|(6/27/16) Jones has been given a qualifying offer by the Blue Jackets, Dhiren Mahiban of The Canadian Pres reports.|
A restricted free agent Jones now has the option to accept the one-year deal, or he could look to sign an offer sheet elsewhere, at which point the Blue Jackets would have seven days to match the offer. Of course, The Columbus Dispatch notes that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen anticipates that Jones and Columbus will be able to reach a long-term deal. The qualifying offer will at least keep his rights with the Blue Jackets beyond the July 1 deadline, but there's still no guarantee the 21-year-old will be dressing for Columbus next season. Jones should command somewhere near Morgan Rielly's six-year, $30 million contract, but more details on the situation should arrive later in the offseason.