Byron Jones to Miami
Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Byron Jones and the Miami Dolphins have agreed to a five-year $82.5 million deal making him the NFL’s highest paid cornerback. The deal includes $57 million guaranteed.
This deal sees Jones join Xavien Howard to complete a tandem of star corners in Miami. Although Howard had a down year in 2019, he remains one year removed from tying the league leaders with 7 interceptions in 2018. Assuming Howard returns to his 2018 form in the newly revamped Dolphins defense the duo will provide Miami with tight coverage on the outside and the ability to match the fastest receivers stride for stride.
Jones’ athletic ability cannot be overstated, at the 2015 draft Jones broke the broad jump world record leaping 12 ft 3. Its this athletic capability that has powered Jones to become a top corner in the NFL making his first Pro Bowl in 2019 along with Second Team All-Pro. Throughout his career in Dallas, Jones has proved to be tight in pass coverage allowing an average of 6.2 yards per target, locking down some of the game’s best in Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. In 2019, opposing quarterbacks only completed 53% of passes directed Jones’ way with Jones only giving up 3 touchdowns.
Despite being a top coverage corner Jones lacks the ability that all elite corners possess, the ability to find the ball and take it away. In five years, Jones has played 79 games with just 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and is currently on a 40-game drought without a pick. Whilst Jones is clearly a good corner, his inability to get takeaways makes Miami’s decision to make him the highest paid cornerback questionable. Howard and Jones now take up 15% of Miami’s cap alone. Whilst on good days this can be the top cornerback duo in the NFL on bad days the Dolphins may have a corner who cannot take the ball away and another who has proven to be inconsistent in Howard. While I like the deal for Miami and Brian Flores’ defense the move can be questioned.