The San Francisco 49ers announced on Wednesday that DL Cedric Thornton is retiring from the National Football League and they have signed DT Chris Jones to a one-year deal.
Thornton (6-4, 290) originally signed with the 49ers on July 25, 2018. He entered the NFL after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent on July 26, 2011. Throughout his seven NFL seasons with the Eagles (2011-15), Dallas Cowboys (2016) and Buffalo Bills (2017), he appeared in 89 games (48 starts) and registered 278 tackles, 7.5 sacks, six passes defensed, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He also appeared in three career postseason contests (one start) and added six tackles.
A 30-year-old native of Star City, AR, Thornton attended Southern Arkansas University where he registered 133 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Jones (6-1, 293), a five-year veteran, has appeared in 41 games (29 starts) and registered 107 tackles and 9.0 sacks throughout his career. This marks Jones' second stint with San Francsico after the team claimed him off waivers from the Miami Dolphins on November 8, 2016. He started the final six games of the 2016 season for the 49ers, where he registered 21 tackles. In 2017, he was placed on the Injured Reserve List on September 2, where he spent the entire season.
Jones was drafted in the sixth round (198th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Following his release from Houston on August 31, 2013, he spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was later acquired off waivers by the New England Patriots on September 11, 2013. In three seasons with New England (2013-15), he appeared in 28 games (23 starts) where he registered 79 tackles and nine sacks. In four postseason contests (two starts) with the Patriots, he had nine tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery. He was released by New England on April 15, 2016 and then signed with the Miami Dolphins on April 18, 2016. In 2016, he picked up seven tackles in seven games played with the Dolphins and was waived on November 7, 2016. Follwing his time in San Francisco, Jones was signed by the New York Jets on June 5, 2018 and was later released on June 14.
A 28-year-old native of Brownsburg, IN, Jones attended Bowling Green State University, where he appeared in 50 games (43 starts) and registered 157 tackles, 28 sacks, two passes defensed, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. A three-time All-MAC performer [First Team (2011-12) & Third Team (2010)], Jones was also named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2012.