The Ravens have parted ways with veteran receiver and return man Jacoby Jones.
The team terminated Jones' contract Wednesday after his three years in Baltimore.
"We thank Jacoby for what he did for us," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He was invaluable to our success. Opponents, especially on special teams, schemed to stop him. What a compliment to him."
Jones, 30, was primarily used as a returner last season after having a bigger impact in the passing game during his first two years with the Ravens. He caught just nine passes for 131 yards last year. He averaged 30.6 yards per kickoff return and had one kickoff return touchdown last year.
He was scheduled to enter the second season of a three-year deal, and was reportedly set to carry a $3.3 million cap hit.
Cutting Jones will free up salary cap space and give the Ravens some flexibility heading into free agency next month. General Manager Ozzie Newsome said during Tuesday's press conference that the team would "exhaust every avenue" to get flexibility under the salary cap, and cutting Jones reportedly frees up $750,000.
The team could have saved more by designating Jones as a post-June 1 release, but this way he can potentially land a job and higher salary as soon as free agency opens on March 10.
"We think he can still play in the NFL, and releasing him now allows him a better opportunity to land with another team," Newsome said.
Jones was a fan favorite during his three seasons with the Ravens, and he had several key plays during Baltimore's run to a second Lombardi Trophy, including a pair of touchdowns in the Super Bowl XLVII victory.
His touchdown catch against the Broncos in the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs – best known as the "Mile High Miracle" – is one of the most iconic plays in Ravens history.
"We don't win Super Bowl XLVII without Jacoby," Newsome said. "You immediately think of the touchdown against Denver in the Divisional round and then the big plays in that Super Bowl – the long touchdown from Joe [Flacco] and the kickoff to open the second half. He also had a big punt return in that game. Jacoby was an outstanding Raven, good teammate on and off the field."
Jones had 10 touchdowns in his three years with the Ravens, and his big-play ability made the difference in several games during that stretch.
"You think of how many games where his returns or long catches were the difference in winning – at Pittsburgh, Dallas, the 2012 playoff run to the championships and that great Minnesota game in the snow and ice at M&T Bank Stadium come to mind immediately," Harbaugh said.
Not only was Jones a favorite amongst the fans, but he was a popular player for the coaching staff and in the locker room.
"Jacoby is one of my most favorite players ever to coach, an absolute joy to be around," Harbaugh said. "He's a good person with a good heart."
Memorable images from the lovable wide receiver's three years in Baltimore.