The Panthers brought back a key piece of their special teams unit as well as a consistent depth piece Monday when they re-signed safety and team captain Colin Jones to a two-year contract, the team announced Monday.
The 31-year old Jones, who is entering his eighth season with the Panthers after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft by the San Francisco 49ers and spending his rookie season by the bay, was named special teams captain for the 2018 season and tied for the team lead with six special teams tackles and recovered a fumble for a touchdown in an October win over the New York Giants; Jones played in all 16 games, including starting a game at safety, and logged an interception.
Jones has had an interception in three of the past four seasons as the Panthers have utilized him at multiple positions – from safety to nickel cornerback to the hybrid linebacker/safety/cornerback slot usually occupied by Shaq Thompson. When Jones occupies that spot on the field, the team refers to the personnel as the “frog” package, named after Jones’ alma mater TCU, where the mascot is the Horned Frogs.
“First and foremost, I want to lead our special teams unit,” Jones told Max Henson of Panthers.com. “Whatever opportunities present themselves on defense, I’m here to help the team out when needed.”
Jones, whose 52 special teams tackle tie him for ninth in franchise history, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.