Surprise Cut: Steelers Release Backup OLB
The Pittsburgh Steelers have released outside linebacker Jamir Jones, the team announced on Wednesday.
The move comes as a surprise, as Jones had been an exclusive-rights free agent earlier this offseason and the team chose to offer him a one-year contract tender. Jones re-signed with the team on Feb. 27.
Jones, 24, had been the team’s fourth outside linebacker in 2022 and with No. 3 Malik Reed not re-signed, seemed poised to reprise that role in 2023.
A Rochester, New York native and Notre Dame alum, Jones first joined the Steelers during training camp in 2021 after a short stint with the Houston Texans in 2020. After he made the team to start the season, the Steelers put him on waivers after three weeks with the intention of signing him to their practice squad, but he was claimed by the Los Angeles Rams.
Jones played 10 games with the Rams before being waived again and claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played two 2021 games in Jacksonville and spent most of the 2022 offseason with the Jaguars, but the Steelers re-claimed him on waivers on Sept. 1, 2022.
Back with Pittsburgh last season, Jones settled in as the team’s No. 4 outside linebacker behind starters T.J Watt and Alex Highsmith and backup Malik Reed. He played in all 17 games, making 10 tackles and breaking up one pass. Jones also played on 57% of the Steelers’ special teams snaps for the season.
With Reed still unsigned and now Jones released, the Steelers top backups at outside linebacker are now Quincy Roche and Emeke Egbule. Defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal can also play outside linebacker.
The Steelers’ offseason roster stands at 78 players, well short of the maximum of 90.