INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Art Jones’ third season with the Indianapolis Colts ended Monday, and it’s fair to wonder if he’s played his final game with the team.
The Colts placed the veteran defensive tackle on injured reserve, ending another disappointing season. Jones missed Sunday’s 34-6 win at Minnesota with a groin injury.
The decision to shut down Jones with two games remaining raises questions about his future with the team. He’s in the third year of a five-year, $33 million contract he signed as one of general manager Ryan Grigson’s pricey free-agent acquisitions during the 2014 offseason.
The deal included $16 million in guarantees and a 2017 base salary of $6.25 million. That might be too steep for the Colts to handle considering Jones’ lack of availability and productivity. He has appeared in 17 regular-season games, 11 as a starter, with 54 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He agreed to rework his contract prior to this season to remain with the team.
However, Jones has missed 29 regular-season games, including all of 2015 with an ankle injury. He missed the first four games of this season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy.
If the Colts decide to part ways with Jones at the end of the season, they would save $5.15 million against the ’17 salary cap while carrying $2.2 million in dead money.
Jones is the fourth starter to be placed on IR in the last two weeks, joining guard Jack Mewhort (knee), cornerback Patrick Robinson (groin) and safety Clayton Geathers (neck).
The team filled Jones’ roster spot by elevating defensive end Kristjan Sokoli to the active roster from the practice squad.