By: Will Burchfield
Scroll through Marvin Jones' Instagram page, and you'll see photos of his football exploits, videos of his three sons and snapshots of his family.
You'll also find snippets of Jones showing off his signing voice. If the Lions' leading wide receiver has hands, he's also got pipes.
"I could have been a singer, but I chose to play football all my life," Jones said. "I don't regret it."
And how could he? The 26-year-old signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Lions in the offseason and is off to a terrific start in 2016, with four touchdowns and over 500 yards through the first six games of the season.
"This is what I do, I play football," said Jones.
But there was a time in his life – around the age of 11 or 12, Jones recalled – when the receiver could have run a different route.
"I had a couple (singing) auditions, but I just didn't want to go. There was somebody who wanted to sign me but I just didn't do it," he said.
Jones became known for his vocal talent through his church choir. It was a skill he was born with, just like his breakaway speed and unflinching hand-eye coordination. But he always envisioned himself on a football field first.
"I never really wanted to sing. I always kind of had to just because I was singing solos in church and stuff like that," he said.
Somewhere along the line, Jones became hooked. He now has a full recording studio in his house, writes his own songs and is frequently fine-tuning his R&B flair.
"It's just fun for me to do that. And I have songs that I did three years ago, four years ago, I have like 15 songs that are just there. I just like having it there for whenever I want to," he said.
It's more than a mere hobby. Jones said he hopes to be featured one day in a TV show or in a movie.
"I'll do stuff behind the scenes," he explained. "Say I'm doing something – even right now – if I'm doing a song and I send a song to MTV so it could be on a soundtrack or a show, that's kind of what I'd do."
But Jones doesn't have any plans to take to the stage after he retires from the gridiron.
"Nah, I stay back because that's not going to be my career. My career is going to be coaching my kids and stuff like that," he said.
Of course, there's a chance his kids end up in the industry that Jones turned down.
"They definitely do sing well," he said. "When I'm in the studio, they'll be there sometimes and they'll memorize my songs and I'll tell them just to sing and they'll do their own stuff. They got pretty good voices."
Jones' three boys are all under the age of eight. As happy as they are to join him in the studio, his wife isn't so eager.
"I think I've gotten her down there for one song. We've been together almost 11 years and she's still shy to sing in front of me," Jones laughed. "But I have cousins that are singers and rappers so we'll collab and do some stuff like that."
One of those cousins is a professional songwriter. She's written lyrics for artists like Rihanna and Justin Bieber – "she's a killer writer," Jones said.
And when her songs are turned down by professional artists, they often end up in Jones' hands.
"It's cool," he said.
Asked if anyone in the Lions' locker room could rival his signing voice, Jones was quick to respond.
"Probably not," he declared, laughing. "But nobody's heard me in here anyway. Just behind the scenes, that's how I like it."
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