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Steelers appear ready to give Landry Jones good backup money

Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a call at the line against the Carolina Panthers in the 2nd quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones becomes a free agent next month, but the team appears ready to make sure he stays in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers view Jones as better than 80 percent of the other backups in the league, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If that’s the case, it’s hard to see how the Steelers could let him get away, unless some other team were willing to offer Jones starter money.

And the reality is there’s no way another team will offer Jones starter money. The Steelers may love what Jones gives them as a backup, but he’s only been so-so when filling in for Ben Roethlisberger, completing 60.3 percent of his passes with a 7.6 yards per pass average, seven touchdowns and six interceptions. No team is going to make Jones its starter, so what would seem to make the most sense is the Steelers giving Jones a contract better than 80 percent of backups make.

That might put Jones somewhere in the neighborhood of the two-year, $6.5 million contract the Cardinals gave backup quarterback Drew Stanton last year. For the Steelers, locking Jones up with that kind of deal would give them some security as Roethlisberger ages and begins to talk about hanging up the cleats. And for Jones, it would be a hefty pay raise over the four-year, $2.6 million rookie contract he just finished.