We may have reached the end of the Adam Jones era in Cincinnati.
On Friday, the Bengals decided to not pick up the option on Jones’ contract, making him an unrestricted free agent on March 14 at 4:00 p.m. ET and saving the Bengals around $6 million in 2018. That alone seemed like good enough reason to part with the 34-year-old cornerback, whose level of play has declined in each of the last two seasons.
In addition to his performance getting worse, Jones was only able to play in nine games in 2017 while missing time due to injury and a one-game suspension to open the season. That came as a result of an ugly offseason incident in 2017.
All of this should have made it a layup for the Bengals to decline his option this offseason, but there was still some doubt that owner Mike Brown would do it.
After all, Jones is one of Brown’s guys, and it seemed like the Bengals owner was ready to give Jones yet another chance to prove himself in 2018. Thankfully, Brown and/or those around him saw the light and made the easy call to part ways with Jones.
There still appears to be a chance the Bengals bring Jones back, but it would be a on a vastly reduced contract that shouldn’t even guarantee his roster spot in 2018. The Bengals already have Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard, William Jackson, Keivarae Russell and Josh Shaw under contract next season. That’s not even accounting for a potential draft pick spent on a defensive back at some point in the 2018 NFL Draft, especially with 11 picks.
The Bengals could work on a new deal with Jones between now and the start of the new league year on Wednesday, which sounds highly possible. But if no deal is done by then, Jones will be free to sign with any NFL team of his choosing.
All said, did the Bengals make a good call here? We’re voting yes as the Bengals are saving quite a bit of money and still have the opportunity to re-sign Jones to a more team-friendly contract.
Were the Bengals right to decline Adam Jones’ option?
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