The Detroit Lions bolstered their wide receiver corps with the signing of wideout Marvin Jones. The five-year deal is worth $40 million with $17 million fully guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Jones was arguably the most coveted receiver on the market this winter after establishing himself over the past few seasons as a solid No. 2 option in the Bengals' aerial attack.
Jones flew under the radar in Cincinnati playing in the shadow of A.J. Green but remains one of the most talented players available. He is coming off an outstanding 2015 campaign during which he established career highs in receiving yards (816) and receptions (65) and proved to be a formidable threat opposite Green. He's really matured as a route runner since being drafted and routinely makes impressive catches all over the field.
Jones has untapped potential as a playmaker -- see his 10 touchdown catches in 2013 -- and surprising toughness for a guy his size (6'2, 198 lbs). One of the more underrated aspects of his game is his ability to gain chunk yards after the catch and make defenders look silly. He ranked in the top 20 in missed tackles in both 2013 and 2015, per Pro Football Focus.
One of the knocks on Jones entering this past season was his health, after he missed the entire 2014 campaign with an ankle injury. He mostly quieted those concerns, though, by playing in 17 games last year (including the playoffs) and posting strong numbers in an excellent bounce-back season.
The addition of Jones comes just one day after Calvin Johnson officially announced his retirement from the NFL. The 30-year-old receiver leaves as the all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns, leaving behind giant shoes for the Lions receivers to fill.
Asking Jones to fill the void left by Johnson alone is a tall ask, but it's a start for a team that likely needed an addition or two in its receiving corps even if the six-time Pro Bowler didn't retire. In Detroit, Jones will start opposite Golden Tate, but the Lions are likely not done trying to upgrade the position after no wide receiver other than Johnson or Tate finished with more than 350 receiving yards in 2015.
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