Lions WR Marvin Jones just submitted an early entry for NFL tattoo of the year -- a DOPE neck/back tribal piece with an even doper story.
Turns out, Jones' great grandma was full Cherokee Native American ... so with the help of his Tongan teammate, Haloti Ngata, Marvin says he got hooked with one of the true OGs in the tribal game to pay tribute to his roots.
But there's a twist -- Marvin tells TMZ Sports he made sure to tie in something that reps his football background (can you figure it out?).
The craziest part -- the tattooer FREEHANDED IT ... and still finished the tat in just 2 sessions!!