The New England Patriots opened up the legal tampering period by bringing back one of their own. Cornerback Jonathan Jones has agreed to a two-year deal to remain in New England, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Jones was viewed as a priority signing for the Patriots this offseason after they opted to not place the franchise tag on him last week. Here are the full details on the contract:
#Patriots CB Jonathan Jones' contract, per source:
Two years, $19M
$7.5M signing bonus
$13M total guarantees
$58,824 per game roster bonuses
Up to $500k in playing time incentives each year
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) March 13, 2023
The 2022 season was a bit of a breakout year for Jones. After spending most of the first six seasons of his career as a nickel corner, Jones moved to boundary corner following the departure of J.C. Jackson. He had some success there, recording a career-high four interceptions and was graded as one of the game’s best corners in the first half of the season by Pro Football Focus. He struggled a bit in the second half of the season as he faced some more premier receivers, but still proved to be a vital piece in the secondary in recent years.
Welcome back to New England Jonathan Jones!! pic.twitter.com/x2iC6A7VNd
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) March 13, 2023
Another big reason for the Patriots to bring back Jones was the retirement of Devin McCourty. With McCourty’s retirement, Jones becomes the longest-tenured Patriot in their secondary.
Jones’ versatility has also been proven to be valuable. He was one of the game’s best slot corners before his move to boundary corner this past season and played over a dozen snaps at free safety in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams, making him a possible candidate to replace McCourty at the position.
The Patriots had roughly $34.5 million in cap space entering Monday’s legal tampering period, and Jones was viewed as their second-best free agent behind Jakobi Meyers.