The Baltimore Ravens have announced that they have released veteran wide receiver/return man Jacoby Jones just one season after signing Jones to a four year, $12 million contract extension. Jones had received a $3,5 million signing bonus with that contract.
Jones’ contract is typical of most Ravens deals that use a relatively large signing bonus compared to the contract size to help minimize the initial year’s cap charge and reduce the possibility of future guaranteed salary. Jones just counted for $1.875 million against the teams cap last season, but was set to see his cap charge increase to $3.375 million this year. His cash salary for the season was $2.5 million.
The Ravens will carry $2.75 million in salary cap charges for Jones on their salary cap this season. That money is attributed to the unallocated portion of his signing bonus. The Ravens essentially gain no cap space by releasing him since his spot on the roster will be assumed by someone making at least $435,000 so the cut was not salary cap related.
Jones had become a return man in his last season with the Ravens and was phased almost completely out of the offense, catching just 9 passes on the year. While special teams players do have value that value lessens each year that the NFL attempts to reduce the opportunities for kickoff returns. Jones has had a kickoff return for a score in each of his last three seasons, but that will not arrant a $2.5 million salary. Jones is the second return man cut this week following the Cardinals release of specialist Ted Ginn.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.