The Tennessee Titans have begun preliminary discussions with free agent defensive lineman Jason Jones on a contract extension, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Jones is one of 16 Titans who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 13, but is also at or near the top of the list of players the Titans hope to retain and keep off the market.
The Titans re-signed tackle Mike Otto on Thursday and had previously signed tight end Craig Stevens last month.
Jones could be the next target as general manager Ruston Webster and the club identify players they would like to keep from the current roster whose contracts have expired. No deal is yet imminent, but the sides are discussing the situation.
The Titans selected Jones in the second round of the 2008 draft from Eastern Michigan, and used him primarily as a defensive tackle in his first three seasons. In 2011, Jones (6-5, 275) was switched to defensive end as the Titans sought to get bigger along the defensive front. He had three sacks and 48 tackles this past season, but at the end of the year, defensive coordinator Jerry Gray talked about the possibility of Jones being moved back inside next year if the Titans brought him back, which is now appears they are inclined to do.
That issue is likely to work its way into the contract talks, regarding how Jones is viewed as a tackle or an end and how to compensate him accordingly.
Jones has 15.5 sacks in his four-year NFL career.