ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Marvin Jones moved his wife and five children from Miami to San Diego and planned to sign with an NFL team on the West Coast.
The receiver, though, could not resist an opportunity to play in Detroit again for a franchise that suddenly has a favorable impression around the league.
“This was my home for five years”
“This was my home for five years,” Jones said Wednesday. “I talked with my family, the only team that I would play (for) that was not West Coast was Detroit, and said, ‘What would you think if daddy went back to Detroit?’ I always had a feeling. This team is better equipped than any other team I was considering.”
The Lions found the veteran receiver they wanted to fill the void left when DJ Chark signed with the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago in free agency.
Jones has 542 catches for 7,386 yards and 58 touchdowns in his career, a total that ranks ninth among active players. He had 46 receptions for 529 yards and three touchdowns during the 2022 season in Jacksonville and four more catches for 50 yards and a score in the playoffs for the Jaguars.
“I don’t see any difference in my game,” Jones said. “I’ve been in the league long enough that I can fit in many different roles, and can conform to whatever I need to.”
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted the former California star in the fifth round in 2012 and he had a breakout season with 65 catches for 816 yards and four scores in 2015. Marvin Jones signed with the Lions in free agency the next year and he ranks third in team history with 36 receiving touchdowns.
During his return visit to the Motor City, the offense is much better than it was when he left two years ago and the franchise is in much better shape.
A Weapon on a High Scoring Offense
Jones could blend in well with a high-scoring unit that includes quarterback Jared Goff, receivers Amon Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams, running backs D’Andre Swift and David Montgomery with a good offensive line giving playmakers time and space.
Under second-year general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell, the Lions had their first winning record since 2017 last season and fell just short of making the playoffs for the first time since Jones’ first season with the team in 2016.
Detroit closed the season with eight wins, including a 40-14 victory against Jones and the Jaguars late in the regular season, in its last 10 games.
“I played against this team — it’s different,” Marvin Jones said. “The organization is different in terms of the culture and things like that. That was intriguing.”
Earlier in free agency, the Lions addressed some of their pressing needs on their shaky defense by bolstering the secondary with proven players such as former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Cameron Sutton.
Detroit will have chances to make more significant moves in a few weeks when it has the No. 6 pick overall, acquired from the Los Angeles Rams as part of the Matthew Stafford trade, and the 18th selection in the first round of the NFL draft.
Author: Larry Lage, The Associated Press
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