The New England Patriots will not use the franchise tag to retain cornerback Jonathan Jones, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The team does have interest in bringing back the 29-year-old defensive back, though.
This development is not a surprise. Applying the franchise tag to Jones would have paid him around $18 million in 2023. He made a little over $7 million in 2022, per Spotrac.
Jones will become an unrestricted free agent when the market opens on March 15 if he's unable to reach an extension with the Patriots. He is expected to have "a number of suitors", per NFL Network's Mike Giardi.
Jones tallied 56 solo tackles with 11 passes defensed and four interceptions in 16 games during the 2022 season. Jones was the Patriots' best cornerback, primarily playing in the slot but also getting snaps on the outside. His reliability and availability were crucial as veteran cornerback Jalen Mills missed seven games due to injury.