Buffalo Bills Free Agency Potential Re-signing: DaQuan Jones

Buffalo Bills Free Agency Potential Re-signing: DaQuan Jones

After all the resources the Buffalo Bills have given to the defensive line over the last few years, the unit has not stepped up in the biggest moments. Despite the lack of success, the Bills would be wise to maintain some sort of continuity among the defensive line as they slowly bring in new players. 

One of those players needed for continuity is DaQuan Jones. The veteran defensive tackle has shown to be an effective player when healthy but has at times been unavailable for key moments. With his contract expiring, tough decisions need to be made as to whether he should be brought back. 

The discussion below looks at Jones’s injury history and perceived market value as the team looks to the 2024 season. 

Injury History

Pro Injuries

2017 Titans 

Missed six total games. Suffered a bicep tear in Week 13 that required season-ending surgery. He ultimately missed four regular-season games followed by two playoff games. The side injured was not specified in the reports.

2020 Titans 

Jones was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list at the end of September but did not miss any games. 

Jones suffered a foot injury in Week 5 that gave him a questionable designation heading into Week 6 against the Houston Texans. He fortunately did not miss any time but the specifics of the injury along with the side are not known. 

2021 Carolina Panthers

Suffered a groin injury before Week 2 that limited him, but he did not have a game-day designation heading into the matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

2022 Buffalo Bills

Hip injury, Week 6, missed 0 games.

Calf strain, Wild Card round, missed 1 game.

2023 Bills

-Right pectoral tear, Week 5, missed 10 games.

Injury Concerns

I only highlighted the injuries that Jones has suffered since starting his career in 2014. There aren’t many injuries for concern as noted above.

No Concern

Hip, Foot, Bicep Tear, Pectoral tears

These injuries combined cost him a total of 16 games due to the two muscle tears that required surgery, but each of them has been one-off injuries. He has not had any known issues since the biceps tear and even with the recency of the pectoral tear, the chances to re-tear are quite low. Over 85 percent of players return to play and there is no long-term drop-off performance in play. 

Minor Concern

Groin, calf strains

These two strains have occurred over the last three years with the calf strain causing him to miss the playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 playoffs. The only reason I have any concerns is because he is older. He has shown to still be very effective as a player without these muscle strains occurring frequently, but the worry is that if he does suffer another one, will he be able to play through the injury as effectively as he used to or will his production begin to fade?


The only drawback is that DaQuan Jones is an older player. How many more years he has left is anyone’s guess, but considering he plays one-tech, players at his position have shown to play at a consistent level well into their 30’s. We saw this recently with Linval Joseph and even previously with Star Lotulelei, though Lotulelei retired at age 32. 

Before Jones’s pectoral tear this season, he was playing some of his best football indicating he still has plenty left in the tank. Furthermore, he was able to return within the same season to help fortify the defensive line depth for the playoffs though he did return at less than 100 percent.

Stay or Leave

With how Jones was playing before his injury, his positional demands, and his age, it would make sense for him to stay. For the Bills, this pectoral tear may have been a blessing. This artificially depressed his performance metrics which in turn reduced his market value. There is familiarity with the defensive line and Jones has been at his best in Buffalo. Jones can certainly test the market and see what’s out there, but it would certainly be more convenient to stay in one location.

Market Value 

According to Spotrac, Jones will command an AAV of $6.8 million. The Bills can certainly restructure a variety of contracts and cut others to make room for a player of Jones’s caliber. Looking at comparable players, David Onyemata, Fletcher Cox, Michael Pierce, and Quinton Jefferson are his counterparts. 

Had Jones been able to play the entire season, he probably would command money closer to what Onyemata or Cox is currently making. I can confidently say that Jones is better than Jefferson which was a failed experiment by the Bills back in 2020-2021. This puts Jones on par with Michael Pierce which still leaves the contract very palatable. This also allows the Bills to get more value out of the contract despite his age and recent injury history. 

Final Thoughts

Unless Jones thinks he can cash in somewhere else, he would be smart to re-sign with the Bills. Even if it was a one-year deal to cash in later for one final contract, the Bills will still get solid production for whatever they pay him.

They need to make every effort to retain him so that there is not a near-wholesale change at defensive tackle outside of Ed Oliver. I have no concerns with bringing back Jones at his current production knowing what he realistically has left and what the Bills can afford. 

I wish DaQuan Jones the best of luck in his free agency this offseason. 

Top Photo Credit: Peter Aiken/AP