When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys and Byron Jones, it appears less about whether the team can bring him back and more about where he’s going to go. The defensive back will officially be a free agent come March, barring the franchise tag. In the last few weeks, there have been several reports about his intent to move on, in part because the Cowboys don’t think they can fit him under the salary cap considering the other potential free agents they need to deal with. One prediction from Pro Football Focus believes Jones will eventually land with the Las Vegas Raiders on a near-record contract.
Anthony Treash from PFF believes Byron Jones is going to sign with the Raiders for five years at $16 million per year. That part of the contract isn’t that much bigger than what other teams have offered. As reported last week by The Inquisitr, both the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants have come calling. Both teams are rumored to have that kind of contract in mind. How the contract with the Raiders stands out is the guaranteed money.
PFF believes Jones is going to haul in about $50.5 million in guaranteed money. That is, of course where the real money comes from in NFL contracts.
Treash believes the Raiders are willing to pony up the cash because of how desperate they are for help in their secondary.
“After bouncing around at various alignments in the secondary for three years, Jones found his home at outside corner in 2018 and has since been one of the five best in the NFL. In that role, he’s been a shutdown corner in press-man coverage”
Treash points out Las Vegas was dead last in the league for two years in a row when it came to yards per pass EPA. Those are the kinds of numbers that can be fixed by someone who has the resume and profile of Byron Jones.
The real question is whether the Dallas Cowboys are willing to just let Jones walk. With the kind of numbers he’s posted, he could be someone the team decides it needs to franchise tag, if for no other reason than it can then trade the defensive back instead of losing him for nothing to free agency.
The issue then becomes whether they can find takers for a trade. If they can’t and if their asking price is too high, even for the Raiders, they’re stuck with someone who is both unhappy and a big cap hit.