Given that he's set to have a cap hit of nearly $4 million this year, there has been a lot of speculation about defensive end Jason Jones' future with the Detroit Lions. Cutting Jones would save the Lions $3.15 million, and he has been considered a potential cap casualty as a result. The Lions could be in a situation where every bit of extra cap space is needed to retain defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and Jones' contract has made him a candidate to be let go, at least as far as the public is concerned.
As far as the Lions are concerned, Jones is not going anywhere. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew strongly shot down the possibility of Jones being released, and he also shot down the idea that Jones will have to take a pay cut in order to remain on the team. Via MLive, here's a full look at what Mayhew said:
"He's from Detroit. He's got family in Detroit. His family has to get up in the morning, open the paper and see, oh, we're going to cut Jason Jones," Mayhew said Friday morning over breakfast with local beat writers at the NFL combine. "No, we're not going to cut Jason Jones. And we're not going to restructure his contract. That's just way off base, and I would really caution you not to (speculate about cuts).
"It was way off. It was totally wrong. We had the No. 1-ranked rush defense in the league. Set NFL records -- not just Lions records, NFL records -- with our run defense. And he was part of that. And I think his salary is commensurate with what his contribution is. I don't think it's too high for him."
Needless to say, you can go ahead and pencil Jones in as one of the Lions' starting defensive ends next season. Clearly Mayhew thinks quite highly of Jones and his contributions on defense, and clearly there are no plans for the Lions to part ways with him. If they end up needing extra cap space, someone like running back Reggie Bush could be let go, but Jones isn't going anywhere.