Ronald Jones

NFL Workouts: Jackson, Austin, Jones, Smith

Veteran cornerback William Jackson continues his NFL tour in an attempt to return to the league this season. Since getting cut by the Steelers at the start of the offseason, Jackson has already auditioned for three teams without a signing. He will hope to break that trend after working out with the Buccaneers today, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2.

Jackson met with the cornerback-needy Ravens and the Giants in the offseason but left both Baltimore and New York without a contract. A week ago, Jackson made his way to Philadelphia in an attempt to help the Eagles replace the production of an injured Avonte Maddox, but he remains a free agent to this day.

His most recent trip to Tampa Bay is now an attempt to help provide the Buccaneers with some depth at the cornerback position as starter Carlton Davis continues to deal with a toe injury. Davis has only missed the last two games, but with his reputation for not ever playing a full season, it’s smart for Tampa Bay to be a bit cautious.

Here are a few other workouts reported from around the league:

  • The Seahawks haven’t reported any injuries to their receiving corps, despite D.K. Metcalf spending most of last week on the sidelines during practices, yet they hosted veteran wide receiver Tavon Austin yesterday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Austin hasn’t played in the NFL since his 2021 stint with the Jaguars. He spent part of 2022 in Buffalo but was released before seeing the field. He worked out for Baltimore a couple weeks after being let go but has been a free agent ever since.
  • Yates also reports that running back Ronald Jones was hosted by the Colts yesterday. The former second-round pick has struggled to find his place in the NFL since playing out his rookie contract in Tampa Bay. He signed his first free agent contract with the Chiefs, but after finding himself buried on the depth chart behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and Isiah Pacheco, Jones stated he wanted a release. He would finish the season with Kansas City, only appearing in six games but earning a Super Bowl ring. He signed in the offseason with the Cowboys but was released just over a week ago. Indianapolis may be willing to bring Jones in as reports continue to suggest that running back Jonathan Taylor doesn’t want to stay with the team upon his return from the physically unable to perform list.
  • The Broncos are finally getting wide receiver Jerry Jeudy going this season, but the team still decided to kick the tires on newly available free agent Tre’Quan Smith, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Smith was recently released by his team of the last five years in New Orleans. Smith has yet to make his 2023 debut after starting the season on injured reserve, and with the emergence of young stars like Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed and the return of Michael Thomas, it was hard to envision where Smith would fit into the offense moving forward. Smith was soon going to be able to return from IR, so there’s a chance he can make an immediate return if he signs a new contract soon.

Ravens Work Out Ronald Jones, James Robinson; Team Signs Kenyan Drake

11:38am: Following this workout, the Ravens decided to reunite with Drake. The veteran running back will return to Baltimore on a practice squad deal,’s Tom Pelissero tweets. This will continue a partnership that began last season and give the Ravens considerable RB experience on their taxi squad, with Drake and Gordon part of the unit.

9:50am: Down J.K. Dobbins yet again, the Ravens used a Gus EdwardsJustice Hill backfield combination in Week 2. But the team is looking into an outside addition at the position. A running back workout will commence in Baltimore today.

The Ravens are bringing in Kenyan Drake, Ronald Jones and James Robinson for a Wednesday audition, The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec tweets. Each of these players was a recent cut. The Cowboys released Jones this week, rather than activate him after a two-game suspension, while the Patriots and Giants have waived Robinson this year. Drake, who spent last season in Baltimore, did not stick as Jonathan Taylor insurance in Indianapolis.

As of Wednesday, Edwards and Hill are the only running backs on the Ravens’ 53-man roster. Hill is also battling a toe injury that could keep him out in Week 3. The team does have Melvin Gordon on its practice squad, with rookie UDFA Owen Wright joining the ninth-year veteran. While Gordon joined the Ravens this summer, he has not played in either of their two games. Despite Dobbins going down with an Achilles tear, Gordon was not in uniform in Week 2. Edwards and Hill split the carries against the Bengals. While the team was initially not believed to be interested in an outside RB addition, Hill’s issue has changed that thinking.

Drake, 29, helped an injury-depleted Ravens backfield last season. With Dobbins going back on IR and Edwards remaining on the reserve/PUP list well into the season, Drake led the way in filling in. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry and finished with two 90-yard performances, including a 119-yard game against the Giants. The Ravens used Drake, whom the Raiders released late last summer, as their Week 1 starter.

The Colts added Drake after an August workout, and although they were grappling with Taylor’s trade request at that point, the seven-year veteran did not land on their 53-man roster. Drake has spent time with the Dolphins, Cardinals and Raiders. His 1,083 career touches outpace Robinson and Jones.

Injury trouble stalled Robinson’s ascent. Near the end of a second straight productive season in Jacksonville, Robinson suffered an Achilles tear. The Division I-FCS product, who set a rookie UDFA record with 1,414 yards (in only 14 games) with the 2020 Jaguars, was then traded midway through last season. Robinson, 25, did not play a notable role with the Jets, and both the Patriots and Giants waived him this offseason.

Although Jones has two Super Bowl rings now, he has seen other backs do the heavy lifting for those teams. The former second-round pick led the 2020 Buccaneers in rushing (978 yards), but Leonard Fournette moved into position as their primary back during the playoffs. Fournette then took over as Tampa Bay’s starter in 2021. Robinson, 26, has not come close to matching that 2020 showing since. The Chiefs did not use him much during their most recent Super Bowl-winning campaign; Jones took just 17 handoffs last season. He incurred a two-game PED ban in July, and the Cowboys prioritized their less experienced backs over creating a roster spot once the suspension ended.

Cowboys Release RB Ronald Jones

Ronald Jones will not get the opportunity to play for the Cowboys. With his PED suspension having been served, the veteran back was released on Monday, per a team announcement.

Jones was issued a two-game ban in July, meaning he was prevented from taking the field in Dallas until this point. Given his tenuous hold on a roster spot, it was uncertain if he would have made the team’s final 53-man roster without the suspension in place. The Cowboys are prepared to move forward with their other backfield options in lieu of giving Jones a look in regular season action.

The 26-year-old inked a one-year Cowboys pact in his latest bid to find a more permanent home. Jones began his career in Tampa Bay, but he never found himself as the undisputed lead back during his time with the Buccaneers. He spent 2022 in Kansas City, a team which kept him in place all the way through the Super Bowl but gave him only 18 combined carries between the regular and postseason.

With Ezekiel Elliott‘s release, the Cowboys turned the RB1 role over to Tony Pollard on a full-time basis. The latter – who is playing on the $10.1MM franchise tag in 2023 – has logged a league-leading 48 touches so far, leaving his status on the depth chart unquestioned. Dallas also has former UDFA Rico Dowdle and sixth-round rookie Deuce Vaughn as backups, and their collective performances have made Jones expendable.

Having played sparingly last season and missed game action to begin the 2023 campaign, it will be interesting to see how much of a market Jones generates now that he is free to sign with any team. Other veteran backs – including, most notably, Kareem Hunt – are also unsigned, so Jones’ stay on the open market may be a lengthy one and his next deal will, like his Cowboys one, no doubt be a low-cost flier.

Cowboys RB Ronald Jones Issued Two-Game Suspension

The Cowboys’ running back depth chart will be thinned out to begin the season. Ronald Jones received a two-game suspension on Monday, as noted (on Twitter) by ESPN’s Field Yates.

The NFL announced that the ban was handed down due to a PED violation. That will cost Jones two weeks of pay, and make him ineligible to join Dallas’ active roster until Week 3. He is able to remain with the team during practices and the preseason, though today’s news will certainly not help his chances of surviving roster cuts in advance of the season.

The 25-year-old signed a one-year deal not long after Ezekiel Elliott was released. That opened the door to the former earning the backup role behind Tony Pollard, but Jones saw very limited usage in 2022. He spent the season with the Chiefs, receiving only 18 total carries. Despite dressing for Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory, he was not used during the title game. That hurt his value on the open market, one which has seen a number of experienced backs struggle to find long-term commitments.

The former second-rounder spent his first four seasons in Tampa Bay, but he never saw more than 192 carries in a single season. His largest workload came in 2020, when he posted career-highs in rushing yards (978), touchdowns (seven) and efficiency (5.1 yards per carry). His 309 receiving yards from the previous campaign demonstrated his abilities as a pass-catcher, but Leonard Fournette operated as the Buccaneers’ lead back for each of the past two seasons.

The (at least temporary) loss of Jones will test Dallas’ backfield depth. Pollard – who received the $10.1MM franchise tag after turning down at least one multi-year offer from the team – is in line to operate as the focal point of the Cowboys’ ground game. Not much experience is in place behind, him, though, and sixth-round rookie Deuce Vaughn could be in line for a notable role. Of course, a signing could come about as a result of today’s news.

A slew of veteran backs are still on the open market, including Elliott (with whom a Cowboys reunion has not been entirely ruled out), Fournette, Kareem Hunt and J.D. McKissic. How much interest Dallas shows in making a move at the RB spot will be worth watching in the coming days.

Cowboys Rumors: Davis, Ferguson, Tolbert

The Cowboys have a number of depth chart battles to deal with heading into the 2023 season, including a left guard starting role that we touched on earlier this month. Another battle they’re currently dealing with, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic, is the backup running back gig.

Tony Pollard returns as the obvious starter at running back in Dallas. He’ll finally get a chance to take on a lion’s share of the teams carries after spending the first four years of his career splitting touches with Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys are now tasked with figuring out who will be the primary backup taking snaps behind Pollard.

One of the favorites for the job is second year back Malik Davis. As an undrafted rookie out of Florida, Davis appeared in 12 games last season, carrying the ball 38 times for 161 yards and a touchdown and catching six passes for 63 yards. He was the only running back not named Pollard or Elliott to contribute to the Cowboys’ offense last year, giving him the advantage of experience in Dallas’s system.

In order to earn the role, Davis will have to fight off offseason additions Ronald Jones and Deuce Vaughn. Jones is the most experienced of the three after winning Super Bowl rings with both the Buccaneers and the Chiefs. He has plenty of experience in both of his previous situations dealing with the demands of a backup running back, as well. Jones brings the experience of adapting to a new system from last year but still will need to catch up to Davis’s current familiarity with the team. Vaughn is coming off two stellar seasons at Kansas State and brings a different element to the game with his style and stature. He will have to quickly adjust to the NFL-level of play, though, in order to sneak past Davis and Jones on the depth chart.

Here are a few other rumors coming out of Texas:

  • With Dalton Schultz now in Houston, the Cowboys will also have to figure out who takes the first snaps at tight end. They’re likely to utilize a number of tight ends in different situations, but right now, second year tight end Jake Ferguson is the favorite to start, according to Machota. The former fourth-round pick started eight games as a rookie and has the most experience playing in the Cowboys’ system. This year’s second-round rookie Luke Schoonmaker is sure to push Ferguson for playing time at some point, but currently, he’s still dealing with a plantar fascia issue that’s kept him from pushing for the top of the depth chart.
  • After a disappointing rookie season for last year’s third-round receiver Jalen Tolbert that saw him only appear in eight games and make two catches for 12 yards, the Cowboys are hoping for much more in Year 2. The team reportedly had enough confidence in the South Alabama product that they considered drafting him in the second round last year, according to Machota. Tolbert will have every opportunity to win the WR4 job in Dallas.

Cowboys, RB Ronald Jones Agree To Deal

Ronald Jones‘ second Super Bowl ring did not involve many miles added to his odometer. The Chiefs largely used other backs ahead of the former Buccaneers second-round pick, but he will land another opportunity.

The Cowboys are signing Jones on Tuesday, Todd Archer of tweets. Jones met with the team Monday and agreed to a one-year deal. This signing comes days after Dallas separated from Ezekiel Elliott. While the door is not believed to be slammed shut on the seven-year vet re-signing at a (significantly) reduced rate, another veteran coming in does not improve the prospects of a quick reunion.

In what amounted to a mid-career redshirt season, Jones logged just 17 carries for 70 yards with the Chiefs. Kansas City did end up replacing Clyde Edwards-Helaire as its primary starter, but seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco stepped in. Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon operated as the Super Bowl champions’ top backs. Although Jones dressed for Super Bowl LVII, he did not see any action.

Jones, 25, contributed far more to the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV-winning season in 2020, leading the team with 978 rushing yards at 5.1 per carry. He ripped off a 98-yard run against the Panthers that season and enjoyed a three-game stretch in which he cleared the 100-yard barrier in each. Even as Jones’ career-best season came after a 724-yard year in 2019, the Bucs leaned on Leonard Fournette in those playoffs and veered further in that direction in 2021. Jones did rush for 61 yards in Super Bowl LV, but aside from Fournette’s late-season injury in 2022, he never regained his job in Tampa.

The USC product will join Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle as Tony Pollard‘s backups. The Cowboys’ Elliott release ensured the 2022 Pro Bowler will be the team’s centerpiece back next season. The Cowboys kept Pollard’s mileage low (631 career touches) during his rookie contract, so it will be interesting to see if they give Jones a legitimate opportunity to be a between-the-tackles complement or lean more on Pollard going forward. Jones’ 2022, however, certainly does not ensure he will be the team’s first choice to become Pollard’s top backup.

Chiefs Place Clyde Edwards-Helaire On IR, Activate T Lucas Niang From PUP List

Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s third NFL season has skidded off track. In addition to losing his starting job recently, the former first-round pick suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday night.

The Chiefs will move forward without Edwards-Helaire in the near future, having placed him on IR. This will shut down CEH for at least four weeks. Kansas City had already changed the LSU alum’s role, though this certainly does impact the AFC West kingpins’ depth.

Coming into this season, Edwards-Helaire — thanks partially to Damien Williams‘ 2020 opt-out — had started every NFL game in which he played. But injuries led to the college dual threat missing 10 regular-season games and two playoff tilts. Edwards-Helaire then took a backseat to Jerick McKinnon upon returning from his second 2021 injury — a shoulder issue — in the postseason. CEH had already sustained an MCL sprain earlier in 2021; he missed time due to ankle and hip maladies in 2020.

McKinnon re-signed midway through this offseason, but the Chiefs have begun using seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco over both vets. Pacheco has totaled 31 carries over the Chiefs’ past two games. Edwards-Helaire was on the field for four offensive snaps during the Chiefs’ Week 10 win over the Jaguars, and his injury against the Chargers stands to set him back further.

The 5-foot-8 back has gained 302 rushing yards on 71 carries this season. While extended absences are not new for the former No. 32 overall pick, Pacheco’s presence has changed the Chiefs’ backfield equation. This injury also opens the door for Ronald Jones resurfacing. The offseason addition has not dressed for a game yet as a Chief but remains on their 53-man roster. Andy Reid said (via’s Adam Teicher) the former Buccaneers starter has a chance to play, though he cited multiple issues that may deter Jones from seeing a backfield role.

With CEH out and McKinnon having two full-season injury absences on his resume, the Chiefs suddenly may need Jones, whom they signed to a one-year, $1.5MM deal.

Additionally, the Chiefs activated Lucas Niang from the reserve/PUP list. The team’s right tackle to open last season, Niang suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in Week 17 of last season. The former third-round pick has not been available much during his KC career. He opted out of the 2020 season and has now missed 15 regular-season games since. The Chiefs have used veteran Andrew Wylie primarily at right tackle this year. Niang, who made nine starts as a rookie, could potentially make a late-season push for playing time on the Chiefs’ otherwise-solidified front.

Chiefs RB Ronald Jones Wants To Be Released?

It sounds like Chiefs running back Ronald Jones wants out of Kansas City. The veteran took to Twitter last night and wrote that he “sure would like a RELEASE right about now.”

This isn’t an overly shocking development considering Jones’ lack of playing time. After spending the first four seasons of his career in Tampa Bay, Jones joined the Chiefs this offseason and was expected to pair with Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield. The RB acquisition inked a one-year, $1.5MM deal with $500K guaranteed, and there was up to $3.5MM worth of incentives on the deal.

However, after joining the organization, the Chiefs added running back Isiah Pacheco in the seventh round and re-signed veteran Jerick McKinnon. Andy Reid and the Chiefs coaching staff have been rolling with CEH, Pacheco, and McKinnon through the first chunk of the season, with Jones being inactive for each of the team’s seven games. With no opportunities at playing time on the horizon, it sounds like Jones would like a fresh start elsewhere.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Jones can still be a contributor. He struggled to hold on to the starting gig during his time in Tampa Bay, and the one-year contract he got from Kansas City is probably indicative of his market (although he may have taken a discount to join a contender). The last time we saw the 25-year-old, he got into 16 games (three starts) for the Buccaneers in 2021, finishing with 492 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. Jones had two-straight 1,000-yard seasons between 2019 and 2020.

Release Candidate: Chiefs RB Ronald Jones

Ronald Jones joined the Chiefs this offseason, but he may not even make it to the regular season with his new squad. As Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports writes, the veteran RB “may find himself on the outside looking in” once the Chiefs reduce their roster to 53 players.

When Jones first joined the Chiefs, he was considered a potential starter or (at the very least) a high-level backup for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Reports out of Kansas City don’t seem to indicate that Jones has necessarily done anything to lose his job. Rather, it’s been the performance of Kansas City’s other RBs that has put Jones’ gig in jeopardy.

While Edwards-Helaire has consistently been the No. 1 running back during training camp, the Chiefs have given extended looks at Jones, veteran Jerick McKinnon, and seventh-round rookie Isaih Pacheco as the No. 2 RB. As Jones writes, Pacheco has “already turned heads,” while McKinnon has the luxury of having already spent a year in Kansas City’s system. The Chiefs could realistically keep all four of those aforementioned running backs, but considering Jones’ lack of versatility, the organization may prefer to keep a less experienced option (like Derrick Gore or UDFA Tayon Fleet-Davis) instead of a veteran who probably won’t leave the bench.

Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was recently complimentary of Jones’ energy, but he seemed to hint that the player’s lack of pass-catching and/or blocking prowess is still a work in progress.

“RoJo is doing a heck of a job,” Bieniemy said (h/t to Charles Goldman of ChiefsWire). “He’s obviously a big man, he’s done some good things running the football.

“He just needs to continue becoming the football player we expect him to be because we expect our guys to do a lot from that running back position. The thing that he’s done is he’s accepted the challenge and he’s doing things he really hasn’t done in the past.”

Jones found himself in and out of the lineup during his four years in Tampa Bay. He had his best season in 2020, finishing with 978 rushing yards and seven touchdowns before collecting another 139 rushing yards in the postseason. He spent the majority of the 2021 campaign behind Leonard Fournette on the depth chart, and after topping 1,000 yards from scrimmage in both 2019 and 2020, he finished last year with only 492 total yards.

The 25-year-old has averaged a respectable 4.5 yards per carry throughout his career, but he’s never been able to establish a role in the passing game. In four season, Jones has hauled in 76 receptions. For comparison’s sake, McKinnon has twice as many career receptions despite playing only two more seasons than his teammate. It goes beyond the counting stats; while Jones didn’t have enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ grades, he would have ranked in the bottom-fourth among RBs in pass-catching ability. Jones also earned ugly grades in his blocking prowess, including a pass-blocking score that would have ranked as the second-worst among all RBs.

The Chiefs inked Jones to a one-year, $1.5MM contract this past offseason. The team could recoup about half of that cap hit by releasing the veteran. That $750K savings isn’t significant enough to make a major impact on the cap sheet, and that’s why if the Chiefs do ultimately move on from Jones, the move probably won’t be attributed to money.

Of course, this isn’t to say that Jones doesn’t have a place in the NFL. However, he doesn’t seem to have a clear role in Kansas City, and that fact could ultimately earn him his walking papers by the end of the preseason.

Contract Details: Howard, Trubisky, Key, Jones

Here are some details on deals recently reached around the NFL:

  • Xavien Howard, CB (Dolphins): Five-year, $90MM. The contract, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports, has a guaranteed amount of $36.3MM consisting of a $17.12MM signing bonus and the next two seasons of base salary worth just $1.04MM in 2022 and jumping to $18.15MM in 2023. On the third league day of the 2024 season, $4MM of the 2024 base salary (worth $15.4MM) becomes guaranteed. Howard will receive roster bonuses of $3MM on the second league day of each of the 2024, 2025, and 2026 seasons. He also will receive an additional $1MM for each Pro Bowl and 1st-Team All-Pro selection and $100,000 per year as a workout bonus. Howard had three years remaining on his deal before signing his extension. It’s extremely rare for a team to draw up a new deal with that much time remaining, but Miami’s willingness to keep Howard happy is a testament to how important he is to the franchise.
  • Mitchell Trubisky, QB (Steelers): Two-year, $14.29MM. The contract, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, has a signing bonus of $5.25MM set to apply evenly over both years of the deal. Trubisky’s base salary in 2022 is only $1.04MM and jumps up to $8MM in 2023. The deal holds a potential $8.5MM in incentives. $4MM of play-time incentives each year should be easily reached if Trubisky wins the starting job and stays healthy. The remaining $500,000 would be earned in $250,000 increments if Trubisky makes the Pro Bowl in either year.
  • Arden Key, DE (Jaguars): One-year, $4MM. The contract, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, has a guaranteed amount of $3MM consisting of the signing bonus and base salary, each worth $1.5MM. The remaining $1MM comes in the form of a $500,000 roster bonus and a $500,000 workout bonus. Key will receive a per game active bonus of $29,411 for a potential season total of $500,000. Wilson also reports that Key can earn up to $3MM of additional money in sack and Pro Bowl incentives.
  • Ronald Jones, RB (Chiefs): One-year, $1.5MM. The contract, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic, consists of a $250,000 signing bonus and a $1.25MM base salary. The deal was originally reported as “up to $5MM”, but Auman clarifies that any money past the listed $1.5MM would consist of incentives.