Free agency makes it possible for teams to fill voids in the roster with experienced, battle-tested players. When possible, it can be a better alternative to drafting whatever college players are available. However, while a team can add players via free agency, it can lose them as well.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been hoping to find an upgrade at linebacker. They have already lost one to free agency, Lawrence Timmons. They hoped to sign another one when Dont’a Hightower visited Tuesday. But Hightower left without signing a deal.
As it turns out, while the Steelers were preparing to meet one linebacker (Hightower) they were in the process of losing another. Jarvis Jones paid the Arizona Cardinals a visit on Monday. His agent announced on Twitter Tuesday that Jones was leaving Steel Town for the Desert.
— Greg Barnett (@gbo74) March 14, 2017
The Steelers made Jones a first-round pick in 2013 with hopes that he could be the beast in the NFL that he was in college—but it didn’t work out. An injury knocked him out of the starting lineup in 2014 (and opened a door for James Harrison to come back).
Jones was a sack machine in college, but in four seasons with the Steelers, he only managed to make six sacks. However, he has proven to be a decent contributor when it comes to defending against the running game.
Jones never lived up to the hype, so his departure will not be the cause of any worry or concern. If anything, the team may be a little concerned with their depth at linebacker. But they can easily address that in the middle rounds of the draft.