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New WR Target Hits Free Agency in Zay Jones

Former Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones could be someone to watch as the Pittsburgh Steelers could go out on the market and sign a WR.



Steelers Jaguars Zay jones
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) runs a route during an NFL football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in London. The Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 25-20. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

The Jacksonville Jaguars have released wide receiver Zay Jones after they drafted Brian Thomas out of LSU with their first-round pick. That ends Jones’ tenure with the Jaguars, and his last season was marred by far too many injuries throughout the season. He suffered a PCL sprain and then had cartilage damage in his femur, all of which forced him to miss most of the season.

In 2022, Jones had over 800 receiving yards and 321 yards in just nine games, two of which he did not even finish. A bigger-bodied wide receiver who can play outside, Jones would at least make sense from that perspective for the Steelers, though other names could make sense, too.

Jones has just three seasons of over 500 receiving yards since entering the NFL, and 2022 was his best season overall. But if the Steelers can not get a trade done and have to turn to the free-agent market, Jones certainly makes some sense.

The Steelers are reportedly close to adding a significant playmaker, CBS Sports analyst and former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden said on X, the app formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

The Steelers have been in the market for a wide receiver since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers in March. They’ve struck out on free agent Mike Williams and have hit an impasse with Tyler Boyd, missing Williams, who signed with the Jets. The Steelers have also kicked the tires on San Francisco star Brandon Aiyuk, who the 49ers insist they are not trading. But Courtland Sutton might be the most intriguing of the options for who this could be.

Other free agents, such as Jones, could make sense. Michael Gallup was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, but D.J. Chark, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., and other remain out there as players that the Steelers could target if the talks for a potential trade fall through since they clearly need another receiver.