Patriots Retain Jonathan Jones, Reunite Demaryius Thomas with Josh McDaniels
Foxborough, MA– Over the course of his coaching career, Bill Belichick (who just turned 67 years old) has built championship-winning rosters out of the later weeks of free agency. Many coaches and general managers aim to make a big splash early on so they can nab some of the marquee players, but Belichick prefers to acquire the fundamental players that help round out a roster to completion. Once again in 2019, Belichick is showing his ability to harness the power of the off-season weeks into the free agency period.
This week, Belichick began his player acquisitions with the retaining of one of the Patriots' key cornerbacks. A restricted free agent, the fate of Jonathan Jones was up in the air as the Patriots seemed to be focusing their assets and attention on retaining some other players, like kicker Stephen Gostkowski. But New England finally came to an agreement with Jones with a one year, 3.05 million dollar tender. Now, Jones is able to participate in voluntary off-season workouts with the Patriots, which Tom Brady and Michael Bennett opted out of. Jones has been a solid role player in the secondary and on special teams, and he's the kind of player in whom Belichick is able to maximize the potential.
The Patriots also made a big splash in free agency with one of the league's best veteran wide receivers. New England has a very thin corps of receivers, especially since tight end Rob Gronkowski retired, so it makes sense that they would want to bolster their group of wideouts. It remains to be seen whether or not their newest acquisition, Demaryius Thomas, will make it to the Patriots roster when the off-season wraps up, but for now, we should treat it like he will because of his rich history in the league.
A former Denver Bronco who was key in the playoff run led by head coach Josh McDaniels, with Tim Tebow at quarterback, Thomas has turned from an elite talent to a veteran presence. Last year, Denver traded Thomas to the Houston Texans, and at the end of the season, he posted 23 receptions for 275 yards and just two touchdowns. Signing him to a one-year deal, the contract is low-risk, high-reward for New England, and hopefully he will blossom into a solid passing option for Brady.