The Jacksonville Jaguars are signing safety Josh Jones, per his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news. This will be Jones second year with the club. He was originally signed following the final Week 17 game of the 2019 season.
Jones entered the 2020 season as the starting free safety and did start all 13 games in which he appeared. He finished the season with a career high 80 tackles, one pass defended and one interception. The latter of which came off of Lamar Jackson during the Week 15 loss.
Jones came to the Jaguars after being waived by the Dallas Cowboys. He was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Packers waived him with a non-football illness designation, something that was more a reason given than a reason deserved according to Jones. It dumped him into what he calls one of the darkest times of his life.
"When Green Bay waived me with non-football illness, teams [were] kind of like, ‘Oh, we’re not going to touch him’, but nothing was wrong with me," he explained last September.
"Like I said, I had so much uncertainty. For the first time in my life, I felt like football wasn’t there and it was my first time in a long time where September rolls around and I was looking from a TV instead out being out on the field with a helmet and shoulder pads. If you love something and to see that just walk away from you for that amount of time, I think anybody would be in a kind of space I was in. But when you have strong faith, you understand that you go through things. God will take you through ups and downs for a reason and that reason was for me to gain the wisdom that I gained, appreciate everything around me, [and] not take any day for granted.”
After the brief stint with the Cowboys, Jones came to Jacksonville. He entered camp deep on the depth chart. But as the 2020 offseason progressed, coaches saw enough from Jones that they felt comfortable trading former starter Ronnie Harrison to the Cleveland Browns.
"He was down at the third spot when we started training camp and as soon as he got in there, he started communicating real loud. The rest of the team was like, ‘Who in the heck is this guy?’ He really jumped off the tape about how he studies and his ability to make plays," said former Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash last September.
"He communicated really well and once that happened, we started getting him with the first unit, rotating him and [former Jaguar] Ronnie [Harrison]. We’ve seen a guy that obviously can play. We like his speed, his athleticism, and he just slowly moved up the depth chat and we feel really comfortable with playing him. So, it was really from the start. He moved up quickly and there was a heck of a battle between those two early on in camp.”
Jones was originally sent to the free agent market on March 17 after he and the Jaguars didn't reach a deal before the deadline. After testing the market, he returned to the club and signed what Rosenhaus revealed to be a one-year deal.