Byron Jones needs to live up to his lofty contract.
The Miami Dolphins were not expected to be big players in free agency this offseason but they surprised everyone by handing out several big free-agent contracts. None was bigger than the 5-year/$82M contract signed by Byron Jones.
The former Cowboy was widely considered the top free agent on the market, at his position, this offseason. After starting his first three years at free safety for the Cowboys, Jones was moved to corner in 2018.
He immediately was named to the Pro Bowl after the 2018 season where he officially defended 14 passes. In 2019, Jones had a bit of a ‘down year’ statistically but was still mentioned amongst the most skilled ‘press-man’ corners in the league.
Upon ‘inking’ his new deal with the Dolphins, Byron Jones displaced his new teammate Xavien Howard as the highest-paid corner in the league.* Will that cause some tension between the two? If they both produce, I doubt it but only time will tell.
*A week later, Darius Slay signed a contract extension with the Eagles that pushed both Jones and Howard off the top of the heap.
Byron Jones should fit in well with the Miami Dolphins.
Now that we have sung the virtues of signing Byron Jones, it must be mentioned a big thing that has been missing from his game is turnovers. Jones has two career interceptions, both while playing free safety, and hasn’t had an INT the last two seasons.
Jones has a tendency to just knock passes down and/or drop potential interceptions. For better or worse, Jones plays a position with glaring statistical benchmarks. To justify his hefty contract to fans, he can no longer just be a “good cover corner”. Jones needs to start forcing some turnovers and putting ‘crooked numbers’ in the interception column.
The good news for Jones is that, with Howard helping to lock down the other side of the field, Byron Jones should get more opportunities to pick-off passes and end his streak of zero interceptions in a season.