There’s no more reputable source than Alexi Lalas and during halftime of the Portland-Seattle match currently airing he told Taylor Twellman (two former Revs announcing Rev’s news…) that he signed with the league for $5m+ for the rest of this season and all of next season. Apparently Chicago and New England made similar offers and due to this fact (and other MLS player allotment voodoo to which I am not privy) the name of each club was put in a sealed envelope and then, presumably, the envelopes were placed in a hat/fishbowl and then one was drawn out, and it was the one with the Revolution’s name in it. That’s right, the Revolution just signed their first legitimate Designated Player on the basis of a process you’re likely to see deciding who wins the raffle at your local bingo night.
The money is a little steep, but I think the deal is a good one for the Revolution because of the relatively short length of the contract. Jones will turn 33 this fall and committing to him beyond the end of next season without seeing how he adapts to MLS, handles the travel, how he reacts to playing many of his matches on FieldTurf, etc. seems smart. If all of that goes well and the Revs/league want to offer him an extension or a new contract for similar money they’ll only be increasing the value of their acquisition.
Practically speaking I can see this move paying off in several ways for the Revolution. First, with all due respect to the two players, he is an upgrade over Andy Dorman and Chris Tierney at defensive midfielder. Even moreso as both are out injured at the moment. Second, he brings additional depth to the New England midfield. Third, having Jones anchoring the midfield behind him should give Lee Nguyen even that much more freedom to press the attack and this should benefit New England’s forwards. Fourth, and also Lee Nguyen related, I hesitate to call Jones an “enforcer,” but I think opposing players will think twice before taking a crack at Nguyen’s legs (he’s the most fouled player on the team and one of the most fouled in the league) with Jones looming behind him in the midfield. Fifth, there could very well be a “knock on” effect where it comes to acquiring other figures… Sixth, having Jones brings instant legitimacy to New England and its playoff chances. Maybe not Clint Dempsey or Roy Keane legitimacy, but close to it.
KC Gunner: how excited are you for the match on September 3 now!?
PS: Wait. Did the Kraft family just spend a lot of money on the non-New England Patriots?!