In the NFL, working under the salary cap isn’t all about managing who a general manager gives big deals to, but it’s also about getting good players on value contracts. A lot of times these contracts can be short-term deals that are up in one or two years.
One player who fits this description on the Jags roster is Marvin Jones Jr., who the team signed last season on a two-year deal worth $12.5 million. After signing that deal, he ended up proving to be a smart investment by leading the team in receiving with four touchdowns.
As a result, Pro Football Focus listed Jones’ contract as the best value contract on the whole roster as he gelled well with quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Jones effectively operated as the No. 1 wideout for a disastrous Jaguars receiver unit in 2021, and his consistent, veteran presence was maybe the only thing working in rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s favor. Despite the abject chaos in Jacksonville last season, Jones still earned a 70.4 receiving grade with 73 receptions for 832 receiving yards. His 16 contested catches ranked tied for fifth, continuing to show his dynamic ability at the catch point as a downfield receiver, And more than 20% of his targets came 20-plus yards downfield.
This deal was a great value the moment it was signed, with the two-year length especially notable because it keeps Jones around to continue to build chemistry with Lawrence and complement a group of younger pass catchers.
Not a lot went right for the Jags last season, but the chemistry that Lawrence and Jones built is one of the positives they can bring into 2022. As mentioned, Jones had occasions where he would contribute an explosive play and was good when it came to contested balls.
This year, the Jags added Jones and Lawrence some help with the signings of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. Between the three receivers, the Jags should have their starting split end, flanker, and slot receivers in place for 2022. And if Kirk and Zay Jones catch on as Marvin Jones did in his first season, the Jags’ passing offense should take a noticeable leap.