What was expected all offseason became official Tuesday as Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones departed via free agency to sign a five-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
The move reunites Jones with former Baltimore defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano as the two shared a close relationship dating back to their days with the Ravens. Jones reportedly agreed to a five-year, $33 million contract that includes $16 million guaranteed as he leaves the organization that selected him in the fifth round of the 2010 draft.
“Colts nation, here I come,” Jones wrote on his Twitter page shortly after the deal was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Though he played sparingly in his first two professional seasons, the 27-year-old Jones blossomed into an impact player in his fourth season while starting at the 3-technique defensive tackle spot, making 53 tackles and collecting four sacks in 14 games. Popular with both teammates and the media, Jones collected 120 tackles and 8 1/2 sacks in his four seasons with the Ravens.
Baltimore will now look to 2013 third-round pick Brandon Williams and third-year lineman DeAngelo Tyson to play prominent roles in trying to replace Jones’ production, but general manager Ozzie Newsome will likely look at the open market as well as the draft for new blood to add to the defensive line.