Is Jacoby Jones Leaving Bengals Unsigned A Sign?
Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Shawn Williams (36) at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals know Jacoby Jones very well, since he played for an AFC North division rival, the Baltimore Ravens for three season. They however didn’t get a deal done on Monday after a work out with the recently released free agent according to an article by Geoff Hobson, even with a $10 million dollar bump to the salary cap from $133 million to $143 million. So is this a sign for the Bengals free agency hopes this offseason?
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We all know the Bengals have not made a big splash in free agency lately, and they haven’t moved to go way outside the organization to bring in guys, just look at James Harrison two years ago and Greg Little last season as the examples. This time they took a look at another AFC North cut player in Jacoby Jones, but instead of making a deal, preventing him from going to Tennessee to work out for the Titans, the Bengals look like they might wait out for the free agent talks that start on March 7th before making a move according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
"A free-agent visit usually consists of a coaches’ conference as well as a physical, but with unrestricted free agency not set to start officially until a week from Tuesday on March 10 (agents and teams can start talking March 7), it’s a little too early to get a grip on the market for both players and the teams."
Jacoby Jones would indeed bring another level to not only the return game but add another depth piece at a wide receiver position that saw unfortunate and untimely injuries. He is experienced and a little better mannered than Greg Little was, although a little fire against his old team was definitely a refreshing site for a terrible Thursday night football performance. If he was brought in, it would spell the end for either Brandon Tate or Dane Sanzenbacher, or possibly both with Jones taking the primary role at kick and punt returner.
Jones had nine receptions for 131 yards at wide receiver last season and as a kick returner had 32 returns for 978 yards, one touchdown, and a fumble. He returned five kicks for over 40 yards as well last season. He has the speed and ability to still make people miss and although it isn’t the same as in his early career, his explosiveness in open space is still one to be coveted by any team.
Jones did leave without a contract and if this is how the free agency time will start for the Bengals than it may be a sign for a long few months of unrestricted free agency in the Bengals organization. Let just hope that the thought of bringing him in for a look is a sign of change for a team that, over the past few seasons, doesn’t like to spend money in free agency.