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Vikings Sign Former Packers DE Datone Jones

Posted Mar 14, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings on Tuesday announced the signing of free agent Datone Jones.

Jones arrives in Minnesota after four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, who selected the UCLA product with the 26th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

He played in 59 games, including seven starts, and totaled 80 tackles (58 solo), 9.0 sacks, seven passes defended, an interception and two fumble recoveries.

In addition to crossing the border, Jones will be shifting from the Packers 3-4 base in which he’s played defensive end and outside linebacker to likely manning the defensive line in the Vikings 4-3 base.

Jones tackled Cordarrelle Patterson for a loss of 2 yards in the Vikings 17-14 win over the Packers in Week 2. The play was a carry by the former receiver, who took a handoff from running back Jerick McKinnon out of the Wildcat formation. Jones, who began the play on the left end of Green Bay’s defensive line met Patterson as he tried to turn up the field.

Jones also recorded a quarterback hit of Sam Bradford during an incompletion in the first quarter. This time, he worked from the right edge of the Packers three down linemen.

In Week 16, Jones started at left outside linebacker but also played on the defensive line and on special teams.

Jones recorded an impressive 19 tackles for loss as a senior at UCLA. The native of Compton, California, finished his college career with 148 tackles (90 solo), 36.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, five pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

Jones is a former Bruins teammate of Vikings linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, long snapper Kevin McDermott and kicker Kai Forbath.