Ravens get 2nd-rounder for T. Jones Tackle laments team's 'lack of respect' for him

February 15, 1997|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The Ravens traded left offensive tackle Tony Jones to Denver yesterday for the Broncos' second-round selection in April's NFL draft.

It was not a happy day for Jones.

"Once you've been in an organization nine years, and done everything the organization has asked of you on and off the field, I just think out of respect, that if they are going to draft a guy to replace you, you need to tell that guy," said Jones, who was vacationing in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

"It's a business and the players should understand that, but at least come up front and tell them, and not hide it.

"They hid it. I knew it. They said Jonathan [Ogden] and I were going to be the best one-two punch in the league. I said, 'Sure, right.'

"As an organization, they didn't show me any respect."

The trade gives the Ravens, 4-12 last season, four of the first 64 players in the draft because the club will draft in the fourth slot of each round as well as having Denver's pick, No. 56 overall.

"Now we have four players in the top 64, and that rarely happens," said Ozzie Newsome, the team's vice president of player personnel. "When you get a player in the second round, you can draft him and teach him to become a Raven."

Jones, 30, signed a two-year extension with Denver to the two years he had remaining on his Ravens contract. Jones' four-year package is worth $11 million, including a $3 million signing bonus.

Jones signed with the Cleveland Browns as a free agent in May 1988. He has started 114 of 123 games in his career, including a streak of 105 consecutive starts that ended Oct. 20 when he did not play against the Broncos because of a knee injury.

Jones became expendable because of Ogden's successful rookie season. He will replace Jones.

Jones' salary also was a problem for the Ravens. His contract called for a salary of $2.5 million for 1997 and his deal would have counted $2.9 million against the cap this season.

"Tony is a quality player and quality person," Ravens owner Art Modell said. "I would like to thank him publicly for all that he did for my franchise both in Cleveland and in Baltimore, and special thanks to both he and Kammy [Jones' wife] for their devotion to both communities."

Pub Date: 2/15/97

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