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Top FA WR Zay Jones Signing with Arizona Cardinals

The Pittsburgh Steelers will have one less wide receiver target to look at in free agency as the Cardinals signed Zay Jones.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Zay Jones
Opening day coverage from Week 1 of the NFL Season featuring the Washington Commanders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars camp at FedEx Field, Landover, MD, September, 11th, 2022. (All-Pro Reels / Joe Glorioso)

Zay Jones, one of the top remaining wide receivers on the free agent market, is singing with the Arizona Cardinals, according to multiple reports. He took four visits to different teams, but the Pittsburgh Steelers never showed any interest in the former Jacksonville Jaguars starter. That is one telling sign of how the Steelers view their wide receiver room.

Jones met with the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday, according to a report by Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. Jones has previously met with the Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals. He headed to Kansas City on Thursday to meet with the Chiefs.

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

A bigger-bodied wide receiver who can play outside, Jones would at least have made sense from that perspective for the Steelers. But the free agent market is now dwindled down to just a few names with Jones off the board to the Cardinals.

In 2022, Jones had over 800 receiving yards and 321 yards in just nine games, two of which he did not even finish. Jones has just three seasons of over 500 receiving yards since entering the NFL, and 2022 was his best season overall.

The Steelers have been in the market for a wide receiver since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers in March. Third-round rookie Roman Wilson is expected to play in the slot, as he did at Michigan, helping to replace Allen Robinson II.

Khan and company have shown some interest in the free agent market. Still, they’ve struck out on free agents Mike Williams, who signed with the New York Jets, and declined to sign Tyler Boyd, who signed with the Titans on Tuesday after having exchanged contract figures with his hometown club.

The rest of the free agent market, which the Steelers have not shown reported interested in, has been going quickly. Last week, the Las Vegas Raiders signed former Dallas Cowboys wideout Michael Gallup and the Los Angeles Chargers inked D.J. Chark. The Miami Dolphins signed Odell Beckham Jr. over the weekend. The Las Vegas Raiders signed Jalen Guyton on Monday.

As it stands, Kansas City Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and ex-New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas appear to be the top remaining outside receivers on the free agent market, but since talking with Boyd before the draft, the Steelers have not shown much interest.

Most of the smoke surrounding Omar Khan and Pittsburgh has come with wide receivers in the trade market, as the Steelers have reportedly shown interest in Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Courtland Sutton and others, but have not yet been able to make a deal happen, despite Khan acknowledging that they’ve been trying.

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