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NOTEBOOK: Jones Jr. talks upcoming free agency

Former Lions general manager Bob Quinn had some hits and misses in free agency, but his first free-agent signing of veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. after taking the job in 2016 might go down as his best.

Jones has been a consistent receiver for the Lions the last five seasons. He currently ranks sixth in franchise history for the most receiving touchdowns (34), and is only two scores away from ascending to third on that list behind only Calvin Johnson (83) and Herman Moore (62).

Since the 2017 season, Jones has totaled 30 receiving touchdowns, the seventh most in the NFL in that span.

Jones is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and his future in Detroit is somewhat uncertain with a new front-office regime and coaching staff set to come in.

Jones said the free-agent process is always a fun one for players, and he's excited about it. He plans to make a decision on his future after he gets all the information from teams that coming calling.

Jones said his family will have an impact on the decision. Jones and his family live in the San Diego area in the offseason. Jones, 30, also said that going somewhere where he thinks he can win right away will be part of the discussion too.

"I think (my first time around in free agency) my priorities were if there was a team I could help get over the hump," Jones said Wednesday. "I felt like early on I felt like I was an aid in doing that. As well as getting an opportunity to get some throws my way and prove that I'm one of the good ones in the league, which I think I've done.

"Obviously, this process might be different than it was when I got my first contract. You look at different teams. You look at the needs of the team. Maybe this time around you look for different things in terms of what you want and how I want to finish my career."

Jones leads the Lions this season in targets (104), receptions (68), receiving yards (798) and receiving touchdowns (7). Even at age 30, he still has his speed, he's playing at a high level, and it's expected he'll have plenty of suitors in free agency. The Lions currently have only one receiver on the roster, rookie Quintez Cephus, under contract for next season.

Jones wants to weigh all options and isn't ruling anything out, including a potential return to Detroit.

"In free agency, there's nothing that you throw out," he said. "You have to really keep an open mind and talk about the things in mind that you want. If a team can fulfill most of all those things, it'll be a right fit."

If Jones does end up signing elsewhere this offseason, he said he hopes he's remembered in Detroit by some of the game-changing plays he's made over the years, and also what he's meant to the community outside of the football field.


Vikings Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook has returned to Miami after the passing of his father, James Cook, and isn't expected to play Sunday in Detroit.

The fourth-year running back has 1,557 yards, which ranks second in the NFL (Derrick Henry has 1,777). He needed 204 yards against the Lions to match the 1,760 yards Adrian Peterson ran for in 2008 to reach the second highest single-season total in Vikings history. He was two touchdowns shy of tying Peterson's franchise record of 18 rushing touchdowns.

Cook rushed for 206 yards in his previous meeting with Detroit this season in a Week 9 Vikings victory.

Backup running back Alexander Mattison has been dealing with a concussion and didn't play for the Vikings last week. Former Lions running back Ameer Abdullah could be in line for a significant role Sunday, even if Mattison returns from concussion protocol. Abdullah's carried eight times this year for 42 yards (5.3 average).


Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said earlier this week that he'd like to play Sunday against the Vikings if the ankle injury he suffered last week allows him to do so.

If it's determined that Stafford can't play, Bevell said Chase Daniel is taking first-team reps this week and would start.


Lions defensive line coach Bo Davis is still in COVID-19 isolation protocols, per Bevell.

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