Adam Jones has become synonymous with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and the city of Cincinnati, and the Bengals weren't prepared to let him go in free agency.
Jones agreed to a three-year deal to remain at home on Wednesday, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The 32-year-old seems to be getting better with age, and is also a reliable plug-in on punt and kickoff returns for a spark. Jones was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2015.
There are franchise players that are hard to imagine in another uniform, and even though Jones has had stops in Tennessee and Dallas, the last five years have been a time of growth and stellar play for the former No. 6 overall pick.
Jones played in 14 games last year, logging three picks, 12 passes defensed and a forced fumble. It was his best NFL season since 2012, and one that had the Bengals among the most feared teams in football before the loss of Andy Dalton late in the season.
If the Bengals are going to eventually make the leap and fulfil the promise that seems to come with Lewis' teams every year, they'll need institutional players like Jones who can enforce Lewis' style and teachings across the locker room. Unsurprisingly, there has been a push to retain the best players from 2015, which included a new deal for safety George Iloka at five years and $30 million.