To get ready for free agency, we're going to take a look at each of the Detroit Lions' 2016 free agents. Next up, Jason Jones.
15 games (15 starts) | 31 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defended
How he joined the Detroit Lions
Jones signed a three-year deal back in March of 2013 after a one-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks.
Case for re-signing him
Jones actually had more tackles in 2015 than his previous three years combined. Opposite Ezekiel Ansah, Jones was easily the Lions' second-best defensive end on the roster. With only two ends currently signed for the 2016 season (Ansah and Devin Taylor), Jones would be an inexpensive option with plenty of experience. Jones comes with experience, moderate talent and even a positive PFF score in 2015 (+1.1 run defense, +5.4 pass rush).
Case against re-signing him
Jones will be 30 before the season starts and if the Lions committed to Jones for another contract, they would be filling a need with a stop-gap, declining player. Jones isn't a bad option as the Lions' left defensive end, but he also feels like a backup plan.
Old or not, signing Jones is an easy solution to a serious problem. In the past two years, he has played well enough to rationalize a starting position and he'll likely be able to do so for another year or so. Jones signed a 3 year, $9.5 million contract back in 2012. If the Lions can get him for about the same price or a little cheaper, they should absolutely try to bring him back. This way, they can still take a defensive end in the draft if desired, but they'll have a starter on the roster if the right player doesn't fall to them.
Previously: QB Dan Orlovsky, WR Lance Moore, TE Bear Pascoe, DT Tyrunn Walker, DT Jermelle Cudjo, DT Haloti Ngata