James Jones, though a valuable Packer, will be given the opportunity to walk in free agency. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

James Jones: We love ya, man

I really like James Jones, not only as a football player, but as a person. He seems like the kind of guy that one would love to hang out with – you know, just having a soda and pizza while watching the game.

I can’t think of one bad thing to say about the guy. Since his early years when we all watched him drop sure touchdowns, he has been a model of consistency, complementing the likes of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb with big catch after big catch and touchdown after touchdown.

Nothing exemplified his value to the team than this past season. Though he didn’t have the eye-popping statistics he did in 2012, it was his gutty performances and will to play through injury that struck a chord with us all.

Right now I’m feeling his pain. He’s a player without a team. It doesn’t look or sound like the Packers are going to go out of their way to re-sign Jones because I think they feel they can pick up a solid replacement in this year’s draft … there is, after all, a very deep class of receivers who will be available in May.

Jones said this week that he wants to re-sign with the Packers – of course, he said the same thing all free agents say at one point or another – that they want to stay with their present team, but have to move on.

Here is what he had to say Tuesday on the NFL Network’s Around The League:

“Honestly, I feel that there is a chance that I can be back, and then I honestly feel that there’s a chance that I can’t. This is the time where you just kind of wish that something would happen so you can know where you’re going.”

I can relate to that … I think we all can relate to that.

And if you’re like me, I think you’re probably hoping that he won’t find the right fit out there in the free agent waters and will come back to sign for at least another couple of years. However, we all understand that probably won’t happen.

It’s been a good run for Jones in Green Bay and though I feel bad for him leaving, unlike the bitter feelings I felt when Greg Jennings left, I will have a completely different feeling if and when he signs elsewhere … as long as it’s not with the Vikings.

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Tags: Free Agency Green Bay Packers James Jones

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