Patriots Offseason

Ex-Patriot makes lofty Jack Jones comparison amid legal uncertainty

James White is optimistic that Jack Jones can become a top cornerback in New England.

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Jack Jones has shown he can be an impact player for the New England Patriots. Whether he'll continue to get that opportunity remains to be seen.

The Patriots cornerback was arrested on weapons charges on June 16 after authorities found two loaded firearms in his carry-on bag at Boston's Logan Airport. Jones posted a $30,000 cash bail at his arraignment on June 20 and is expected back in court on Aug. 18.

Neither the Patriots nor the NFL has announced any punishment for Jones, so the expectation is he'll report to training camp this week and participate in team activities until his next court date. Amid that uncertainty, former Patriots running back James White shared an optimistic view of the 25-year-old's on-field upside.

"He has all the potential in the world," White told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Saturday, as transcribed by ESPN's Mike Reiss. "Hopefully he keeps his head on his shoulders and makes smart decisions on and off the football field.

"He can be a top corner in this league [and] reminds me of a young J.C. Jackson."

The Patriots would be thrilled if Jones follows in the footsteps of Jackson, who developed into an elite cornerback in New England after going undrafted out of Florida in 2018. Jackson amassed 17 interceptions between the 2020 and 2021 seasons and led the NFL in passes defensed (23) in 2021 before signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2022 free agency.

Jones flashed impressive ball skills as a rookie, recording a pick-six of Aaron Rodgers in his first NFL start and playing 54 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps in his first season. Jones ended the 2022 season on the reserve/suspended list, however -- reportedly for missing rehab appointments for his injured knee -- and finds himself dealing with another off-field issue entering his second season.

Jones had character concerns entering the 2022 NFL Draft, which is part of the reason why he fell to New England in the fourth round. White and many others believe the raw talent is there, though, so it will be up to Jones to handle his business on the field so he can get back to work on it.

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