Per a report from Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have extended cornerback Jonathan Jones for three more years. Jones was due to hit unrestricted free agency in 2020 and will now be with the Pats through 2023.
Jones made the team as an undrafted rookie out of Auburn in 2016, developing into one of the most underrated slot cornerbacks in the league. After the Patriots traded Duke Dawson last weekend they quickly ensured that their current starter inside would not get away.
Jones made an immediate impact on special teams as a rookie and in his second year emerged as a starter in the slot, giving the Patriots a good match up piece with quickness. He was injured in the 2017 divisional playoff game against the Titans and his presence was sorely missed in the Super Bowl 52 loss to the Eagles.
He returned in the 2018 season, fended off a challenge from the second-rounder Dawson, and resumed his slot role, seeing the most extensive time on defense of his career.
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The Patriots now have all five cornerbacks on their roster under contract at least through 2020. Stephon Gilmore's deal goes through 2021, while JoeJuan Williams and Jones now go through 2022. That kind of stability is nice to have in place, especially with a starting safety like Devin McCourty in the final year of his contract.
It's a diverse group that can all play man defense. There's length with Williams. Quickness with Jones. Aggressiveness with J.C. Jackson. Steadiness with Jason McCourty. And shutdown-ness with Gilmore. Together they should give a scary front seven even more time to get after quarterbacks.
Jones will also be an anchor on special teams, as he will play out the 2019 season on the second-round restricted free agent tender he earned this offseason.
This once again shows how much Bill Belichick values four-down players.