Byron Jones is heading to Florida.
The Miami Dolphins are signing the free-agent cornerback to a massive deal making him the league’s highest-paid corner, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed. The deal is expected to be around $17 million a year or more, Rapoport added.
The top cornerback available in free agency, Jones will now be paid like it, surpassing his new teammate, Xavien Howard ($15.1 million), in average annual value.
Jones was being courted in the end by Miami and the Las Vegas Raiders, who both offered him “huge money in tax-free states,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported. Jones chose South Beach over the desert.
In his five years in Dallas, the former first-round pick was the lynchpin of the Cowboys secondary, starting 73 of 79 games played and totaling 43 passes defensed. Jones was one of the game’s top corners in 2019 and would’ve been a Cowboys target in free agency this offseason. But Dallas instead focused its attention on tagging quarterback Dak Prescott and attempting to re-sign receiver Amari Cooper.
In Miami, Jones will be looked to as the Stephon Gilmore of Brian Flores’ defense, a DPOY-caliber cornerback who, along with Howard, can shut down aerial attacks from Dolphins opponents. But he’s just one piece of an ever-evolving puzzle in Miami.
Van Noy thrived in three-and-a-half seasons in New England, where he won two Super Bowls and compiled 16.5 sacks. He’ll reunite with Flores in Miami to try to replicate the Patriots‘ defensive prowess in aqua and orange.
After jettisoning big names last season in a midseason roster overhaul, Miami is spending again this offseason. And spending big.