James Jones knew this day eventually would come. In today’s NFL, it’s practically unavoidable. Whether it was going to be him, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings, there was going to be a time when the nucleus of the Green Bay Packers’ receiving corps would disband. It was thought that might be when Jones hit free agency after the team’s Super Bowl run following the 2010 season, but facing a bear market, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound receiver wound up signing on for three more seasons in Green Bay. It wasn’t until this offseason, following the quartet’s fifth season together, that the breakup occurred with Driver drifting into retirement and Jennings bolting for a five-year, $47.5 million deal in Minnesota. “We all understand the business aspect of it. We knew we were all talented,” Jones said. “You couldn’t keep us here forever, so we knew eventually one day this would happen.” Now, the 29-year-old Jones has become the most veteran receiver in a room suddenly packed with rookies and first-year hopefuls, a stark contrast from the 2011 season when two practice-squad receivers, Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, turned down offers to join active rosters elsewhere to remain in Green Bay. Jones insists there’s plenty of ammunition left in the aerial-driven offense with himself, Nelson and 22-year-old Randall Cobb, who developed into a legitimate offensive threat in his second professional season. Behind them, the names aren’t as flashy. Second-year receiver Jarrett Boykin, who made the 53-man roster last season after attending the team’s rookie camp on a tryout last May, and seventh-round selections Kevin Dorsey and Charles Johnson lead the list. All told, the Packers have 11 receivers on their roster looking to replicate the same productivity in the passing offense that became commonplace with Driver, Jones, Nelson and Jennings over the past five years.
Packers to start season with new generation of receivers
Packers News | May 26