Marvin Jones is a key piece of the Cincinnati Bengals’ receiving corps, and the team would be wise to bring him back.
Marvin Jones, wide receiver
25 years old, 6’2, 195 pounds
Projected contract (Spotrac): 4 years, $5,514,689 per year
Agent: Relativity Sports
2015 stats: 65 catches, 816 yards, 12.6 yards per catch, four touchdowns, 51 yards per game
Marvin Jones is the Cincinnati Bengals’ number two receiver, and he has played in this role in each season he’s been healthy. A fifth-round pick out of the University of California in 2012, Jones has excelled in the Bengals’ pass-happy scheme, catching 15 touchdown passes in four seasons. After missing his entire third season with an ankle injury, Jones bounced back in 2015, gaining a career-high 849 yards from scrimmage.
This season’s free agent receiver crop isn’t nearly as deep as last season’s group (Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, Torrey Smith, Andre Johnson, Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree), which means that Jones will likely end up getting paid more than he’s worth.
Some teams–the Browns, specifically–may believe that Jones’ value is that of a top receiver. Hue Jackson loves Jones and has professed that Jones has more unexplored potential than any other player in Cincinnati.
If Jackson convinces Cleveland’s personnel department that Jones is a better receiver than Travis Benjamin and offers him top money, the Bengals will have an incredibly hard time convincing the receiver to re-sign.
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However, if Cleveland re-signs Benjamin for anything other than an incredibly team-friendly contract (which is hard to see happening, considering he’s the second-best available wide receiver), it’s more than likely that Jones won’t head up north. And if Jones doesn’t end up signing with Cleveland–which could be made difficult withJosh Gordon
, it would be hard to see him going anywhere outside of Cincinnati. Jones is too slight for a team to throw top dollar his way; teams will fear that he won’t be able to stay healthy.
Meanwhile, the Bengals know who Marvin Jones is, they’ll be trying to convince him to stay and overall, they’ll have a good shot at re-signing the young pass-catcher.
Even if Cincinnati had to throw six or seven million dollars per year Jones’ way, the Bengals would greatly benefit. He’s worth the money.
Jones may not have the best numbers surrounded by an arsenal of weapons in the passing game, but he’s a huge reason why the Bengals are a consistently dominant team. Plus, with Andy Dalton hitting his prime, it will be hard for Jones to pass on an opportunity to continue catching passes from one of the league’s top quarterbacks.