Colts Sign Arthur Jones
With an eye toward fortifying a porous run defense, the Colts inked former Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones to a five-year, $33 million contract with $16 million of it guaranteed. It is a hefty, if necessary, salary for the in-demand 3-4 end who brings an element the Colts sorely lacked in 2013.
The Colts are flush with cap room and run stopping is arguably their biggest area of need. Their defense allowed 4.5 yards per carry last year, which was the eighth-worst mark in the NFL. Their 2,002 ground yards surrendered was the league’s seventh-highest total, and Indy’s season ended with the Patriots running it down their throats with impunity.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old Jones is reunited with his former defensive coordinator, and current Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano. He also will be paired with former Ravens teammate Cory Redding, who is one of the league’s best run-stopping 3-4 defensive ends. In 2013, Redding ranked seventh at his position in PFF’s run-stopping grades (+16.0). However, he tallied just 37 tackles, good for 20th at a spot that typically does not rack up huge counting statistics. Now it will not be as easy for offenses to run away from Redding in 2014.
Jones registered 58 tackles with the Ravens, which placed him 10th among 3-4 defensive ends. He ranked as the 14th-best 3-4 end when it came to PFF’s run-stopping grades (+12.9). While Redding ranked a lowly 67th in fantasy scoring among defensive linemen, Jones at least wound up placing 36th. Still, his level of production did not move the needle much, and will not warrant a special effort to acquire in 2014 drafts unless league requirements somehow differentiate between 3-4 and 4-3 defensive ends.
The Ravens will attempt to replace Jones with DeAngelo Tyson, a 2012 seventh-round pick who showed promise during spot duty last season. Redshirt rookie Kapron Lewis-Moore is also a name to keep an eye on despite the fact that he spent 2013 rehabbing a torn ACL on injured reserve. Both are run-stopping specialists and neither will warrant much attention in most fantasy leagues.
Jones’ signing in Indianapolis is a move that makes more waves in real football than it does in fantasy. The Colts also added linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to their front seven and re-signed standout cornerback Vontae Davis, as they attempt to become more serious players in the AFC’s hierarchy.
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