The cuts are rolling in as the start of the new league year is upon us. Several big names have re-entered the open market over the last few days, and one that could particularly interest the Falcons is center Ben Jones, who the Titans released today.
BREAKING: The Titans are releasing center Ben Jones https://t.co/wWb33bqfEF
— Buck Reising (@BuckReising) March 10, 2023
Jones is somebody a lot of Falcons fans are familiar with from his days at Georgia, where he was the heart and soul of some Bulldog teams. He was taken in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, where he quickly became a starting guard for the Texans. Jones eventually transitioned to center and signed with the Titans in 2016, where he has started 108 games over the last seven seasons.
That is where his familiarity with Arthur Smith stems from. The two were both members of the Titans from 2016-2020 before Smith left to become the head coach of the Falcons. Jones has remained in Tennessee since, making his first Pro-Bowl last season.
Jones remains one of the better centers in the game. There have been murmurs that he might consider retirement, but if he decides to keep playing, he would be a seamless fit in Atlanta. Drew Dalman performed admirably at the position for the Falcons last season, but Jones would be a significant upgrade. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s regarded as a tremendous leader and one of the grittiest players in the NFL. This video of Jones and his former head coach Mike Vrabel tells you all you need to know about the type of reputation he has garnered amongst his peers.
Ben Jones is as tough as it gets, it wasn't easy to release him.
Here's coach Mike Vrabel and Jones sharing an emotional moment after Jones played through an injury in a win over the #Colts last season.
"I love you like my own."pic.twitter.com/6gssw0zA6a
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 10, 2023
Vrabel is as hard-nosed as it comes, so when he says something like that, it carries some weight.
Jones could want to spend the final year(s) of his career as a part of a contender, and nobody could blame him. The Falcons can’t offer him that, but if he wants to end his career close to his home, where it all began in college, this would be a seamless fit for both sides. I would be shocked if the Falcons didn’t at least inquire, given his reputation as a veteran leader and positional versatility. Jones also won’t break the bank or require a long-term deal. This would be a slam dunk signing by Terry Fontenot.
Photo: Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire
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