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Patriots CB Cyrus Jones issues statement about disappointing rookie season

The Alabama graduate is hoping to have a major jump in his second season.

The New England Patriots did not have a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, thanks to petty rival owners and a flawed commissioner, so head coach Bill Belichick needed to make his earliest selection in the second round count.

CB Cyrus Jones made sense. He came from the University of Alabama under head coach Nick Saban, a former Belichick defensive coordinator, so he was an institutional fit. Jones was a former wide receiver that developed into a top cornerback in the SEC, so he was just scratching the surface of his potential. And he also was the most dynamic returnman in college football, just as the NFL was altering its touchback rules to favor more returns.

All the components implied a successful transition, and yet Jones had a terrible rookie season by all accounts. He fumbled the ball on his returns. He made dumb mental errors, like getting ejected for punching a player against the Browns and for intentionally walking close to a bouncing ball on a return, only to watch it ricochet off his foot and head directly to his the kicking team. Jones was a healthy scratch for 6 regular season games and all postseason games.

Jones knows that he has to be better in 2017 and he issued a statement over Instagram expressing his disappointment over his rookie season.

“Reflecting back on my rookie season, this was by far one of the most challenging times in my life,” Jones writes. “I experienced a lot of pain, disappointment, embarrassment and overall dissatisfaction with myself. But through this time, I learned many lessons that as a man I can say I truly needed to learn..’Failure is another opportunity to begin again more intelligently’ and the things I went through this year made me better and wiser.

“Regardless, I was blessed to be apart of something far greater than myself! I experienced the ultimate measure of success in this game we play...and did it with an even greater group of men and I'll never take that for granted. I was quickly reminded how much love and respect I have for this sport and also how much it means to so many people. So with that being said #patsnation, in 2017, 24 will be back and ready to work for the best fans in football!”

Jones seemed to focus on listening to his coaches in the second half of the season and earned two Practice Player of the Week awards. He is projected to compete for the starting nickel role in 2017, especially if Logan Ryan departs for greener pa$tures in free agency. Malcolm Butler and Eric Rowe project to be the top cornerbacks, with Jones competing with Jonathan Jones and Justin Coleman in the slot.