With the start of free agency approaching, Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones may be moving on. Here are three reasons why staying with the Ravens might be his best move:
1. Jones has a good relationship with new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak coached Jones with the Texans and holds him high regard.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Jacoby,” Kubiak said during his Ravens introductory press conference. “I don’t want to say I was like a father figure to him, but he was like one of my children. We went through Jacoby’s early career, where he was growing not only as a player, but as a man. I can tell you this, I’m so proud of him.
“I called him right after (the Ravens) won the Super Bowl. I’m so proud of the man he’s become, as well as the player. I look forward to seeing him.”
Jones also knows Kubiak’s system. That would give Jones a leg up earning playing time during OTA’s, minicamp, training camp, and the preseason.
2. Joe Flacco has the arm to take advantage of Jones’ speed.
Flacco trusts Jones in big spots, particularly on deep routes. Jones has been superb adjusting to deep balls thrown by Flacco, who has an arm powerful enough to take advantage of Jones’ speed. A quarterback with a lesser arm could make Jones less of a weapon.
3. Jones plays for a head coach that puts high value on special teams.
Even if the Ravens acquire a receiver who reduces Jones’ reps on offense, he would remain a proven commodity on special teams. Head coach John Harbaugh is a former special teams coach, and he has seen Jones deliver in the clutch, like last year’s kickoff return for a TD against the Vikings, or the 108-yard Super Bowl return against the 49ers.
As usual, Jones’ situation will come down to money. The Ravens would not mind keeping Jones, but not at last year’s price, when Jones received $4 million, including a $1 million signing bonus.
The Ravens will draw a line on what they will offer. It will be hard to blame Jones for leaving if another teams offers significantly more guaranteed money. But if the Ravens' offer is competitive, Jones should strongly consider staying.