New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have to figure out some key internal free agents in the 2023 offseason, but one of them sounds like he’d be happy to re-sign.

That would be cornerback Jonathan Jones, who recently spoke about his impending free agency with Phil Perry on the “Next Pats” podcast at NBC Sports Boston. Asked what the likelihood is of returning to the Patriots, Jones replied: “I would hope so. I would hope so. That’s where I’ve spent my career. It’s what I know. It’s what I love. I mean, New England is home for me in that aspect.

“We’ll see. We’ll see how free agency turns out… and we’ll take it from there.”


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  • Jones played by far the most snaps at cornerback for the 2022 Patriots, with 894 total defensive snaps (79.1 percent), third-most on the defense behind Devin McCourty and Ja’Whaun Bentley. And for the first time in his career, Jones played primarily on the outside, after being a fixture in the slot for much of his career in New England.

    All-Pro punt returner Marcus Jones saw an increased workload on defense in the second half of the 2022 regular season. He’s a logical replacement for Jones at slot corner. But if Jonathan Jones ends up signing elsewhere, the Patriots would have a huge opening for a perimeter guy. Either way, they’d lose a talented and versatile – read: valuable – cornerstone of the defense, and replacing everything he does would be a challenge.

    The Pats still have Jalen Mills under contract for 2023, and also have the third Jones, Jack, as a viable option to play outside corner. That’s assuming Jack Jones and the team can put their late-season issues, which included a team-imposed suspension, in the past. It’s plausible that the Pats would go forward with these two as their projected starting outside cornerbacks.

  • FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 09: Jack Jones #13 of the New England Patriots celebrates after an interception during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 09: Jack Jones #13 of the New England Patriots celebrates after an interception during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images)

  • Other defensive free agents for the Patriots include McCourty, who is mulling retirement; fellow safety Jabrill Peppers;¬†defensive tackle Carl Davis;¬†and linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Carl Davis. Cornerback Myles Bryant is on track to become a restricted free agent, meaning the Pats will have to decide whether to sign him to a one-year tender.

    We’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest rumblings around the Patriots’ free agents here at 985TheSportsHub.com. And be sure to keep checking back for more NFL free agency content.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.