A savior for the Packers in 2015, receiver James Jones is not expected to return to Green Bay for the 2016 season.
Agent Frank Bauer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Packers are “going to go with the young guys” at receiver, leaving no room for Jones, who turns 32 at the end of the month.
Such is life for a veteran receiver.
Let go by the Oakland Raiders and then released by the New York Giants at final cut downs, Jones found a familiar home in Green Bay. Reunited with Aaron Rodgers, he caught 50 passes for 890 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015—helping the Packers stay afloat despite the loss of All-Pro receiver Jordy Nelson.
Jones will now have to find another home.
The Packers showed very little interest in returning Jones after the 2013 season. He eventually landed in Oakland, catching 73 passes with six touchdowns for rookie quarterback Derek Carr.
Jones has reliable hands, and he made a few of his biggest plays in contested catch situation last season. But the veteran no longer has the speed to separate from athletic defensive backs, which allowed some of the better defenses to take him out of the game in 2015. Jones didn’t have a single catch during Green Bay’s overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals in the postseason.
The Packers will move forward at receiver with Nelson, Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis.