Thursday, March 13, 2014
Jones took less money to return to Ravens
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If you couldn't guess by Jacoby Jones' "I Love Bmore" hat that he wanted to stay with the Ravens, the electric Pro Bowl returner proved it by abruptly ending his visit with the New York Giants on Wednesday and taking less money to remain in Baltimore.
"I'm in the [Giants] facility walking around and I think I came to my senses really that this is probably the only place that will let me be myself," Jones said Thursday.
Jones was getting in a car to go to downtown New York for a dinner with the Giants before he officially pulled a reverse.
"I told the driver, head toward Newark. Take me to the airport," Jones said. "I told my agent that I knew I was coming home."
Jones signed a four-year, $12 million deal that includes $4.5 million guaranteed. How much less was the Ravens' offer compared the one from the Giants?
"I don't know," Jones said with a smile. "I'm not good at math."
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One incentive to stay was the addition of Gary Kubiak as the Ravens' offensive coordinator. Kubiak was Jones' head coach for five seasons (2007-11) when both were with the Houston Texans.
Jones referred to Kubiak as his "biological father" because he never knew his own father. He remembered a conversation during his time in Houston when Kubiak sat him down after he was a self-described "knucklehead."
"He told me when you slow down and mature, you're going to have a chance to make a lot of money," Jones said.
Jones was cut by the Texans in May 2012 after he mishandled a punt that led to Houston's playoff loss at Baltimore. He joined the Ravens and redefined himself as one of the top playmakers in the league.
In two seasons, Jones has scored 10 touchdowns in 28 games. Since 2012, his 29.8-yard kickoff return average ranks third in the NFL and his four returns for touchdowns (three kickoff and one punt) is tied for the most in the league over that span.
Coach John Harbaugh insisted that the Ravens brought back Jones to be more than a returner, even though he has caught 67 passes in two seasons in Baltimore.
"He's also a quality receiver," Harbaugh said. "He's a special-teams player, but he's also a guy that can do the things that you need to do to move the chains when you need to move them. It's something that he's probably grown into over the last three or four years as a football player. Without question, we believe his best football is in front of him."