Some of the most iconic plays in Ravens history came from Jacoby Jones, so it’s only appropriate that he forever be remembered in purple and black.
Jones retired as a Baltimore Raven Friday at the Under Armour Performance Center, where he was joined by General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh.
“Everything has to come to an end, but at least it’s here, and I thank you,” Jones said with his family in attendance.
Jones’ retirement comes two days before the Ravens take on the Steelers, which Jones will attend (he joked about tripping Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin). It’s also perfect because some of Jones’ biggest plays came against Baltimore’s AFC North rival.
Jones joined the Ravens in 2012 and became an instant hit. He was a fan favorite during his three years in Baltimore (2012-2014), and a major reason why the Ravens lifted a second Lombardi Trophy.
Jones could have easily been named the Super Bowl XLVII MVP. He caught a 56-yard score and returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a then-Super Bowl record 108-yard touchdown.
“Jacoby, in the biggest game on the biggest stage had his best game in his hometown,” Newsome said. “And that is surreal.”
He was also a major reason why the Ravens even made it to the Super Bowl.
Jones hauled in the “Mile High Miracle” in the divisional playoff game in Denver. He was on the other end of Joe Flacco’s 70-yard touchdown heave to send the game into overtime.
Jones joked that the Ravens always practiced that play, and each time Flacco would throw it over safety Ed Reed’s head.
“Every time, Ed would be hot!” Jones said. “When it happened in a game, I think a week later, I said, ‘Damn that worked.’ It really happened like that.”
The tall, lanky speedster returned three kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns in 2012. During his time with the Ravens, he scored six special teams touchdowns overall, including the playoffs.
During his three seasons, Jones caught a combined 76 passes for 992 yards and four touchdowns.
As much as Jones gave the Ravens, the Ravens also gave back to Jones. They brought him in after the Houston Texans cut ties following a 2011 playoff gaffe in, of all places, Baltimore.
When Jones first arrived, Newsome told him to “be yourself, just don’t get in trouble.”
A comedian with a very unique personality, Jones became a star in Baltimore. After winning the Super Bowl, he became a nationwide darling on “Dancing With The Stars.”
“[The Ravens] helped me become a better person and a man because they gave you a lot of responsibility, but they didn’t have a leash on you,” Jones said.
“They let you be yourself on and off the field as long as you show up and do your work and do what you have to do. You can’t ask for no more as a player. If you can be yourself, you can play the best ball you can.”
Jones’ fun personality, end zone dances and kind heart endeared him to fans. The family of Coby Rosemore, a young boy Jones befriended who recently died of brain cancer, was in attendance at Friday’s press conference.
Jones spent the first five years of his career as a Houston Texan. He split the 2015 season, his final in the NFL, between the San Diego Chargers and Steelers. Jones played in Mexico as part of the National Arena League last year, and returned a kick for a touchdown in his first game.
But no place felt like home more than Baltimore.
“The city of Baltimore accepted me. They took me in,” Jones said. “I walk around here downtown and people slam on their brakes and blow their horn. I love it. I appreciate it.”
The beloved wide receiver/returner is retiring as a Baltimore Raven. Take a look back at some of his most memorable moments on and off the field.