Allen Park — The Detroit Lions quietly agreed to an extension with linebacker Christian Jones over the weekend, adding two years onto a deal that was set to expire at the end of this season.
Since originally signing with Detroit in 2018, Jones has started all 24 games, playing more than two-thirds of the defensive snaps. He's currently tied for second on the team with 40 tackles.
Lions coach Matt Patricia praised the linebacker's coach-ability and passion.
“I think he is a guy that just continually gets better with coaching," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "He understands more of what we’re trying to do every single day. He cares, he’s the same guy, he loves football, he loves to work."
In terms of what Jones' brings to the field, Patricia loves the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder's versatility.
The Lions were unable to keep pace in a shootout with the Raiders, putting a serious dent in the franchise's playoff hopes. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
"He’s a big linebacker," Patricia said. "He can do a couple of different things really well. He can play behind the ball, he can play on the ball and there are just certain situations where if he has to set the edge of the defense, he can do that, if he has to go downhill or inside, he can do that. If he has to drop out into space and read the quarterback, he can do that pretty well, and he’s just a guy that eats up a lot of space in those situations.
"He’s a guy that we can put in multiple different situations and he handles that at a high level week in, week out," Patricia continued. "I’m excited for Christian, I’m excited for us, from that aspect of it, and (I’m) just looking forward to continually trying to coach him and do the best I can to help him be a better player each day.”
The Lions are using Jones differently than last season. In 2018, he played approximately 60 percent of his snaps off the ball, while this year, most of his work is coming on the line of scrimmage, as an edge defender.
Financial terms of the contract extension are still unknown.