If Michael Johnson and Andre Smith are 1A and 1B, then cornerback Adam Jones is the team's third-biggest priority during free agency. An age where the passing game has re-engineered offenses since the days of reliable rushing offenses has changed defenses to require at least three starter-worthy cornerbacks, including in Cincinnati where more than half of the team's defensive formations included a fifth defensive back last season.
Jones held opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 81.9 in 2012, despite scoring a goose egg in interceptions and holding targets he covered to a completion rate of 53.6 percent.
The Bengals would be crazy not to show interest in bringing Jones back to Cincinnati. Thankfully, according to Geoff Hobson, there's a solid connection that could result in Jones' return.
Jones figures to look at a semi-decent contract, leaving doubt that Cincinnati will be able to get away with the one or two year deals that Jones has signed with the Bengals since joining the team in 2010.
One meeting you know is going to happen this week is between Bengals vice president of player personnel Paul Brown and the Denver-based Peter Schaffer. They've made a sushi dinner an annual combine event for about 15 years and no doubt they'll discuss cornerback Adam Jones at this one. Jones is a free agent the Bengals would like to re-up after what many believe was one of the best of his six seasons.