brown to return punts. The Steelers are set at their top 3 wide receiver spots with Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton.
Add Jones and possibly re-sign Darrius Heyward-Bey to keep contributing to special teams and you’ve rounded out the wide receiving corps by making minimal changes to the actual offensive lineup that threw up tons of yards and touchdowns last season but improving the scoring chances on special teams. I think that would make Ben Roethlisberger and Steelers fans very happy.
What do you think Steeler Nation? Should the Steelers take a chance on Jacoby Jones?
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