Byron Jones

Ravens Not Likely To Push For CB Marcus Peters

When veteran cornerback Marcus Peters‘s contract expired at the end of the season, the starting cornerback spot across from Marlon Humphrey became a big point of concern for Ravens fans. Aside from times when one or the other was injured, Peters and Humphrey have manned the boundary corner positions in Baltimore together since 2019. While not completely out of the realm of possibility, it’s not looking likely to continue into 2023, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

In a mailbag Q&A, Zrebiec fielded several questions from fans inquiring about the likelihood of Peters returning to Baltimore. Peters struggled a bit in his return from an ACL tear that held him out of the entire 2021 season. He still served as a starting-caliber cornerback that could limit damage, but his playmaking, shutdown defense was nowhere to be found in 2022. Now two years removed from seeing Peters playing his best football, the Ravens haven’t shown any sign of prioritizing the return of the 30-year-old.

Peters visited the Raiders in mid-May and has remained in close contact with the team, but as of yet, no deal seems certain. Zrebiec points out that there’s no risk in Peters waiting. Better offers or opportunities may still come his way and, until camps start, there’s truly no rush.

In Baltimore, the Ravens eventually addressed the hole in the roster by signing Rock Ya-Sin. Ya-Sin doesn’t have the resume that Peters does, but he’s younger and has shown better football more recently than Peters. Even with Ya-Sin on the roster, Baltimore still didn’t rule out the possibility of bringing Peters back. They know he fits in the locker room, but in order for him to return, he’s going to have to be realistic on his value.

In a market bereft of lockdown, star cornerback talent, Peters may be one of the top options, but he’s not so good that he’ll earn past his value. The Ravens could certainly still make a different addition to the room before training camp. Several veterans remain free agents, such as Ronald Darby, Byron Jones, Bryce Callahan, Casey Hayward, and former Raven Anthony Averett. If Peters isn’t willing to meet the Ravens halfway on a new contract, Baltimore has plenty of other avenues they can explore.

The team also seems to like what they have in house right now, even going so far as to move Brandon Stephens back to his rookie position of safety following a season at cornerback last year. They’re hoping to see big jumps in the sophomore seasons of Damarion Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis and know they have serviceable depth pieces in Daryl Worley and Kevon Seymour. They also re-signed Trayvon Mullen and added Kyu Blu Kelly in the fifth round of the draft. They may want to bolster the room with a veteran who can slot in as CB3 still, but if they miss out on Peters because of value, they won’t beat themselves up too much over it.

So, for now, it appears most likely that Peters is Vegas bound. He appears to be waiting out the options, and the Ravens appear to be open to his return without pushing past their limits. A return to Baltimore isn’t impossible, but it will need to feel right with both sides.

Dolphins To Release CB Byron Jones

MARCH 15: The release is now official, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

MARCH 7: The Dolphins are following through with this expected transaction. They have informed Jones they will release him on the first day of the 2023 league year (March 15), Adam Schefter of tweets. Miami will designate Jones as a post-June 1 cut, per Schefter. This move will create $13.6MM in cap space, though the Dolphins will not collect the savings until that June date. Teams can designate two players per year as post-June 1 releases.

FEBURARY 25: As Byron Jones‘ recovery timetable kept being pushed back, it looked increasingly likely his Dolphins tenure was coming to an end. The veteran cornerback’s comments Saturday pointed to his career being over.

Jones, who has not played since the 2021 season, underwent surgery nearly a year ago. He said Saturday he “can’t run or jump because of my injuries sustained playing this game.” Still attached to what was once a record-setting cornerback contract, Jones has made it seem likely he will not play again.

It was an honor and privilege to play in the NFL but it came at a regrettable cost I did not foresee,” Jones said (on Twitter). “In my opinion, no amount of professional success or financial gain is worth avoidable chronic pain and disabilities. Godspeed to the draft class of 2023.”

That said, the talented cover man is not planning to submit his retirement papers, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. The Dolphins are likely to designate Jones as a post-June 1 cut. Teams can make two of those designations per year. With the Dolphins being able to create $13.6MM in cap space — after June 1, that is — and Jones coming off a missed season, that seemed the logical endpoint here. Jones has been with the Dolphins since 2020, starting 30 games with the team.

The Dolphins gave Jones a five-year, $82.5MM contract during the 2020 free agency period. Although Jalen Ramsey, Jaire Alexander and Denzel Ward now earn north of $20MM per year, Josh Norman‘s $15MM-per-year figure resided as the position’s top AAV for three years. Xavien Howard barely topped it in May 2019. Jones’ $16.5MM-per-year pact began breaking that ice (and later prompted Howard to push for another contract), and corner salaries began rising.

Should Jones retire now, he could owe the Dolphins $4.2MM in signing bonus money, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. A smaller injury-protection sum would also stand to come Jones’ way if/once the Dolphins cut him, but the former Cowboys first-round pick has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal. Two years remain on the contract, with two void years tacked onto the end of it for cap-saving purposes. Following a successful conversion from safety to cornerback that produced a Pro Bowl and a free agency bidding war, Jones secured $40MM at signing from the Dolphins.

Jones lobbed an apparent salvo at the Dolphins in a separate tweet, advising other injured players to be leery of medications advised by team staffs. Despite that comment, Jackson adds Jones is not planning a lawsuit against the Dolphins. The surgery Jones underwent was not believed to be a procedure that threatened his 2022 season; he was initially believed to be on track to return by training camp. But he never came off Miami’s PUP list last season. The unexpected hurdles that appeared during Jones’ recovery have understandably become a sore subject with the former Pro Bowler.

Dolphins Not Expecting Byron Jones To Play This Season

It appears 2022 will be a lost year for Byron Jones. While Mike McDaniel stopped short of fully declaring the veteran cornerback will be shut down, the first-year Dolphins HC said a Jones return this season is unlikely.

Sidelined since a March surgery to address ankle and Achilles issues, Jones has continually seen his timetable moved back. The Dolphins were initially expecting him back well before training camp, and McDaniel said at multiple points during the season a return was in play. But the former first-round pick has not been ready to practice. The team’s stance has changed, with McDaniel indicating Monday (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, on Twitter) it will be viewed as a bonus if Jones — stationed on the Dolphins’ reserve/PUP list throughout the season — suits up.

The Dolphins have already lost veteran corner Nik Needham to a season-ending injury, but it has obviously been surprising Jones never returned from a surgery viewed at the time as routine. Coming into this season, the former Cowboys first-round pick had never missed more than two games in a season. His status going forward will be something to monitor.

Jones, 30, teamed with Xavien Howard to form one of the league’s higher-profile cornerback tandems over the past two seasons. Although the converted safety has not lived up to his then-corner-record contract — five years, $82.5MM, authorized in March 2020 — his absence has still hurt the Dolphins this season.

Jones is counting only $1.12MM against Miami’s cap this year, thanks to an offseason restructure. The contract adjustment added void years in 2025 and ’26, and Jones is on the Dolphins’ books at $18.9MM and $18.8MM in 2023 and ’24, respectively. Releasing Jones without designating him as a post-June 1 cut would cost the Dolphins $14.8MM in 2023. Teams can designate two players as post-June 1 cuts per offseason.

Miami allowed Justin Herbert to complete a career-high 39 passes Sunday night and now ranks 22nd against the pass this season. The team has used rookie UDFA Kader Kohou as its top Howard sidekick. Pro Football Focus ranks Kohou as its No. 30 overall corner, opening the door to a longer-term first-string run for the Texas A&M Commerce alum.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Wilson, Patriots

Byron Jones is moving toward a lost season, but the Dolphins are not giving up hope on the eighth-year defender. Mike McDaniel did confirm Jones is still not ready to practice due to the ankle and Achilles operation he underwent in March. While the high-priced cornerback was expected to be ready for training camp, it has obviously brought concern he remains on the shelf into Thanksgiving week. McDaniel said this week he is optimistic Jones will, in fact, suit up at some point this season, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes.

The Dolphins have been without Jones and Nik Needham, given a second-round RFA tender to stay in Miami this year, for weeks. Needham is out for the season. Jones’ absence — by far his longest as a pro — has left the 7-3 team shorthanded at corner. It will be interesting to see if Jones can indeed contribute for the Fins this season. By restructuring Jones’ five-year, $82.5MM deal this offseason, the Dolphins added some future dead money to the contract — in the event they want to move on before its conclusion.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Faced with the prospect of a second-year demotion, Zach Wilson may be losing some support in the Jets locker room. Wilson indicated he did not feel his 9-for-22, 77-yard passing performance against the Patriots let the team’s defense down, and Rich Cimini of notes those remarks upset some defenders. The former No. 2 overall pick piloted an offense that totaled 103 yards against the Pats — the fourth-fewest in Jets history — months after a Wilson-led attack set a franchise record with 53 yards in Week 18 of last season. Monday marked the first time Saleh has threatened to bench Wilson, who earned his job back following each of his knee injuries over the past two seasons. Wilson ranks 23rd in QBR (45.1) but is second-to-last in passer rating (72.6).
  • The Patriots placed Christian Barmore on IR last week, but Adam Schefter of notes (via Twitter) the team expects him to return later this season. The second-year defensive tackle has battled knee inflammation for weeks. Surgery is not on the agenda here, per Schefter, who adds New England anticipates Barmore returning after the four-week IR minimum. He is eligible to come back in Week 15.
  • Joining Jones on the injury front, Trey Flowers is unlikely to come off the Dolphins‘ IR list for a bit. McDaniel said (via Jackson) Flowers is not close to returning from the foot injury that sidelined him in mid-October. Flowers is eligible to return from IR this week, but it cannot be assumed he comes off IR this season. The Dolphins do have six injury activations remaining, however, providing some flexibility even when factoring in the Jones situation. Flowers, who sat in free agency for months prior to his Dolphins agreement, played just 65 defensive snaps with his new team this season. Injuries hindered Flowers significantly in Detroit as well. The Dolphins have both he and Emmanuel Ogbah out of the equation at defensive end.
  • Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona said he would like to see his position more respected, salary-wise, and Mike Reiss of posits this could affect how Cardona approaches his free agency. Cardona would have his work cut out for him if he takes such a stance. Long snappers are the league’s lowest-paid players, with each earning the league minimum or just north of that. Browns snapper Charley Hughlett signed an extension this year that made him the league’s highest-paid snapper — at $1.4MM per year.

AFC East Rumors: Jets WRs, Davis, Collins, Jones

Second-year wide receiver Elijah Moore made headlines yesterday when he became the second Jets pass catcher to request a trade in the past two months. The frustration leading to the request had been building for weeks, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, as Moore hasn’t quite found the success and production he saw in his rookie season. The team sent him home from practice for a “personal day” yesterday and are not considering trading the 22-year-old.

The other receiver who requested a trade was New York’s second-round draft pick from the year before the Jets selected Moore in the second round: Denzel Mims. Mims has been a healthy scratch for the team’s first six games of the season and, according to him, a trade is “still on the table.”

Here are a few other rumors out of the AFC East, starting with some injury details up in Massachusetts:

  • Patriots safety and core special teamer Cody Davis was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. According to the Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the move is a result of season-ending surgery Davis must undergo to repair a knee injury. It’s a tough loss for the Patriots, who have always valued special teams experts, and a return to the NFL next season will pose a difficult test for Davis, who will turn 34 before he can return.
  • Veteran linebacker Jamie Collins has been serving time with his first career stint on an NFL practice squad during his tenth year in the league. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seemed to indicate that Collins’ offseason surgery is the reason he’s not on the active roster, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. Belichick insinuated that there’s a conditioning process that Collins will have to go through in order to earn a promotion to the active roster.
  • Although Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones is eligible to return from the team’s physically unable to perform list, the veteran starter is still not ready to play, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports. Jones is still recovering from a March surgery on his ankle/Achilles area, even though head coach Mike McDaniel claimed multiple times that the team expected Jones back in time for the regular season. Instead, Jones remains on PUP and there is, reportedly, no timeline for his return.

Dolphins HC: Byron Jones’ Rehab Not Progressing Like Team Hoped

On a day in which many teams are designating IR-, PUP- or NFI-stationed players for return, the Dolphins are standing pat with Byron Jones. The high-priced corner will remain on the team’s PUP list, and Mike McDaniel‘s reasoning provides more cause for concern.

The rookie Dolphins HC said Jones is not progressing “as fast as we’d hoped” in his recovery from offseason Achilles surgery, Marcel Louis-Jacques of tweets. Jones has been on the shelf since early March, when he underwent a surgery that was not supposed to sideline him for nearly as long as it has.

Jones, 30, entered this season having made 30 out of a possible 33 starts with the Dolphins. Miami gave Jones a then-cornerback-record $16.5MM-per-year contract during the 2020 free agency period. That deal led to an issue with Xavien Howard, who has since seen the team redo his contract, and it has not keyed the coverage success the Dolphins hoped. Now, the longest stretch of Jones unavailability is ongoing. The UConn product missed just one game during his five-year Cowboys stay.

Jones’ surgery was believed to require a two-month recovery timetable, but the offseason came and went without practice work commencing. We have now hit the seven-month mark here, but it does not look like the former Cowboys first-round pick will be coming off the Dolphins’ reserve/PUP list this week. Once the Dolphins open Jones’ practice window, he has 21 days to be activated or revert to season-ending IR. Jones, who reworked his contract this offseason, is signed through 2024.

Howard and Nik Needham have been Miami’s primary corners, and despite the team investing a 2020 first-round pick in Noah Igbinoghene, rookie UDFA Kader Kohou has worked as the team’s third corner in Jones’ absence. An Ivory Coast native out of Texas A&M-Commerce, Kohou has started the past two Dolphins games. Howard is uncertain for Miami’s Week 5 game due to a groin injury.

Dolphins Move Down To 53

A few hours ahead of the 3pm CT deadline, the Dolphins slashed their roster to 53 players. Here are the roster moves Miami made to comply with the NFL’s 53-man maximum:


Placed on IR:

The team also waived wideouts Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden and moved Byron Jones to the reserve/PUP list, after making a handful of roster moves Monday. Sony Michel is also off the team’s roster.

Miami’s batch of Tuesday moves leave both Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed on the team’s 53-man roster. Both were viewed as cut candidates after the additions of Michel, Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert. But Mostert has been one of the NFL’s most injury-prone players over the past two seasons. It makes sense the Dolphins’ staff is carrying four backs.

Kindley’s exit is also notable. The Dolphins used the 2020 fourth-round pick as a 13-game starter during his rookie season. Last year, however, the team kept the Georgia product mostly on the bench. Kindley made two starts in 2021. Since Kindley’s arrival, the Dolphins have used a second-round pick on Liam Eichenberg and signed Connor Williams. Robert Hunt remains in place as the team’s right guard. Still, with O-linemen in demand at this time of year, it will be interesting to see if a team claims him. Two years remain on Kindley’s rookie contract.

Dolphins Move CB Byron Jones To Reserve/PUP List

Byron Jones has not practiced with the Dolphins this year. As a result, the team will not have one of its highly paid cornerbacks until at least October.

The Dolphins are moving Jones to the reserve/PUP list, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Jones, who is coming off ankle surgery, will not be eligible to play until Week 5. This has become a concern for the Dolphins, as Jones’ surgery occurred back in early March.

This surgery also addressed Jones’ Achilles, but growing concern emerged early during the veteran cover man’s stay on Miami’s active/PUP list during training camp. Jones, who will turn 30 in September, reworked his lucrative contract this offseason. That adjustment locked in the former Cowboy’s $14MM-plus salary for 2022.

But the operation Jones underwent was supposed to have him ready well before camp. That timetable being thrown off will leave the Dolphins shorthanded at corner. While Xavien Howard represents a strong No. 1 option on his own, the Dolphins’ cornerback plan has already not taken shape because of 2020 first-rounder Noah Igbinoghene‘s failure to become a consistent option. The team kept Nik Needham via second-round RFA tender this offseason, however. Miami signed Mackensie Alexander but placed him on IR soon after.

Jones has been with the Dolphins since 2020, when the former Dallas safety signed a then-record $16.5MM-per-year deal in free agency. The Dolphins guaranteed Jones $40MM. Although the former first-round pick has not produced on the level of Howard, which created a separate issue last year, Jones has been durable previously. The UConn product has only missed two games as a Dolphin. If the team is fortunate, Jones will only double that this season. But it is too early to tell when he will be able to return.

Latest On Dolphins’ Byron Jones

As their training camp opened up last month, the Dolphins placed cornerback Byron Jones on the PUP list. Recent remarks made on his status by head coach Mike McDaniel furthered the level of uncertainty surrounding the 29-year-old. 

McDaniel acknowledged, via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, that “there is concern” with where Jones is at during his recovery. The former Pro Bowler had ankle surgery in March, a procedure which was, at the time, said to require only a two-month recovery period. Unease over the fact that the calendar has flipped to August and he has still not been able to return to the field is therefore justifiable.

McDaniel added, on the other hand, that he still expects Jones to be available for the beginning of the regular season. Assuming that happens, Miami will boast one of the best 1-2 CB tandems in the league between Jones and Xavien Howard. A contract restructure finalized by the former allowed, in part, for the substantial raise given to the latter as part of a busy offseason in South Beach.

We’re confident [in] how he’s rehabbing; if he has a setback, then there would be concern,” McDaniel added. Jones’ progress will remain a situation worth watching in the coming weeks, given his importance to the team in the short-term. Given his scheduled cap hits of more than $18MM in 2023 and 2024, a return to full health would also be a welcomed sight for the team from a financial perspective.

Dolphins Place CB Byron Jones On PUP List

The list of notable players beginning training camp on the active/PUP list continues to grow. The Dolphins announced on Friday that they will be without cornerback Byron Jones for at least the short term. 

The 29-year-old is still recovering from ankle surgery he had earlier this offseason. The procedure was aimed a remedying a lingering issue, one which wasn’t severe enough to limit his playing time in 2021. Given the fact that an estimated two month recovery period was reported at the time, it is somewhat concerning that the former Cowboy still hasn’t healed in full.

In two seasons with the Dolphins, Jones has totalled a pair of interceptions, 14 pass deflections and 95 tackles, repeating a similar level of play in terms of pass coverage across those campaigns. He has another three (non-void) years remaining on the free agent deal which sent him to Miami, a contract which Jones agreed to re-work not long after his injury. The move helped create cap space for 2022, making the additions of Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead easier to absorb. It also raised his cap hits in 2023 and 2024 above $18MM, however, something made more significant by the new contract fellow corner Xavien Howard signed this offseason.

Jones can be activated at any time by the Dolphins, and there has been no indication that they will have to wait much longer to see him back on the field. Assuming he does return to full health in time for the season, Miami will once again have one of the better CB duos in the league, as the team’s secondary looks to help the team emerge as a postseason contender.