A key Bengals wide receiver since being drafted in 2012, Marvin Jones left Cincinnati this offseason for the Lions of Motor City. Jones will get a rematch against his former team Thursday night when the Bengals travel to Detroit for a preseason Week 2 clash.
With the unexpected retirement of Calvin Johnson this offseason, the Lions had a major gap to fill at wide receiver. Johnson being the legend he is, Detroit did what it had to and splurged on the class of the 2016 free-agency pool, signing ex-Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones to a 5 year, $40 million dollar deal.
While he’s no Megatron, any Bengals fan will know Jones is a great addition to the Lions roster. Always good for at least 700 yards a season when healthy, Jones was especially loved in Cincinnati for his spectacular grabs. He’s already developing good chemistry with Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Jones was a major part of the offense in Cincinnati, but luckily, his breakup with the team wasn’t messy. His rookie contract was up, and he had done more than his fair share as a fifth-round pick, helping propel the Bengals to the playoffs every season he was healthy.
While the Bengals would have liked to keep him, his decision to move Detroit was understood and respected by the organization. As great as he made the Bengals with his presence, playing second fiddle to AJ Green for an entire career can be unfulfilling. The Bengals recognized that, so there were no hard feelings when Jones ultimately left for the Lions.
“It’s still going to be fun. I haven’t seen those guys in a long time.”
This clean break is probably the main reason for Jones’ carefree disposition about a matchup with his old team. When asked if this game carries any significant weight for him, he responded calmly.
"“Not really. It’s preseason. If it was the regular season, it would definitely have a lot more meaning. But it’s still going to be fun. I haven’t seen those guys in a long time.”"
The Bengals loved Jones and appreciated his talent, and he knows that. As a result, this kind of laid-back attitude for the game is par for the course. Unlike recent ugly splits like that of Steve Smith and Carolina Panthers, this departure elicits no ill-will. Jones has nothing to prove to his old team. This game is purely a fun reunion with old friends.
Marvin Jones was a fine player in Cincinnati. He was hard-working, fun to watch, and a team player. Bengals fans should wish him even greater success on this next step of his NFL journey.