*Adam Jones gets fans on their feet when the kick is headed his way. *
Cornerback Adam Jones says the Bengals have told him they’re not picking up his option for this coming season, but they indicated to him they’d like him to return to compete in the nickel package and as a returner with free agents able to begin talking to teams Monday.
Jones sounded upbeat after talking with head coach Marvin Lewis on Thursday and said he’d love to come back to the team that gave him a second chance eight years and 100 games ago and the one he re-paid with a Pro Bowl berth in 2015. He said Lewis told him the club would “crunch some numbers.”
And, as Jones said, “We’ll see what we shall see.”
“Of course I’d love to come back. Don’t make it sound like I’m ready to get out of there because I’m not,” Jones said Friday. “I’m very thankful to everyone there, Coach Lewis and Mr. (Mike) Brown. Of course, you know me. I’d love the chance to get on the field and compete every play, every down. Obviously I’ve got some things to sit down and think about the next couple of days with my family.”
Jones, who turns 35 early in the season, was set to make $5.3 million this year. He suffered through an injury-plagued season last year, playing just nine games and spending the last four on injured reserve. With two other cornerbacks, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard, set to count a combined $18 million against the salary cap this year, and third-year man William Jackson emerging as an elite corner, the ledger is getting filled.
But Jones keeps himself in tremendous shape and the year before he played 1,057 snaps out of 1,087. And he remains one of the more lethal returners in the game. Even though he returned just six punts last season, he averaged 21.8 yards per and ripped off a 40-yarder. He also had a touchdown return called back. In his 100 Bengals games he leads the franchise in career punt return average and career kick return average.
“I’m eager to get going and we’ll see what happens in the next couple of days,” Jones said.