Lions Sign Former First-Round DE Datone Jones: Report

By: Will Burchfield
@burchie_kid

Out goes one pass rusher, in comes another.

The Lions signed defensive end Datone Jones on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport, a day after releasing Armonty Bryant.

Jones, 27, was released by the Vikings in early September shortly after being placed on IR with a shoulder injury. His last game action came in 2016 with the Packers. He had three tackles in Green Bay’s division-clinching victory over Detroit on New Year’s Day.

He appeared in 15 games for the Packers in 2016, starting four, and picked up 17 tackles, one sack and two pass breakups.

Jones, a product of UCLA, was Green Bay’s first-round draft pick (26th overall) in 2013.

The Lions’ pass rush, though not terrific, has been better than expected this season. They’re tied for ninth in the NFL with 13 sacks through five games.

Perhaps that’s why they chose to release the troubled but talented Bryant, who had just finished serving his third substance abuse-related suspension in the past year.

Jim Caldwell said on Friday he believes in giving players second chances — “There’s always, I think, an opportunity to help make a difference in a guy’s life,” he said — but Bryant was apparently no longer worth the risk.

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