NFL Free Agency Rumors: Jason Jones Is a Must-Sign for the St. Louis Rams

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18:  Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts avoids the tackle of Jason Jones #91 of the Tennessee Titans during their game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Colts defeated the Titans 27-13.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Jason Jones spent some time in St. Louis with the Rams yesterday, but despite the Rams interest he will visit their division rival Seattle Seahawks today.

Losing out on Jones would be a major loss to a Rams defense in need of a player with his skill set.

Presuming that Gregg Williams is actually allowed to coach this season in wake of bountygate, Jones is the perfect type of defensive lineman to play in Williams' scheme. Williams has, in the past, adjusted his scheme to fit his talent, but most recently used multiple fronts and different combinations of players in New Orleans.

The most attractive thing about Jason Jones? He is incredibly versatile. Jones can play both defensive end and defensive tackle effectively. Through his four years in Tennessee, in which he started only 31 of a possible 64 games, Jones notched 15.5 sacks, 15 pass deflections and seven forced fumbles.

That production came while Jones was switching between aligning on the outside of and between the offensive tackles. Fittingly for the Rams however, Jones was better inside and is better suited to be a defensive tackle with his new team.

Fred Robbins was the Rams' best defensive tackle in recent years under Steve Spagnuolo, but he was recently released because of his age. The Rams need to get younger at the position but also can't afford to bring in an inexperienced prospect to play such a pivotal position.

As such, Jones fits both of their major needs on the interior of their defensive line.

With Jones signed, the Rams would be three quarters of the way toward a very talented offensive line with many quality years ahead. With defensive end Chris Long notching 13 sacks last season from his left defensive end spot, the Rams don't need to worry about finding a primary blitzer.

Long is only 26 years of age but has over 30 sacks in his career and 52 starts. He may not be attacking the blindsides of opposing offenses, but he is still a more than effective blitzer on one of the most underrated front sevens in the NFL.

The front seven is underrated because of its inability at defensive tackle and outside linebacker. They do not have a defensive end issue.

While James Hall, a 35-year-old veteran, started last year at right end, the team's first-round pick should take over the starting spot this year as Robert Quinn showed a lot of flashes as a rookie. Hall had 6.5 sacks as the starter, but that was only 1.5 more than Quinn, who had five sacks in limited action.

Quinn showed off a great motor both on defense and special teams.

If they start Quinn and Long together, sign Jones and potentially draft Michael Brockers, the Rams could forget about their defensive line for the next five to six years as they would have plenty of talent at each position up front.

A strong defensive line can do a lot for the defense as a whole. Winning in the trenches is important and Jones would be a bad miss for the Rams.

If Jones ends up in Seattle, it will only compound how much the Rams needed to sign the former Tennessee Titan.