The Pittsburgh Steelers still have several weeks before they have to decide whether or not to pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Jarvis Jones for the 2017 season. While Jones has improved as a run defender since being drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Georgia, he’s yet to become the sack producer he was in college. During his annual pre-combine talk with the local media on Tuesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert weighed in briefly on Jones.
“Jarvis was better to a certain extent, (though) you’d still like to see more sack production from him,” Colbert said.
Jones will enter his fourth year in the league with just 6 career sacks and that includes his one postseason sack that he registered several weeks ago in the AFC Wild Card win over the Cincinnati Bengals. That one, by the way, may have been the most impressive one of his pro career and it resulted in a turnover to boot.
Even though Jones has been in the league for three years now, he has yet to play 1,500 defensive snaps and that couldn’t have been the initial plan when he was drafted. Last season, veteran James Harrison received the bulk of the snaps at right outside linebacker ahead of Jones and that certainly could happen again in 2016 should he decide that he wants to play out the final year of his contract.
While Colbert has yet to say whether or not the team will pick up Jones’ fifth-year option in the coming weeks, he certainly didn’t give the linebacker a ringing endorsement on Tuesday. Jones’s option year amount figures to be way north of $8 million and it this point of his career the young linebacker is barely worth half that number.