Life goes on, and the Green Bay Packers appear to have moved on from wide receiver James Jones. A source said Jones hasn't been offered a new contract and, in all likelihood, won't be. "I don't think Ted Thompson wants him," Frank Bauer, Jones' only agent since being drafted by Green Bay in the third round in 2007, said at the NFL scouting combine. Bauer has been representing football players for more than 30 years. He is one of the industry's most perceptive, respected and hard-nosed agents. Although Bauer said Jones was admired by many inside the Packers' personnel department, the team is set to let him depart when unrestricted free agency begins March 11. Not too many years ago, Bauer said agents would leave the combine after talking to teams confident knowing where their clients would be headed. It's far more perplexing now, said Bauer, with many fewer teams willing to show their cards. According to Bauer, he had appointments with a handful of teams to discuss Jones. Bauer, however, conceded his job was made more difficult because of the phenomenal talent at wide receiver in the draft and what's shaping up to be an attractive pool of unrestricted wideouts. Age is one factor in the Packers' thinking. Jones will be 30 next month. Probably even more significant was the development of Jarrett Boykin in 2013, his second season in Green Bay. Playing behind Jordy Nelson and Jones during Randall Cobb's absence because of a broken leg, Boykin caught 49 passes for 681 yards, a 13.9-yard average and three touchdowns. Just as Jones was one of the players that ultimately made Greg Jennings expendable last March, Boykin is one of the players making Jones expendable this March. "I'm as high on Boykin as anybody in our building," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "He had a heck of a year, and I still think he has another jump in him." McCarthy indicated that Boykin, 24, was a capable No. 3 wide receiver and, with continued improvement, might even become a No. 2. "He's a tough guy and his own man," said McCarthy. "If you could spend more time around him in a one-on-one setting, you would go, 'Wow. OK. I see what you're saying.' "I've always liked Jarrett. I've always felt he had it." Among others under contract at the position are Kevin Dorsey, a seventh-round draft choice who spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve; skinny deep threat Myles White, who had played 123 snaps when injury struck; and waiver project Chris Harper, who was cut by Seattle and San Francisco last year. It won't be long, either, before the Packers commence negotiations with Nelson and Cobb, both of whom could become unrestricted free agents a year from now. Three years ago, Jones tested the free-agent market before coming back to the Packers for $9.6 million over three years. It was money well spent. In 2012, Jones played starter's snaps and led the league in receiving touchdowns with 14. Last season, he was his usual efficient self with 59 receptions for 817 yards (13.8) and three TDs. After playing all 64 games from 2009-'12, Jones missed Games 6-7 with what he said was a sprained posterior collateral knee ligament. In January, Jones revealed that he suffered two broken ribs Dec. 22 against Pittsburgh but kept playing through the final two games. When Thompson, the general manager, talks about seeking "players that love to play the game," Jones would fit the description. Jones dropped four of 98 targeted passes, giving him a slightly better drop ratio than Boykin (four of 80). Despite being impaired by the knee for a host of games, Jones still improved his average gain per catch by 2.41 yards from the year before. "I spent seven years here (and) would love to finish here," Jones said last month. "But we all know the business side of it. "I love those guys. I love playing with my teammates. That would probably be the toughest part if we did have to start over." Barring injury or unforeseen developments, the Packers could always consider bringing back Jones on a short-term contract later in the spring, summer or fall. "It's been our policy and will continue to be our policy that if we can ,we would like to keep our own free agents," Thompson said Friday. "There's always surprises in (free agency) so we try not to get too worked up about what could or couldn't happen." The hot names of wide receivers bound for free agency would be Denver's Eric Decker (age 26), the New York Giants' Hakeem Nicks (26) and Philadelphia's Jeremy Maclin (25).
Packers prepared to let James Jones leave as free agent
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 23