Chris Jones (P)

Cowboys, Chris Jones Agree To Extension

The Cowboys have signed punter Chris Jones to an four-year extension through 2021, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Jones was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season. Chris Jones (vertical)

The four-year extension is worth $8.7MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. That includes $4.5MM guaranteed.

Jones averaged 45.9 yards per punt in 2016, which is roughly in line with his career average. As noted by Kristi Scales of the Dallas Morning News, the veteran has the team’s’ all-time highest percentage of punts downed inside the 20 with 39.9% (113 of 283). Teams will only go so far to lock down special teams players, but the Cowboys felt the need to lock down Jones at a reasonable cost for years to come.

Jones has been with the Cowboys since 2011 when he filled in for Mat McBriar. However, non-Cowboys fans may remember him best for his crushing tackle on Lions punt returner Andre Roberts last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Jordan, Mathis, Cowboys

When Adam Schefter of ESPN.com first reported today that Dion Jordan had been suspended for the 2015 NFL season – news that has since been confirmed by the Dolphins – he also added another interesting tidbit, noting that the Eagles were nearing a trade for Jordan prior to his latest ban.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer has some additional details on those trade talks between the Dolphins and Eagles, tweeting that Jordan would’ve gone to Philadelphia for a conditional late-round pick. Per McLane, veteran guard Evan Mathis was also discussed, but it doesn’t appear Mathis would’ve been involved in the deal, if it had been finalized.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • Speaking today to reporters, including David Helman of DallasCowboys.com (Twitter link), Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said having the No. 27 pick increases the team’s chances of moving around in the draft, either up or down. Per Helman (Twitter links), Jones also classified Dallas’ need at running back as “not urgent,” suggesting that defense is a much greater priority. In Jones’ view, running back is merely a position of interest, while the D must be improved “by hook or crook.”
  • General manager Doug Whaley made a visit to meet with Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty today, a source tells Joe Buscaglia of WKBW.com. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports adds (via Twitter) that Whaley isn’t the only member of the Bills‘ front office in Dallas to have dinner with the young signal-caller. Petty is viewed as a probable day two pick in this week’s draft.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links) provides the specific details on Chris Jones‘ new three-year contract with the Cowboys. Based on Wilson’s figures, the deal features a $1MM cap number for 2015.
  • The Dolphins met with Miami running back Duke Johnson today, since a conflict with a Colts workout had prevented him from attending the team’s local pro day, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
  • Former TCU quarterback Casey Pachall and ex-Patriots defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick are among the players attending the Jets‘ minicamp as tryout players, per Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter links). Deaderick has also played for the Saints and Jaguars since spending three seasons in New England.

Cowboys Sign Chris Jones To Extension

Shortly after signing his restricted free agent tender from the Cowboys last week, punter Chris Jones agreed to tack on a couple more years to that one-year contract, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com. Yates reports (via Twitter) that Jones signed a two-year extension with the Cowboys, giving him a three-year total of $4.2MM, with $750K guaranteed.

The Cowboys re-signed Tom Hornsey earlier in the offseason as potential competition for Jones, but after extending the incumbent punter and giving him some guaranteed money, the Cowboys seem unlikely to make a change in 2015. Previously, Jones had been set to earn a non-guaranteed $1.542MM salary for the coming year.

Jones, 25, has now been the Cowboys’ full-time punter for the last two seasons, after first joining the squad in 2011. According to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required), Jones has been an above-average contributor during that stretch — the site ranked him ninth among 41 qualified players at the position in 2013, and 15th out of 37 in 2014.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Today’s minor moves..

  • The Dolphins waived offensive guard Davonte Wallace, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (on Twitter).
  • The Chiefs waived former 2014 Steelers first-round choice Shaquille Richardson, as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes. The cornerback signed with KC in February, but he couldn’t stick with the team through the spring.
  • Ravens backup long snapper Patrick Scales signed his $435K exclusive-rights free agent tender, as Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun writes. Scales was signed last season after two long snappers went down with season-ending injuries in Baltimore.
  • The Chargers cut linebacker Alvin Scioneaux, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter). Scioneaux, 24 in May, spent last season on the Bolts’ IR.
  • The Lions have released guard Rodney Austin, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (via Twitter). Austin, an Elon University product, was let go after being arrested on two charges of assault, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. For what it’s worth, Austin’s agent says that the issue will soon be behind his client. “I’m very well aware of what happened and that’s why I know this is not going to be an ongoing issue,” said Mark Magazu. The 26-year-old was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Lions after the 2012 draft.
  • Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar and punter Chris Jones signed their restricted free-agent tender offers, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The Cowboys gave both players the low tender, worth $1.542MM. Still, neither player is a lock to make the team in 2015.

Minor Moves: Monday

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

  • The Packers have informed running back DuJuan Harris they will not extend him an exclusive rights tender, Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel tweets.
  • The Ravens are expected to assign an exclusive-rights free agent tender to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Steelers have offered one-year deals to restricted free agents Antwon Blake, Will Johnson, and Robert Golden, Scott Brown of ESPN tweets. All three will get the lower tender, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals announced they’ve re-signed Alameda Ta’amu to a one-year contract, as Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports tweets. The Cards decided not to tender him but they have retained him at a lower salary.
  • The 49ers will restructure their deal with safety Craig Dahl, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). It’s now a one-year, $1.3MM deal with a $200K signing bonus, a $175K roster bonus, and a $50K workout bonus.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed defensive ends Larry English and Lawrence Sidbury, tight end Luke Stocker and linebacker Jason Williams.
  • The Ravens have assigned a $510K exclusive rights tender to offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Wilson (link) also hears that the Ravens have given wide receiver Kamar Aiken a $585K exclusive rights tender.
  • The Ravens gave cornerback Tramain Jacobs a $510K tender, per Wilson (link).

Earlier updates:

  • The Bills announced that they have extended the contract of kicker Jordan Gay, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (via Twitter).
  • The Browns announced that they have tendered qualifying offers to four of their restricted free agents: free safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive back Johnson Bademosi, defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, and linebacker Craig Robertson, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. It’s a second-round tender for Robertson, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Gipson also gets the second-round tender, according to Ulrich (link).
  • The Ravens have sent a second-round restricted tender $2.356MM to Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker, a source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
  • The Steelers announced that they have agreed to terms with veteran tight end Matt Spaeth on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old appeared in 15 regular-season games in 2014 (eight starts) and caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown, and also started the Steelers’ playoff game against Baltimore.
  • The Buccaneers are not expected to tender an offer to fullback Jorvorskie Lane, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. They could bring Lane, an ERFA, back on a different deal later, however. Lane had a tough year in 2014. He was hit with a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances in October and his season ended in November after he underwent surgery on his injured right leg.
  • The Broncos have placed the low-level contract tender on restricted free agent defensive back Tony Carter, extending him a one-year offer worth $1.542MM, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post. The move gives Denver the right to match any offer sheet Carter signs with another team, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), there may be strong outside interest.
  • The Cowboys have placed one-year tenders of $1.542MM each on restricted free agent punter Chris Jones and restricted free agent running back Lance Dunbar, sources tell Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News. Dunbar is the Cowboys’ third running back and tendering him gives Dallas some insurance if DeMarco Murray signs with another team in free agency. He also gives them a reserve back in the event that they have to cut ties with Joseph Randle.
  • The Browns announced that they have re-signed offensive lineman Ryan Seymour. Seymour, 25, appeared in 11 games during the 2014 season, starting three at center. Nick McDonald was originally the team’s choice at center after Alex Mack went down with a broken leg, but Seymour eventually got his chance at the job.
  • The Panthers have re-signed wide receiver/kick returner Brenton Bersin to a one-year deal, a source tells Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Bersin was an exclusive rights free agent.
  • The Panthers announced that they re-signed Fozzy Whittaker on a two-year deal, according to Person (on Twitter). The tailback had 32 carries for 145 yards last season and also contributed on kick returns. Linebacker Ben Jacobs and center Brian Folkerts got one-year deals to remain in Carolina (link). Tackle Kevin Hughes is the only Panthers ERFA who wasn’t tendered an offer (link).

Contract Tenders: Monday

Cowboys punter Chris Jones signed his exclusive rights tender of $645K, writes Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. The move locks down Dallas’ punter situation but eats up about $150K of the ~$2MM salary cap space the club had to work with. Jones averaged 45 yards per punt in his first full season with the Cowboys. The latest contract tenders from around the NFL..

  • Restricted free agent tackle Byron Bell has received a second-round tender worth $2.187MM from the Panthers, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). The club also tendered exclusive rights free agent Chris Scott, tweets ESPN.com’s David Newton.
  • The Chargers have only two exclusive rights free agents in linebacker Bront Bird and guard Stephen Schilling and they won’t be tendering either one, tweets Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego.
  • Jets linebacker Nick Bellore got the low restricted free agent tender, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). Bellore led Gang Green in special teams kickoff tackles last season.
  • The Ravens won’t extend an RFA tender to wide receiver Tandon Doss, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The team could still bring Doss back on a smaller deal though.
  • Lions wide receiver Kris Durham confirmed via Twitter that he inked his tender with the club. Durham, a fourth-round pick in 2011, became a more significant part of the Lions’ offense in 2013, racking up 38 receptions, 490 receiving yards, and a pair of touchdowns while starting 13 games. He didn’t perform well based on Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), which ranked him 109th out of 111 qualified receivers, but he’s still just 25 years old, and may not be relied upon for quite as large a role in 2014 if the team adds a receiver or two.
  • Joe Morgan and Jed Collins won’t receive RFA tenders from the Saints, but the club still has interest in re-signing the two free agents, says Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune.
  • The Rams won’t tender tight end Mike McNeill, who was eligible for restricted free agency, tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • Linebacker Justin Hickman has signed his ERFA tender from the Colts, according to Craig Kelley of Colts.com (via Twitter).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.