Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Ravens free-agent rankings: No. 3
By Jamison Hensley
Let's continue the ranking of the Baltimore Ravens' 13 unrestricted free agents:
No. 3: Jacoby Jones
Position: Wide receiver-returner
The good: Jones is a game-changer. He was one of the Ravens' top playmakers in their 2012 championship run, catching the Mile High Miracle in the AFC divisional playoff game in Denver and scoring two touchdowns in the Super Bowl. Jones' five kickoff returns for touchdowns since 2009 are tied with Percy Harvin for the most in the NFL (regular season and playoffs), according to ESPN Stats & Information. During the Ravens' four-game win streak in 2013, he made an impact each victory: New York Jets (a 66-yard touchdown catch), Pittsburgh (176 total yards), Minnesota (77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown) and Detroit (six catches for 80 yards including a third-down conversion on the game-winning drive).
The bad: The biggest problem has been Jones' consistency. In the Ravens' two losses to end the season, which knocked them out of the playoffs, he had one catch each game and didn't have a reception longer than 11 yards. Jones has never developed into a reliable receiver. In seven seasons, he's had one year with more than 40 catches.
The bottom line: The Ravens aren't expected to give him the money he made in 2014 ($4 million) because they see him as a returner. Top returners typically average between $1 million and $2 million. There's a chance that another team will overpay Jones because he's a difference maker. He's a luxury item for a team that has enough cap room to splurge.