With Chandler Jones and Markus Golden set to anchor Arizona's outside linebacker positions in 2017, the Arizona Cardinals have a former first round draft choice (Jones) and a former second round pick (Golden) lining up on the edge of the line of scrimmage.
The unit is brimming with talent, and on Tuesday, Arizona set out to sign a reinforcement who should help complete the Cardinals' pass-rushing rotation.
Arizona announced Tuesday afternoon that it had agreed to terms with former Pittsburgh Steelers first round draft choice Jarvis Jones on a one-year contract for the 2017 season. Jones was selected in the first round of the 2013 draft after playing two seasons at Georgia, where he posted 28 career sacks for the Bulldogs.
In four NFL seasons, Jones has struggled to translate his college success to the professional level, as he has just 6.0 career sacks in 35 starts with Pittsburgh. Jones has played in 50 career games over four years, recording 125 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles to go along with his 6.0 sacks.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Jones is on the heavier side for an outside linebacker, and could wind up helping Arizona more as a rotational linebacker in run-first situations as opposed to on passing downs.
The signing of Jones came the same day four-year veteran Alex Okafor departed Arizona as a free agent to sign a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints. Okafor spent four consecutive seasons in Arizona after the Cardinals drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Texas, and started for two of those season.
After posting a career-high 8.0 sacks in 2014, Okafor's production slipped off in 2015, and he wound up losing his starting job to Chandler Jones after the team acquired him in a trade with New England last offseason.
The addition of Jarvis Jones is a low-profile signing for the Cardinals, but one that could pay dividends if Jones begins to tap into some of the potential he entered the league with that never quite materialized during his time in Pittsburgh.