Tuesday morning the Pittsburgh Steelers demoted veteran returner Jacoby Jones following his multi-fumble game Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts. Surprisingly, Jones was not waived by the end of the day and that had several people guessing that the main reason behind that has something to do with his contract. I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case.
For starters, when the Steelers claimed Jones off of waivers from the San Diego Chargers several weeks ago, they assumed his $900,000 contract that still had 9 weeks remaining on it. In other words, the Steelers owed Jones $476,471 and that money is all guaranteed being as Jones is a vested veteran and was on the Chargers 53-man roster to start the season. Had Jones cleared waivers and then signed with the Steelers, his contract wouldn’t have been guaranteed.
With four weeks now remaining in the season, Jones is still owed $211,765 and that’s not nearly enough to prevent him from being turned loose. Additionally, if Jones were to be waived right now, he would have to file for the remaining termination pay and being as that amount is so small, he might not take that course of action being as players can only file for it once during their careers.
Barring something happening with Jones on Wednesday, he will be on the roster this weekend when the Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals. However, I fully expect him to be one of the team’s seven inactive players at this point. All bets are also off after that. While Jones might not be jettisoned as early as most like. it’s only a matter of time before that happens thanks to him being scheduled to earn $3 million in 2016.