Jason Jones will return to the Detroit Lions in 2015

INDIANAPOLIS – The Detroit Lions had one of the best defensive lines in the NFL last season -- a large reason why the franchise had the best run defense in the NFL.

And on Thursday morning, general manager Martin Mayhew made it emphatically clear he plans on keeping starting defensive end Jason Jones on the roster for the 2015 season. He came to Jones’ defense after there was some speculation he could be a salary cap cut if the team needed money for Ndamukong Suh or other free agents.

“We’re not going to cut Jason Jones, and we’re not going to restructure his contract,” Mayhew said. “So that’s just way off base, and I really would caution you not to do that.”

The 28-year-old Jones, who is from Michigan, had 22 tackles and five sacks last season for the Lions. The five sacks tied a career high.

“We’ve got the No. 1 ranked run defense in the league,” Mayhew said. “We set NFL records, not just Lions records but NFL records with our run defense, and he was a huge part of that. I think his salary is commensurate with what his contribution is.

“I don’t think his salary is too high for him. Sometimes you’re going to speculate and be right but I think in that case, in Jason Jones’ case, it was way off base.”

Jones is set to enter the final year of his contract and is set to make $3.983 million as a cap number in 2015.