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NFL free agency 2023: Patriots re-sign cornerback Jonathan Jones to reported 2-year contract

One of New England’s top free agents is staying put.

New York Jets (3) Vs. New England Patriots (10) At Gillette Stadium Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots are keeping one of their top unrestricted free agents in the fold. The team and cornerback Jonathan Jones have reached an agreement on a new two-year deal, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Jones, 29, originally joined the Patriots as an undrafted rookie out of Auburn in 2016. Over the next few season, he developed into a reliable contributor for the team: he appeared in a combined 109 regular season and playoff games and helped the Patriots win two championships.

His performance as a versatile defensive back and special teams presence prompted New England to sign Jones to a three-year, $21 million extension in 2019 — keeping him from ever tasting free agency. Now, his first trip to the open market was also over before it even really began.

News Jones’ new deal were first reported 12 minutes into the legal tampering period. That should not have come as too big a surprise, though.

“That’s the desire, to be back here,” Jones said about his free agency intentions last week. “It’s what I know, it’s what I love, it’s New England. It’s hard to say no to New England.”

In the end, he did not and will be back with the club.