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Patriots CB Jonathan Jones signs restricted free agent tender, returns for 2019

The Patriots have ridiculous depth in their secondary.

Minnesota Vikings v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones signed his one-year restricted free agent tender, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Jones entered the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn and has reached the Super Bowl in all three seasons.

Jones was undrafted because of his small size (5’9, 186 pounds), but his 4.33s 40-yard dash speed allowed him to edge out quality cornerbacks like Darryl Roberts (a multi-year starter for the Jets) and Cre’Von LeBlanc (a multi-year starter for the Bears and Eagles) for one of the final roster spots.

Jones has carved out a role as a key special teams ace on the Patriots, playing 994 special teams snaps over the past three years. This figures trails only Nate Ebner and Brandon King, both of whom are tied with 999 special teams snaps over that time. Matthew Slater is fourth with 837 special teams snaps.

Jones has also provided value as a depth corner, often playing in the slot or against speedy receivers like Kenny Stills, Tyreek Hill, and Brandin Cooks.

Jones bolsters the Patriots’ incredible depth at cornerback, joining First Team All Pro Stephon Gilmore and veteran Jason McCourty, along with adding to young talent like rising sophomores J.C. Jackson, Duke Dawson, and Keion Crossen.

This is potentially Jones’ final season in New England as he should be able to land a sizable contract as an unrestricted free agent in 2020.