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Report: Patriots Exercise DE Chandler Jones' Fifth-Year Contract Option

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Amidst the craziness that is the NFL Draft, one story got a little lost.

Chandler Jones, looking good both on and off the field.
Chandler Jones, looking good both on and off the field.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After exercising the fifth-year contract option of 2012 first-round pick Dont'a Hightower on Wednesday, the New England Patriots have chosen to also exercise the one of fellow 2012 first-round pick Chandler Jones, per CBS Sports' Will Brinson:

The story took a backseat to the draft-hullabaloo yesterday but is an important one nevertheless because it means that two cornerstones of the Patriots' defense – Jones and Hightower – are now under contract until after the 2016 season.

Not only that, but their price tags are very reasonable as well. While Hightower's 2016 salary will be a fully-guaranteed $7.751 million, Jones' will be $7.79 million – roughly half of the projected 2016 franchise tag number for defensive ends.

Jones, whom the Patriots drafted with the 21st pick of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Syracuse, has appeared in 47 NFL games over his three-year career, registering 24.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and 113 tackles. He was a key-member of the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX-winning team.