Landry Jones' return gives Steelers much-needed QB depth

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Landry Jones agreed on a two-year contract Thursday, providing much-needed depth behind Ben Roethlisberger well before the NFL draft.

Terms: $4.4 million over two years, including a $600,000 signing bonus.

ESPN 150 ranking: 112th

Grade -- B: Jones might not be spectacular, but the Steelers feel he's better than many NFL backups. He knows coordinator Todd Haley's system. He's smart. And he's had a few bright moments in relief of Roethlisberger, including a 281-yard performance against New England last season. OK, let's not get carried away. Jones isn't the team's future at quarterback. But familiarity is a good thing in this case.

What it means: This isn't a succession plan. This is insurance. The Jones signing doesn't preclude the Steelers from making another quarterback move. Team president Art Rooney II said the team needs more quarterback depth, which the team can explore through free agency or the draft. The Steelers still are intrigued by journeyman Zach Mettenberger. At around $2.2 million per year, Jones isn't getting high-level backup money. This won't stretch the team's salary cap much.

What’s the risk: Zero risk. The team's third-string quarterback can push for playing time over Jones, and it wouldn't disrupt the offense in the slightest. And in a bind, the Steelers can feel comfortable playing Jones for a game or two. Despite some public uncertainty in January, Roethlisberger is widely expected to start for Pittsburgh for the next few years. Jones will be there with Big Ben for at least one of them, maybe two. Roethlisberger has missed at least two games in three of the last five seasons, so having a quarterback who’s comfortable in Haley’s system is a plus.