Lions WR Marvin Jones: 'I have a place in any offense'
Allen Park — Whatever changes the Detroit Lions make to the offense this offseason, wide receiver Marvin Jones isn't concerned about how he'll fit into the plans.
"I have a place in any offense," Jones said.
Jones' season ended prematurely due to a knee injury suffered against Chicago in Week 10. The NFL Network reported the issue was a bone bruise, and that Jones was close to returning to the lineup a few weeks later, before the IR decision was made. In hindsight, it was a conclusion the veteran believed was the right one.
"If I was ready, I would have been out there," Jones said. "They put me on there for a reason."
Prior to the injury, Jones was having a decent season, but was off pace from his 2017 campaign, when he posted a career-high 1,101 receiving yards. In nine games this year, he caught 35 passes for 508 yards and five touchdowns, which tied him for the team lead with Kenny Golladay. The number of scores should have been higher had quarterback Matthew Stafford not missed Jones in the end zone a couple times early in the year.
Jones' production dip matched issues that plagued Detroit's entire passing game in 2018. That's a big issue the team will have to work through this offseason. Among the adjustments is a change at offensive coordinator.
Jones understandably recused himself from any discussion about what the team needs on offense or from the coordinator role this offseason. He had a good relationship with Jim Bob Cooter, who helped the receiver develop into one of the league's better deep threats.
There's also at least a little speculation Jones might not be back in Detroit for 2019, given the emergence of Golladay and Jones' contract situation. The team could clear $3.8 million in cap space by trading Jones, if the right offer was made.
Jones said he doesn't think anything about that kind of speculation.
"I’m going to be happy whoever I’m playing for, and I’m playing for this team, which I love," he said. "Whatever they ask me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. It’s not like, OK, they’re doing something different, I’ve got to go somewhere else. I’m here. I like being here."
Jones, 28, has played three seasons for the Lions since signing as a five-year, $40 million contract as a free agent in 2016. In 40 games, he's hauled in 151 passes for 2,539 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has been Stafford's favorite red zone option during that stretch, averaging over a target per game inside the 20, while being the read on 22 throws inside the 10.