Detroit Lions bringing back Marvin Jones to fill void in wide receiver corps

Detroit Free Press

PHOENIX — The Detroit Lions are bringing back an old friend to fill a void in their passing game.

Former Lions receiver Marvin Jones announced Wednesday on Twitter he is returning to the Lions, two years after leaving for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency.

Jones takes the place of DJ Chark, who signed a one-year fee agent deal with the Carolina Panthers last week.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said Tuesday at the NFL’s annual spring meeting the team was still searching for help at receiver.

“I think it would be nice to find another guy that can help us out there,” Campbell said. I would say our eyes are there. We do have eyes there, somehow, some way.”

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Chark had 30 catches for 502 yards for the Lions last season despite missing six games with an ankle injury. He played his best football late in the season, when the Lions rebounded from a 1-6 start to win eight of their final 10 games.

“We’ll miss Chark,” Campbell said. “He brought something to us that was a little different than the rest of them.”

The Lions return leading receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and are expecting big things from Jameson Williams in his second season, but Jones should join Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond in a rotational role.

Jones, 33, caught 46 passes for 519 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Jaguars.

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The Lions’ top free agent signing in 2016, when he was brought in to replace a retiring Calvin Johnson, Jones had 289 receptions for 4,296 yards and 36 touchdowns in five seasons in Detroit.

ESPN reported his contract is a one-year, $3 million deal that maxes out at $5 million.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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