Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Ravens add good fit in WR Jacoby Jones
By Jamison Hensley
Jacoby Jones' fumbled punt in last season's playoffs set up a touchdown for the Baltimore Ravens in their 20-13 win over the Houston Texans. Now, Jones is going to try to help Baltimore this time as a member of the Ravens.
Jones, 27, reached a two-year, $7 million deal with the Ravens on Tuesday, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
While Jones failed to reach his potential in Houston, he is a great fit for the Ravens. He becomes the No. 3 target on an unproductive wide receiver group and takes over as the primary punt returner.
The Ravens have been looking at wide receivers who can also be the team's primary returner, but they didn't sign Ted Ginn Jr. or Eddie Royal in free agency. Baltimore has been wanting to take the punt return duties away from Lardarius Webb, who recently signed a six-year, $50 million deal. Jones ranked 14th in the NFL in punt returns last season with a 10.6-yard average, which was two spots higher than Webb.
A third-round pick in 2007, Jones never developed into a consistent receiver and only caught 31 passes last season when Andre Johnson was sidelined for a large part of the season with injuries. Jones was scheduled to make $3 million this season before the Texans cut him on May 1.
Jones frustrated the Texans because he showed flashes and then made costly mistakes. The Ravens are right to take the risk considering the state of their wide receiver group. Baltimore only had two wide receivers (Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith) who caught more than four passes last season. Jones underachieved with the Texans by averaging 36 catches over the past three seasons, but the Ravens would gladly take that production from a backup receiver.
The Ravens have needed a No. 3 wide receiver since cutting Lee Evans, who failed to hold onto the winning touchdown catch in the AFC Championship Game. They can only hope Jones can hold onto the ball better, especially after what Baltimore saw first-hand from him in the playoffs.