Arthur Jones, one of the most skilled defensive ends on the open market, has reportedly signed a new five-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. The team announced the deal on Tuesday afternoon:
Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news:
Colts are signing former Ravens DT Arthur Jones to a deal around $6 million per season, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun added more details:
Colts have agreed to a five-year, deal with Arthur Jones worth roughly $6 million annually, according to sources— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) March 11, 2014
Jones was in high demand this offseason, as the former Baltimore Ravens standout has been a consistent contributor during his first three seasons in the league and appears poised for a breakout campaign in 2014.
The 27-year-old is coming off his second straight four-sack season, while also serving as a rock-solid run stuffer due to his elite strength and massive 6’3”, 315-pound frame.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has nothing but praise for the Syracuse star that the franchise selected in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft.
Harbaugh admitted that his team would struggle to match any massive offers for Jones’ services and explained why to NFL.com’s Marc Sessler: "If you put the tape on, they're going to like him a lot."
The Colts were one team that had a strong interest in Jones and liked him a lot right off the bat. Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun first noted that Indianapolis was ready to ink Jones to a deal as early as Tuesday:
Sources predict Arthur Jones will sign with the Indianapolis Colts as soon as today. Expected between $6 million and $7 million per year— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) March 11, 2014
The organization accomplished that goal, reuniting the defensive end with former coordinator and current Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. Jones is the second lineman to follow Pagano to Indianapolis and will soon play on the same line as former teammate Cory Redding.
Baltimore primarily used Jones in a reserve role during his tenure with the franchise, coming off the bench to provide a boost against the run. The Colts will likely give Jones a chance to shine as a starter and he should compete for the starting right end job.
With the amount of money he’s now making, it would be downright surprising if the Rochester, New York, native does not play a major role with his new club.
Jones has the chance to make a massive impact on the Indianapolis defense and bring toughness to the front seven of the squad, which gave up 125.1 yards per game to opposing rushers last season.