OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued their offseason trend of retaining their own free agents Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a new four-year deal with wide receiver Jacoby Jones.
The Pro Bowl return specialist was in the midst of a visit with the New York Giants on Wednesday prior to coming to terms with the Ravens to stay in Baltimore. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the deal is worth a total of $14 million with $4.5 million guaranteed.
Viewed by many as more of a luxury compared to the Ravens’ other needs on both sides of the ball, Jones brings dynamic ability in the return game while also offering occasional big plays as a No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver. General manager Ozzie Newsome said at the start of the offseason that the Ravens intend to add a receiver to help move the chains and gain yards after the catch, but Jones provides another home-run option in the passing game to complement starter Torrey Smith.
“I would love to stay in Baltimore,” Jones said in an interview with AM 1570 WNST in late January. “It’s a business. It is what it is, but I would love to go back to Baltimore.”
The 29-year-old originally signed a two-year, $7 million prior to the 2012 season and thrived in his first year with the Ravens, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl. In the last two season, Jones has caught 67 passes for 861 yards and three touchdowns while registering four returns for touchdowns in the regular season, earning an invitation to his first Pro Bowl in 2012.
None of Jones’ regular-season heroics, however, can top his performance in the 2012 playoffs when he caught the miraculous 70-yard touchdown in the final minute to force overtime against Denver in the divisional round. He then added a 56-yard touchdown catch and a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown — a Super Bowl record — to help the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII.
Jones injured his right knee while fielding a punt in the 2013 season opener, an ailment that cost him four games before he returned to action to make 37 catches for 455 yards and two touchdowns while serving as a starting wide receiver in a depleted passing game that missed injured tight end Dennis Pitta and former Baltimore wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
The Lane College product was a third-round pick in the 2007 draft and spent the first five years of his career with the Houston Texans. Because of this, it will be interesting to see how the speedy wideout fits in new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system after the pair spent extensive time together in Houston and Jones didn’t leave the Texans on the greatest terms.
Jones offered no indication earlier this offseason that he’d object to a reunion with his former head coach.
“He’s like a father figure to me, and I’m starting to think he’s my real biological father,” said Jones, drawing laughter. “I don’t know my daddy, so I think he’s really my daddy now.”