FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones, the team's top draft choice from 2016 who endured a challenging rookie season, shared some thoughts this week with the Baltimore Sun during a community appearance last week in his native Maryland at Leith Walk Elementary/Middle School.
"I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to," Jones told the Sun. "I was part of the team, but I didn't feel a part of it. ...
"I honestly felt cursed. I reached a point where I didn't even want to play. I just didn't have it."
Jones was inactive for five of the team's final six games, including Super Bowl LI. He had ball-security struggles as a returner, as well as some issues with judgment.
Jones acknowledged that he's heard criticism from the media and it stings, and while he appreciated the support of teammates, he sounded like he didn't think he deserved it.
"What I did this year was not me," he told the Sun. "I don't care how anybody tries to sugarcoat it. Yes, I was a rookie. But I feel I should always be one of the best players on the field, no matter where I am."
As for Super Bowl LI, Jones was happy for his teammates, but at the same time told the Sun: "Honestly, it was hell for me. That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me."