Despite an abundance of cap room, the Cincinnati Bengals have made re-signing their own players the top priority during the free-agency period.
Nothing wrong with that.
Defensive linemen Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry and linebacker Rey Maualuga were inked to modest contracts, but their latest move might be their best of the offseason.
On March 21, Adam "Pacman" Jones sent the following tweet, announcing the three-year deal he signed with Marvin Lewis' team:
Happy to say this morning that i agreed to a three year deal with the Bengals Stand up WHODEY!!!!!— ADAm Pacman Jones (@REALPACMAN24) March 21, 2013
The 29-year-old cornerback, who'll be 30 in late September, dealt with a plethora of off-field issues early in his career, but he has found a home in Cincinnati and was one of the Bengals' more effective defenders in 2012.
Although Leon Hall was the definitive No. 1 cornerback last season, he did suffer an Achilles tear in 2011, and injuries forced Dre Kirkpatrick to get off to a slow, unproductive start as a professional.
Antonio Cromartie, Tarell Brown, Charles Tillman, Casey Hayward and Richard Sherman were the only cornerbacks given a higher coverage rating by ProFootballFocus (subscription required).
Also, he allowed a paltry 54.5 completion percentage on passes thrown in his direction, which was a lower percentage than Johnathan Joseph, Joe Haden and Aqib Talib.
The Bengals finished the year with the No. 7 ranked secondary—in terms of passing yards allowed per game—and Jones was a major contributor to that collective effort.
Due to his experience, Jones is able to line up on either side of the formation and can slide inside to the slot in nickel packages.
His versatility is vital.
As a bonus, Jones a still a punt-return ace.
So, with Jones, Cincinnati retains its veteran, line-up-anywhere cornerback who still possesses the necessary quickness, athleticism and ball skills to be a stout cover man who also can be plugged in as the primary punt returner.
The financial terms of his three-year contract have yet to be released, but Jones has become a valuable piece of the Cincinnati defense, there's no doubting that.
Re-signing him was a brilliant move by the Bengals' front office, especially with the increased passing-game emphasis in today's NFL.
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