When the Pittsburgh Steelers released linebacker Jamir Jones on April 12, rumors began to swirl that it was to create a roster spot for a different edge rusher such as former Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree.
As it turned out, though, the Steelers didn’t release Jones with any other moves in mind. Instead, the Steelers cut ties with the linebacker because of his own off-the-field issue.
Steelers Now’s Alan Saunders reported on May 2 that police arrested Jones the day the Steelers released him — April 12. Jones was arrested at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and charged with one count of battery, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.
“The alleged victim has been in a multi-year relationship with Jones, and is unwilling to participate in the prosecution against him, according to court records,” Saunders wrote. “Both parties agreed to waive a condition of his bail that prohibited him from being in contact with the victim in a hearing on April 20.”
Saunders reported that Jones pled not guilty and requested a trial. But no further hearings have been scheduled.
Jones’ arrest and subsequent release occurred a little more than six weeks after the Steelers re-signed him to a one-year contract.
Jamir Jones Could Face NFL Discipline Due to Domestic Violence Charge
With Jones’ release, the Steelers escaped the drama of having one of their depth players arrested and charged with one count of battery. But the linebacker’s discipline may not be finished.
There’s a possibility that Jones could face a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy on domestic violence. Any team that considers Jones as a free agent addition this summer will likely have this in mind.
Jones spent part of the 2021 season and then the entire 2022 campaign in Pittsburgh. He played 20 games for the Steelers in those two seasons combined, posting 10 combined tackles, 1 quarterback hit and 1 pass defense.
His lone NFL start came against the Cincinnati Bengals during Week 3 of the 2021 season.
Jones also played part of the 2021 campaign with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams. In 32 career games, he has 20 combined tackles, 2 quarterback hits and 1 pass defense.
Steelers Draft OLB Nick Herbig
At the time, it was surprising to not see the Steelers add an edge rusher to replace Jones. That was especially true with Dupree still available at the time.
But Dupree signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, the Steelers didn’t add any other linebackers either.
At least not until the fourth round of the draft.
On Day 3, the Steelers selected Wisconsin edge rusher Nick Herbig. Although he’s considered undersized, Pittsburgh outside linebackers coach Denzel Martin told the media on April 29 that the Steelers will groom him to be an outside linebacker.
“Really like his pass rush ability,” Martin said. “Really like his competitiveness, his toughness on tape. I think you see that it’s very evident. Very excited to get to work with him.”
Because of Jones’ release, the Steelers will be without their top two backup outside linebackers from last year. Fellow backup Malik Reed signed a new contract with the Miami Dolphins.
That will give Herbig an excellent opportunity to carve out a role at edge rusher immediately. But don’t be surprised if the Steelers also search for veteran outside linebacker options this summer to help replace Jones.