Even though they decided to cancel their final practice of mandatory minicamp, the New England Patriots were busy on Thursday. The team, after all, reached a contractual agreement with another member of its draft class.
Cornerback Jack Jones has signed his rookie deal with the Patriots, according to his agent, Jamaal Tooson.
Jones, 24 joined the Patriots as the 121st selection in this year’s draft. The fourth-round pick entered the NFL off a productive but tumultuous college career that saw him spend time at USC, Moorpark College and Arizona State.
Along the way, he proved himself a capable press-man cornerback with good ball skills and a physical edge. However, he had to wait until the third day of the draft to hear his name called because of questions about his off-field history — among other issues he served 45 days of house arrest for commercial burglary — as well as his size.
Nonetheless, the Patriots felt comfortable investing in him. Not only did they spend a draft pick on Jones, they now also gave him a four-year deal at a total value of $4.41 million including a $746,984 signing bonus.
With Jones’ contract status changed, he will now also officially count against the Patriots’ salary cap. Per Miguel Benzan, the team lost $186,746 in cap space (the value of his 2022 signing bonus proration) by signing Jones. At the moment, New England is therefore only $295,637 under the cap and unable to sign its two highest draft picks, first-rounder Cole Strange and second-round selection Tyquan Thornton.
Strange and Thornton are among four draft picks still not under contract with the Patriots yet. The others are fourth-round picks Pierre Strong and Bailey Zappe, who would both fit under New England’s cap as it currently stands.