The New England Patriots are nearing a contract extension with cornerback Jonathan Jones.
Jones has had a rapid ascent since signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2016. The former Auburn star won a spot on the 53-man roster out of training camp and appeared in all 16 games as a rookie.
In the past two seasons, Jones has taken on an expanded role on New England's defense. He finished fourth on the team with eight passes defensed in 2017, despite starting just four games.
New England has put together one of the NFL's best defenses in large part because of its secondary. Pro Football Focus ranked that unit No. 5 overall heading into the 2019 season. Jones, Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson anchor that group as they prepare to help the Patriots try to win their third title in four years.
The Patriots showed how much they value the 25-year-old during the offseason when they put a second-round tender on him as a restricted free agent. Last year, Jones set career highs in games started (five), solo tackles (44), combined tackles (56) and interceptions (three).