James Jones departure from the Green Bay Packers seemed inevitable this offseason. As much as the Packers wanted to keep him, it was a almost a foregone conclusion that he had played his last game in Green and Gold.
Well, the news became official last night as Jones reached a three-year agreement with the Oakland Raiders Monday, marking the end of his seven-year career in Green Bay.
Again, the loss of Jones should not come as a surprise to Packer fans. We all knew this was coming but that doesn’t make it easy to say goodbye to a player who has given his all to the Packers for so long.
Jones career with Green Bay was a bit of a roller coaster but after seven solid seasons with the Packers, including a Super Bowl Championship, the former San Jose St product will be sorely missed on the field and in the locker room.
Few people realize just how good Jones has been for Green Bay after he was selected in the third-round of the 2007 NFL Draft but after being a consistent producer year in and year out, Jones now ranks among the top-12 in Packers history in receptions (310), receiving yards (4,305) and touchdowns (37).
The Packers obviously felt that the emergence of second-year wide out Jarrett Boykin, who caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns, while Jones and Randall Cobb missed time due to injury, made Jones expendable.
Boykin’s development along with the need to complete contract extensions with both Nelson and Cobb before the end of the 2014 season made it highly unlikely that Jones would return to the Packers in 2014.
After all, there are only so many guys you can pay and with so many other needs, it would have been hard to justify paying almost $4 million a year to a No.3 receiver.
The decision not to re-sign Jones is understandable. We all know the NFL is a business and this was a business decision by Packers management.
Yet, that doesn’t mean that Jones won’t be missed because while he may have been under appreciated during his time in Green Bay, it’s hard to argue with his production and leadership, neither of which will be easily replaced.