Marvin Jones Jr. leaves Lions for personal reasons

Marvin Jones Jr., the veteran wide receiver who spent six seasons with the Detroit Lions, announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the team to take care of personal family matters. He did not provide any details on the nature of his situation, but thanked the Lions organization and his teammates for their support.

“I just want to say that I have so much love and respect for the Ford Family, the city of Detroit, my teammates and coaches,” Jones wrote on Instagram. “Although this was no easy decision, I cannot be the person/player that I need to be for this team as well as tend to my family from afar.”

Jones posted a photo of himself wearing a Lions jersey and holding a trophy, presumably from one of his 36 touchdown catches with the team, which ranks third in franchise history behind only Calvin Johnson and Herman Moore.

Marvin Jones

Lions release Jones after his announcement

Shortly after Jones shared his statement on social media, the Lions announced that they had released him from the team along with other roster moves. According to Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, both sides agreed to part ways.

The Lions said in a statement that they “respect Marvin’s decision and appreciate his contributions to our team over the past six years. We wish him and his family all the best during this difficult time.”

Jones, 33, signed a one-year deal worth $3 million with the Lions in March, returning to his former team after spending two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was a depth piece for the Lions’ receiving corps this season, catching five passes for 35 yards in six games.

He did not play in the Lions’ 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, joining running back David Montgomery and offensive lineman Jonah Jackson as players who were ruled out early for undisclosed reasons.

Jones leaves behind a legacy in Detroit

Jones joined the Lions in 2016 as a free agent after spending four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him in the fifth round out of Cal in 2012. He quickly became a reliable target for quarterback Matthew Stafford, forming a dynamic duo with Johnson until the latter’s retirement after the 2016 season.

Jones led the NFL in yards per catch (18.0) in 2017 and had a career-high 1,101 receiving yards in 2019. He also had two seasons with nine touchdown catches (2017 and 2019), tying for second-most in a single season by a Lions receiver.

He was also active in the community, hosting an annual charity softball game and supporting various causes such as pediatric cancer research and social justice initiatives. He also showcased his musical talent as a singer and guitarist, appearing on American Idol in 2018.

Jones leaves the Lions as one of the most productive and popular receivers in team history. He ranks seventh in receptions (289), sixth in receiving yards (4,296) and third in receiving touchdowns (36) among all Lions receivers.

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