New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

The Patriots’ first move of the legal tampering period – the first stage of NFL Free Agency – turned out to be taking care of one of their own players. As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team is expected to re-sign cornerback Jonathan Jones.

Jones returns to New England on a two-year deal. The financial side of the contract has not yet been reported. However, NFL Network’s Mike Giardi suggested on Twitter that there was “a fair amount more [money] out there for Jones if he wanted,” suggesting the 29-year-old cornerback is returning on a hometown discount.

UPDATE: Jones deal is worth up to $19 million with $13 million fully guaranteed, per Doug Kyed of AtoZ Sports

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  • It was reported last week that Jones would be testing free agency. For him to re-sign quickly is notable.

    Jones was originally signed by the Patriots as a UDFA out of Auburn in 2016, and has spent his first seven NFL seasons in New England. This will be his third contract with the franchise – he’s coming off a three-year, $21 million dollar extension he signed in 2017 as his rookie deal expired.

    For his first six seasons Jones played mostly as a slot cornerback. Last year he moved out to the boundary and continued to play at a high level there. His success at that premium position led some to wonder if he’d be priced out of the Patriots’ market.

  • As Jones return for another season, there’s some speculation another position change could be in store. Following the retirement of Devin McCourty, some have suggested Jones could step into the free safety role next season.

    Whether Jones stays at cornerback or moves at safety, the Patriots have retained a talented player and valuable veteran voice in the secondary. Adding size at cornerback still remains a need this offseason, which would have been the case whether Jones returned or not.

    Re-signing Jones is the second move of the day for the Patriots, following the trade of Jonnu Smith. For updates on all of the Patriots moves and notable league-wide signings, follow our Free Agency Tracker.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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