As the NFL moves into the offseason, teams have decisions to make about who to re-sign and who to let walk. Sometimes they can control who leaves and sometimes they can’t,
As far as the Green Bay Packers are concerned, they have a number of difficult decisions to make. But to me, one of the easy ones, would be re-signing Datone Jones on a one or two-year prove it deal.
Certainly, Jones hasn’t lived up to being a first-round pick, but I still believe he can be a solid player. Transitioning to 3-4 outside linebacker has helped him in my view and if he were to get more snaps, I can see him being a fairly effective player.
He has 58 tackles and nine sack during his career. Last season, his fourth with the Packers, he has 17 tackles and one sack. But truthfully, he didn’t play a ton of snaps.
Jones suffered some injury issues and was also forced to play some at 3-4 end, even though he’s now undersized for that spot, due to depth issues up front.
But to me, he showed enough at outside linebacker to warrant a second look. He was stout against the run and showed decent pass rush skills getting around the edge. He’s not going to be Clay Matthews or Julius Peppers, but he could be a potential starter or at least a good rotational player.
It sounds like Peppers is out the door and Nick Perry could be too. So Green Bay would be smart to get some veteran insurance with Jones. The Packers know what he can do. He’s not an elite player by any means, but he give you some productive snaps.
The Packers took a similar path with Perry last season. They signed him to a one-year deal and he rewarded them with a huge season. If Green Bay uses a similar tactic with Jones, it could pay off in the long run.