Jonathan Jones is leaving the Charlotte Observer for Sports Illustrated, where he is expected to start within the next couple weeks, The Big Lead has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation. The source requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Jones declined to comment for the story.
Jones, who interned for SI in the summer of 2011, joined the Observer in August 2012, where he’s covered the Panthers, writing features, game stories, blogs and notes for the paper. At his new role at SI, Jones is expected to be a multi-platform national NFL reporter. He will contribute features, commentary, podcasts and videos; his work will appear on the website and in the magazine. In the last two years, Jones had talks with ESPN and Fox, but did not opt to leave the Observer until this offer came along. He will remain based in Charlotte.
As is the case with many national outlets, SI’s NFL coverage will look a bit different this season. Albert Breer joined Peter King’s MMQB vertical. Gone are Doug Farrar, who left for Bleacher Report in July, and Don Banks, who described himself as “a bit of a salary cap cut” in announcing he would be leaving the publication.