Jonathan Jones Reiterates Desire To Re-Sign With Patriots In Free Agency

'I would hope so'


Feb 3, 2023

Jonathan Jones has spent the entirety of his seven-year career with the Patriots, and isn’t hoping for a change of scenery any time soon.

The 29-year-old cornerback is set to enter free agency for the first time in his career and figures to land a decent contract on the open market. After playing — and excelling — as a slot corner for most of his career, Jones switched to outside cornerback in 2022 and didn’t miss a beat. While he struggled against the likes of Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs (who doesn’t?), Jones otherwise played very well as the Patriots’ top cornerback.

In 16 regular season games, Jones gave up 47 catches on 87 targets for 547 yards and six touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. He also registered four interceptions and forced three fumbles. As always, Jones drew rave reviews from his teammates and coaches, including Bill Belichick.

During a recent conversation with NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry, Jones opened up on his mindset as he prepares to hit free agency.

“It’s a lot of emotions,” Jones said during Perry’s “Next Pats” podcast. “My adulthood’s been spent in New England. The things I’ve been a part of, the things I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of in my career there, has been a blessing. Just going into free agency, taking everything in stride. One day at a time. Just enjoying the process, enjoying the journey. Something new for me.”

Jones then was asked about the likelihood of re-signing with the Patriots.

“I would hope so. I would hope so,” Jones said. “That’s where I’ve spent my career. It’s what I know, it’s what I love. New England is home for me in that aspect. So, we’ll see. We’ll see how free agency turns out, and we’ll take it from there.”

Cornerback is an underrated need for New England this offseason.

Especially if Jones returns, the Patriots will have solid cornerback talent in him and youngsters Marcus and Jack Jones. Jalen Mills also is an above-average player, when healthy, and Myles Bryant (restricted free agent) is a solid depth piece.

But the benefits of having a truly elite cornerback are undeniable. Players such as J.C. Jackson, Stephon Gilmore and Darrelle Revis all raised the overall performance of the secondary while giving New England’s pass rush more time to affect opposing quarterbacks.

So, even if the Patriots re-sign Jones, you could make a strong case that their offseason work at cornerback shouldn’t be complete.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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