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Free Agency Bargain Bin: Adam Jones

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The Redskins have to get creative if they want to remain competitive with an $18 million cap penalty looming this offseason. Adam Jones could be a potential bargain if Cincinnati doesn't opt to bring him back.

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

USA Today’s Nate Davis threw out an interesting possibility for the Redskins to consider in free agency this offseason: Adam Jones.

My initial gut feeling left a resounding “no” in response to this. But I hate gut feelings. They’re often wrong, so I like to do what I can to either refute them or justify it. Naturally, the next step in this is to look some more facts, assuming the Bengals don’t bring Jones back of course:

Jones will be 30 years old in September, and is on the tail end of an unsuccessful NFL career tarnished with suspensions, misconduct and felony charges. However, the off-the-field issues appear to be a thing of the past after Jones has gone the last three seasons in Cincinnati without incident.

He is also coming off of a promising season, and his best since his 2006 despite not logging an interception and a low volume of 33 tackles. But those stats are often misleading. In over 600 snaps played with the Bengals, Jones allowed a reception once every 6.3 targets that came his way, and one every 11.5 coverage snaps he played. Those numbers put him in the top 25 in each category among qualifying corners in the NFL.

Furthermore, Pro Football Focus graded his cumulative coverage grade at +10.6, which ranked sixth among all cornerbacks in the NFL in 2012. Jones also showed a proficiency in returning punts, averaging 11.6 yards per return and scoring a touchdown.

They aren’t the flashiest numbers by any means, but that kind of production would gladly be taken at a low contract, which is pretty much all that the Redskins could offer him. And because this is a player in the declining years of his career, as well as it being a draft class that features cornerback as one of its deepest positions, there’s no reason the Redskins should offer him anything more than a veteran minimum, if anything at all.