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Top-20 Bengals of 2013: No. 12 Adam Jones

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The Bengals finally invested into Adam Jones after putting together his best season with the Bengals in 2012.

Joe Robbins

The Cincinnati Bengals signed cornerback Adam Jones to a two-year contract on May 10, 2010 and for his part, he eventually made the 53-man roster. Was limited during his first season with a neck injury that he suffered against the Atlanta Falcons, but an interception, forced fumble and two recoveries -- one returned for a touchdown -- emphasized a strong productive value on the field. Played eight games in 2011 and returned a punt for a touchdown.

WHY HE RANKED HERE

Jones had his best season with the Bengals in 2012, playing a full slate of games and holding opposing quarterbacks to an 81.9 passer rating. Though Jones didn't generate any interceptions, he deflected seven passes and hold opposing receivers to a completion rate of 53.6 percent.

Jones is arguably the best punt returner on the team (seventh in the NFL with an 11.6 yard/return average), even earning Special Teams Player of the Week for an 82-yard touchdown return against Cleveland. But increasing participation on defense limits his overall special teams production.

There's a very real opportunity that Jones could finally surpass Newman in the starting lineup, but figure that both participate significantly against opposing offenses that feature multiple formations with more than two receivers (which will be the majority of the formations that Cincinnati faces this year).

WHY HE SHOULDN'T BE

We could argue a higher ranking, but durability issues and a hovering risk from off-the-field scenarios tends to keep expectations with Jones in check.

CONCLUSION

After signing a three-year deal over the offseason, the Bengals have finally invested in Jones after a series of one and two-year contracts. Jones could be the most talented and athletically gifted players in the secondary and we're looking forward to another jump in production like we saw from 2011 to 2012.