James Jones: The Packers odd man out

 

James Jones could be on the run to another team once the CBA is signed and free agency kicks in. This author thinks it would be a good thing for Jones and the Packers. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

James Jones will most likely be the odd man out for the Green Bay Packers …
While I like what Kevin McCauley over at Acme Packing Company has to say about Donald Driver’s shelf life and the upside of signing James Jones, but I am not convinced that Jones is valuable enough to get a big payday from the Packers … For three reasons: Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson and the new guy on the block, Randall Cobb.
As McCauley so accurately points out, Driver was down in catches and yards last season – the lowest since his rookie season. However, Driver’s injury-riddled season was just as good as Jones’s full season with as much playing time as DD.
Throw in the fact that the veteran Driver brings so much more to the locker room … Experience, leadership and team loyalty … Not to mention his desire and knowhow in winning.
We should also talk about consistency and reliability … Driver rarely drops balls, can still get open and is one of Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guys in tough situations.
But Driver isn’t the only nor the main reason the Pack should allow Jones to look elsewhere for a job.
Jordy Nelson proved himself as valuable receiver, if not more valuable as Jones with big catches and big games last season, not to mention his performance in last season’s biggest game.
But even more important was the drafting of Cobb. If this rookie fits in as well as Coach Mike McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson said he could, his spot on the roster would make Jones that much more expendable.
Paying Jones makes him the starter opposite Greg Jennings by default – that is unless he falls flat and simply doesn’t earn the job. In that case the Packers will have to revert to Driver anyway, pushing Jones to the bench as a high-priced reserve.
Allowing Jones to move on will be a win-win situation for both the Packers and the receiver. Jones will have the opportunity to move on to a team where he can be a starter … The Packers will have the chance to give Nelson more playing time, bring a new dimension into their game with Cobb and work tight end Jermichael Finley back into the offense.
Jones has been a good player for the Packers the past four years … He will probably be a good player for at least another four or five years … It just probably won’t be for the Packers.

Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Chad Clifton, Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Mike McCarthy, NFC, NFL, Randall Cobb, Ted Thompson, Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

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  • BubbaOne

    I would be more convinced of your stance to let Jsmes Jones go if Driver wasn’t 36 yrs old. He’s said he wants to play til he’s 40 but realistically his chances are slim he’ll make that let alone be productive, esp as a WR.

    If Driver is not part of the equation due to injury/age then you have Jennings, Nelson, Swain, and a rookie in Cobb. We’ve seen over the years rookies usually don’t have breakout seasons.

    So yes it’s possible letting Jones go works, I’m just not convinced yet and glad I don’t have to make the decision.

    • http://lombardiave.com apackphan

      BubbaOne, I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision either, but as for Driver … he’s got one more year left where the Packers will let him get some records and spot play him. His experience will be invaluable. Not only that, but the offense will try to involve the tight ends and running backs more in the game, thus taking some of the pressure off the outside guys. Don’t get me wrong, they will still make big plays and will be a factor, but the offense will strive for more balance this year between the short passing game and the running game with some bombs thrown in …

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