PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers have released outside linebacker Jamir Jones, the team announced.
Jones played all 17 games for the Steelers last season, playing 57% of the team’s special teams snaps but only 8% of their defensive reps. He recorded 10 tackles and had a pass deflection while helping fill the role of an injured T.J. Watt behind Malik Reed and Alex Highsmith.
The timing of Jones’s departure is unusual. After signing a new one-year deal in February, you’d expect Jones to be a player who could earn a roster spot during the summer. And unless he requested a release to pursue a different team, there’s no reason – at least on the surface – for the Steelers to release him before they have to during training camp.
Jones’s second stint with the Steelers was better than his first, but the once-preseason star hasn’t really panned out for Pittsburgh. With his release, the Steelers only have Quincey Roche on their roster as outside linebacker depth.
Pittsburgh is likely to target an outside linebacker in the NFL Draft or free agency, with Bud Dupree still being a name to watch. He came to the Steelers facility a few weeks ago for a physical, but the meeting ended before any negotiations took place.