On July 8th, UFC Light Heavyweight fighter Jon "Bones" Jones tested positive for a banned substance prior to his big championship fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. As a result, he was replaced by Anderson Silva and is currently facing a 2-year suspension.
The Baltimore Ravens drafted his brother Arthur Jones with the 157th overall pick in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Jones was one of the key contributors to the Ravens defensive line from 2011-2013 after a rookie campaign in 2010 that only saw him play in just 2 games. Many Ravens fans will remember Jones for his fumble recovery in Super Bowl XLVII and also sacking San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick just before the lights went out. After a 2013 season that saw him notch 53 tackles and 4 sacks, Jones cashed in and signed a 5-year, $30 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts during that offseason.
Unfortunately, things have not panned out the way Jones and the Colts had hoped over the last 2 seasons. In 2014, Jones missed 7 games due to injury and recorded 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. In 2015, Jones missed the entire season due to an ankle injury and will now miss the first 4 games of 2016 due to a suspension.
With Arthur Jones' struggles and now recent suspension, is Jones now another former Ravens defensive player to fail outside Baltimore? Does he join the list of guys who didn't cut it after signing massive contracts with other teams? The answer is yes. Jones was brought in to be a force on the Colts defensive line and one of the main cores to not only the defense but the entire team to help lead quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts to a Super Bowl championship. His play, injuries, and now this suspension, does not help Arthur Jones's cause.
Guys like fellow Super Bowl teammate and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins for 5-years worth $35 million. Many thought that the Ravens made a huge mistake letting him go. Unfortunately for those people, it didn't work out in Miami and Ellerbe was traded last year to the New Orleans Saints. Another Ravens linebacker, Edgerton Hartwell, was also a big hit in Baltimore. He never missed a game and recorded 337 tackles, 6 sacks and 1 interception from 2001-2004. During the 2005 offseason, he signed a 6-year, $26.25 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. After 2 seasons, he was released and was out of the league by 2008. Cornerback Gary Baxter helped solidify a secondary that was a key force during the days of the dominant Ravens defenses from 2001-2004. He then signed a 6-year, $30 million deal with the arch rival Cleveland Browns. After three injury plagued seasons, he was released in 2008 and did not play again. Of course, how can we not forget about the way Ed Reed's hall of fame career ended with the Houston Texans and the New York Jets.
I believe Arthur Jones is now a part of that list, but there is time to right the ship. If Jones can return from his suspension and be the player the Colts paid him to be and return to the way he was in Baltimore, Jones can finally repay the Colts and help them to the success they envision. The clock is ticking for the former Super Bowl champion and the clock might strike midnight in 2016 for Arthur Jones.