MARCH 15, 8:09am: Nearly a week after it was agreed upon, the deal between Jones and the Bengals has been signed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who tweets that the two sides had to finalize certain language and payout dates. Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweeted last week that Jones’ three-year deal is worth $24MM, including $16MM paid out in the first two years.
MARCH 9, 7:11pm: Jones’ deal is worth upward of $20MM, per Jim Owczarski of the Enquirer (Twitter link).
MARCH 9, 5:56pm: The Bengals will keep cornerback Adam Jones in the fold, according to FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo, who tweets that the two sides have agreed to a three-year contract. Financial details are not yet available.
Jones, 32, generated plenty of interest entering free agency, with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio identifying the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins, Raiders, Cowboys and Vikings as potential suitors for the 32-year-old. However, he will remain a Bengal instead of joining the likes of Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Reggie Nelson on the way out of Cincinnati. Sanu and Nelson have not yet reached agreements with other teams, but don’t appear likely to return to Cincinnati.
Since joining the Bengals in 2010, Jones has appeared in 75 regular-season games and recorded 43 starts. He started all 14 games he suited up for in 2015-16 and amassed three interceptions, giving him 14 in nine seasons. His overall performance earned him the No. 15 position among 111 qualifying corners at Pro Football Focus. He also finished with the fifth-best quarterback rating against, per PFF (Twitter link), and made his first Pro Bowl.
As successful as Jones’ regular season was, a crucial playoff mistake somewhat overshadowed it, as the 15-yard penalty he took when he bumped into an official while jawing with Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter helped set up a chip-shot field goal for Pittsburgh. Chris Boswell converted the 35-yard kick to seal an 18-16 win and knock Cincy from the wild-card round for the fifth straight year.
The Bengals have clearly forgiven Jones, though, and will now retain a quality defender and return man on a day otherwise defined by key losses for the club. Before free agency began, PFR’s Luke Adams ranked Jones as the 36th-best player available.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.