Jones, the No. 17 pick in 2013, will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. The option would have paid him $8.4 million in 2016, based on a formula calculating top salaries at the position.
He was productive in spots in 2015 but has five sacks in three seasons, which makes justifying the option figure difficult. Jones dealt with a wrist injury in 2014, and he was part of a four-man pass-rush rotation last year.
The Steelers were one of the last teams to make a decision on the option of their 2013 first-round pick. The deadline is midnight.
Pittsburgh still has the right to negotiate a long-term deal with Jones, who had 29 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 2015. Jones also had a crucial forced fumble in the AFC wild-card against the Cincinnati Bengals.