By Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun
6:59 PM EDT, March 12, 2014
Known primarily for his game-breaking, kick-return ability, Jacoby Jones was viewed by some as a luxury item for the Ravens who seemingly had bigger needs. But general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh didn’t quite see it that way.
Valuing Jones’ speed and explosiveness, the Ravens agreed to terms with the 29-year-old free agent wide receiver on a four-year contract extension, keeping one of the heroes of the team’s run to the Super Bowl XLVII title in the organization.
His new deal, which will become official when he comes to the facility and signs the contract tomorrow, has a maximum value of $14 million if he hits all of his incentive clauses, sources said. He's guaranteed $4.5 million and he has a $2 million incentive clause based on catches.
Jones visited with the New York Giants on Wednesday before opting to re-sign with the Ravens, which is where he played the past two seasons. Harbaugh had said all along that the organization was focused on re-signing its own unrestricted free agents and Jones becomes the second Raven to sign, joining left tackle Eugene Monroe.
Jones, who missed four games last season after hurting his knee in the season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos, caught 37 balls last season for 455 yards and two touchdowns. A Pro Bowl-selection in 2012, Jones also remained one of the league’s most dangerous return men, averaging 28.8 yards per kickoff return and 12.5 yards on punt returns.
He also added a kick return touchdown in the early December victory over the Minnesota Vikings, giving him four return scores in three seasons with the Ravens. He’s the first Raven to ever post multiple kickoff return scores in a season and in his career.
Jones, of course, is best remembered for his play during the Ravens’ 2013 Super Bowl run. His 70-yard touchdown catch on a Joe Flacco heave with 31 seconds remaining, later dubbed the Mile High Miracle, helped tie the Denver Broncos in the AFC divisional playoff round. The Ravens eventually won the game, 38-35, in double overtime.
Jones then set a Super Bowl record with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 290 combined yards and two touchdowns in the 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens had talked about adding a possession wide receiver to work in the slot, which isn’t Jones’ strength. However, with new coordinator Gary Kubiak, who coached Jones in Houston, running the offense, the Ravens are hoping to relocate their down-field passing attack, where Jones’ speed is an asset.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun