One of the biggest priorities for the Tennessee Titans entering the 2022 offseason was keeping center Ben Jones in the two-tone blue — and Tennessee did just that, signing Jones to a two-year, $14 million deal.
In terms of annual average, Jones’ deal ranks 10th in the NFL, which borders on a steal when you consider what he has done during his time in Tennessee.
Jones is routinely one of the most underrated centers. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has notched an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 82.9 over the past three seasons, which is good enough for top five in the NFL, but he rarely gets mentioned among the league’s best outside of Nashville.
Adding to that, Jones is a stalwart upfront, only missing one game during his time in Nashville, and he has become a key leader in the locker room.
Taking everything into account, Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger named Jones’ contract Tennessee’s best in 2022.
Jones will be 33 years old in 2022, and while the center market certainly isn’t the strongest of the position markets, he’s a great value at this price tag. The 35-year-old Jason Kelce signed a fully guaranteed one-year contract for the same amount this offseason, and over the past three seasons, Jones’ 82.5 grade just narrowly trails Kelce (83.3). Both players, whose respective grades each rank in the top five among centers over the span, have logged over 3,000 snaps since 2019, as well, demonstrating impressive durability in addition to top-end talent.
Jones is a critical piece of the Titans’ rushing attack, earning a 70.0-plus run-blocking grade in every season since 2016.
While Jones is getting long in the tooth, he showed no signs of slowing down in 2021. In fact, he was arguably Tennessee’s best all-around offensive lineman.
Even if he begins to show a decline in the next few years, the Titans aren’t committed to him for much longer with the two-year deal, and there’s even an out in his contract in 2023 ($4.5 million in dead cap if cut).