Scouting Report: KR Jacoby Jones

The Chargers were excited when the Ravens cut ties with Jacoby Jones, swooping in quickly to sign the dynamic return man to a two-year deal. However, according to our sources, Jones' release in Baltimore had to do with more than a high cap number and a handful of dropped passes.

When Jacoby Jones was released last week, the national media gave three primary explanations: 1) the Ravens saved money against the cap ($750,000); 2) Jones struggled as a receiver (five dropped passes in 2014); and 3) he put the ball on the ground too much (fumbling four times last season, losing two).

But, according to a source close to the Ravens, there is another reason he was let go.

Per our source: "Jacoby Jones' work ethic and off-field behavior were factors in Ravens' decision to not bring him back as well as his downgrade in performance in terms of fumbles and dropped passes. He has speed still, but conditioning needs to improve. His overall discipline went down. Had too much fun off the field, didn't take good care of himself. He still has great vision and rare speed as a returner and remains a threat."

Telesco was still willing to roll the dice on a team-friendly deal worth less than $3 million annually. It is a worthwhile risk for San Diego, as the Chargers have not had a dynamic return man since Darren Sproles left town after the 2010 season.

Even in a down year, Jones put in work for the Ravens. He ranked in the top-10 in both kickoff and punt returns, ranking No. 2 in the league in the former category with a return average of 30.6 yards. He even returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown in a rivalry game against the Steelers; the Chargers have not had a kickoff return for a touchdown in the Telesco/Mike McCoy era.

The hope is a change of scenery will help Jones. He is already excited to work with Philip Rivers and potentially serve as a vertical threat on offense. Not only is Rivers the ultimate leader on offense, but the Chargers have some extraordinary leaders on special teams, including Darrell Stuckey, Seyi Ajirotutu and Andrew Gachkar. That trio should hold Jones accountable and help him be at his best with the Chargers.

And -- as San Diego's rivals in Denver can attest -- Jones at his best is very, very good.

What are Chargers fans saying about Jones' addition? Find out in the message boards.

Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the team. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 18 years and covered the team since '03. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


Still to come: Running back | Wide receiver
OFFENSE: Quarterback | Tight end | Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center
DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker |
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