Steelers Re-Sign Top Reserve Edge Rusher

Jamir Jones Steelers

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Jamir Jones #44 and Chris Wormley #95 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 12, 2021.

The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed another of their own free agents on Monday, inking exclusive rights free agent linebacker Jamir Jones to a one-year contract. Jones is the latest player from the 2022 team to sign a new deal for 2023, following in the wake of long snapper Christian Kuntz and wide receiver Anthony Miller.

Jones appeared in all 17 of Pittsburgh’s regular-season games last season, and by the end of the year he surpassed veteran Malik Reed as the team’s top backup at outside linebacker behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. The 6-foot-3 edge rusher figures to have a good shot at holding on to a backup job in 2023, as Reed is a pending unrestricted free agent and the only other outside linebackers on the roster are former Steelers 6th-round pick Quincy Roche and former Chargers 6th-round pick Emeke Egbule.

Jones Was Working Retail Before Signing With the Steelers

Jamir Jones — who played his college football at Notre Dame — originally joined the Steelers in 2021, having spent time in Houston after getting signed by the Texans as a rookie undrafted free agent in 2020. He returned to the Steelers on Sept. 1, 2022, after he was claimed on waivers from the Jaguars, who released him mere hours after he made Jacksonville’s 53-man roster.

The 24-year-old New York native went on to play 86 snaps on defense and 251 snaps on special teams, recording 10 tackles and breaking up one pass for the Steelers, according to Pro Football Reference.

Notably, it was Pittsburgh that gave Jones his first real chance to prove himself in the NFL, signing him after he impressed Mike Tomlin and then-general manager Kevin Colbert at Notre Dame’s 2021 Pro Day. The contract allowed him to escape his day job at Champs Sports, and he had an impressive training camp, recording four sacks and six quarterback hits during the 2021 preseason.

But the Steelers lost him to a waiver claim by the Rams in Sept. 2021, and he went on to appear in 10 games for Los Angeles, with his biggest play coming in his Rams debut, responsible for a “double punt” block that went viral. He moved on to Jacksonville prior to the end of the ’21 season, and re-signed with the Jags in April 2022.

When Jamir Jones first joined the Steelers, his older brother Jarron was also on the roster, making them the third pair of brothers on the team at the time, alongside T.J. & Derek Watt and Terrell & Trey Edmunds. In 2020, Jamir and Jarron Jones nearly lost their father Matthew to COVID, as he spent 47 days in the hospital battling the virus, getting released the day before the 2020 NFL draft.

Hines Ward Gets 1st Win as an XFL Head Coach

Meanwhile, on Sunday Feb. 26, 2023, former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward got his first victory as an XFL head coach, when his San Antonio Brahmas (1-1) defeated the Orlando Guardians, 30-12. A week earlier, the Brahmas blew a 15-point lead in the final minutes and lost to the St. Louis Battlehawks.

Rod Woodson’s Vegas Vipers (0-2) weren’t as fortunate, falling to the D.C. Defenders by a score of 18-6 on Feb. 25. Woodson is still looking for his first victory as Vipers head coach.

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