For those who may not know or have forgotten somehow, Marvin Jones Jr. spent his first four seasons in Cincinnati. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. It was the same year the Bengals drafted Mohamed Sanu, and one year after the team drafted A.J. Green and Andy Dalton.
He had quite the career in Cincinnati after being drafted out of the University of California. He missed the 2014 season due to injury, but in his other three seasons he totaled 134 catches for 1,729 yards and 15 touchdowns. 10 of those touchdowns came in the 2013 season alone.
Still the receiving room was very crowded with Green, Sanu and Tyler Eifert around soaking up targets, so following the collapse of the 2015 season Jones signed with the Lions in free agency after Calvin Johnson retired surprisingly. Sanu also left that same offseason leaving the Bengals extremely thin at the position.
It is easy to look back on now, and see how big of an impact Jones leaving had on the offense, and many fans have followed what he has been up to in Detroit. It is hard to ignore with him regularly o highlight videos making those same leaping grabs he use to make for the Bengals.
Still when asked this week about returning Jones didn’t seem to treat it as some kind of fond homecoming:
“I mean, I’m just going to see a couple of friends that I have there,” Jones said. “But other than that, it’s no significance.
“No, not nostalgic or anything. It’ll be cool to go over there and just, I guess just play, you know. Just see some of my old homies.”
We shouldn’t be terribly surprised by this. The NFL is a business, and Jones really had no ties to Cincinnati aside from playing football there. I mean there aren’t even that many of the same players or coaches on that side of the ball anymore for Jones.
Jones has been trying to spread his wings and become the lead guy for the Lions, but it seems like Golden Tate has assumed that role. Still the Lions pass the ball so much that Jones has been able to get his as well. He currently has a career-high with 970 receiving yards on the season, and he should easily get his first 1,000 yard season of his career. He is also two touchdowns away from tying his career-high that he set with the Bengals in 2013.
It is interesting that the Bengals receiver group from 2012 and 2013 apparently still keep in touch to this day according to Jones:
“Yeah, we’re always on the group text every week,” says Jones. “Me, Mohamed Sanu, A.J., Andrew Hawkins, all of us.”
Green even made a comment about Jones’ highlight play from last week in the chat, according to Jones.
“There he go again.”
Plays like that can’t help but remind me of all the sideline taps he made look routine, and every time he’d launch up over a defender. Not to mention his flip into the endzone against the Bills. Atleast we will always have the memories even if Jones doesn’t care about them as much.