"Arthur Jones, DL, ColtsContract: 5 years, $33 million, $10 million guaranteedJones was a classic overreach by the Colts, who projected big numbers out of a player who started just 20 games in four years. Jones has started 3 games for the Colts while missing 23 games due to injury while earning $16 million."
From purely a pay and production standpoint, it’s hard to disagree, as Jones simply hasn’t been on the field enough to warrant his lucrative contract.
There’s no real end in sight either, as Jones is set to have cap hits of $5.6M (2016), $7.35M (2017), and $7.35M (2018) before his Colts contract ends.
Not to mention, no immediate cap savings are available either, as releasing Jones this offseason would save the Colts a meager $2.3M of his $5.6M cap hit next season.
The 6th-year veteran suffered a season-ending ankle injury this past preseason and was the victim of another ankle injury (albeit to his other ankle) just a season prior–both of which have hampered his production and taken him off the field.
As a former defensive line standout with the Baltimore Ravens and a key player in their Super Bowl XLVII Championship run, Jones was signed by the Colts to anchor their run defense in the 2014 offseason.
The team was well familiar with the 6’3″, 337 pounder from head coach Chuck Pagano‘s days as the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2012.
However, due to injuries, the big signing simply hasn’t worked out as initially intended.
That being said, there’s still hope.
Jones has been a rare difference-maker along the Colts defensive line when he’s actually been healthy with his size, strength, and athletic ability.
At age 29, he still figures to have a handful of peak years left. It’s just a matter of whether he can leave his ankle injury woes behind him and stay on the field for the Colts going forward.