New England Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Josh Gordon of the New England Patriots walks on the field during warmups for the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

ORCHARD PARK, NY – OCTOBER 29: Josh Gordon of the New England Patriots walks on the field during warmups for the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Wide receiver Josh Gordon and cornerback Jonathan Jones have both received restricted free agent tenders from the Patriots, giving both an opportunity to return to New England in 2019 or explore other opportunities. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe had the Gordon news first, while Mike Reiss of ESPN reported Jones.

In the case of both players, they have the right to sign an offer sheet with another team. The Patriots would get a second-round pick from the offering teams if they declined to match. Gordon received the “original round tender”, which is worth $2.025 million, while Jones received the designated “second-round tender” of $3.095 million. If neither of them get offers elsewhere, they’ll be under contract for the Patriots for that amount next season.

Jones would bring depth and versatility to the Patriots secondary if and when he returns for 2019. He played well in key roles in the playoffs, and he did it in unfamiliar territory. He helped hold the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill to just one catch in the AFC Championship Game, and performed admirably as a safety against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Feb 5, 2019; Boston, MA: New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, right, poses for a photo with cornerback Jonathan Jones prior to the start of the Super Bowl LIII championship parade. (Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)

Gordon, meanwhile, remains suspended indefinitely. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the NFLPA could “lay the groundwork” for his reinstatement process in May if he adheres to his treatment plans. If all went according to plan, he could be ready for the start of training camp. Otherwise, Gordon won’t get paid or count against the Patriots’ salary cap while suspended.

Update: Gordon thanked the Patriots in a new message on Instagram.

These moves aren’t terribly surprising, and in the case of Gordon the Patriots do need to add to their wide receiver depth chart. Gordon didn’t prove reliable enough to stay active for the stretch run, but contributed in the middle of the season with 40 catches for 720 yards and 3 touchdowns in 11 games.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.