Expect Jones to Drop Balls for a Different Team in 2011Posted:Mar 8th, 2011 4:49 pm
When labor peace is finally reached, either in the next two weeks or the next six months, James Jones will undoubtedly be an unrestricted free agent. And a team out there will whisper into his ear that he will start for them and be a focal point of their offense. And he will jump at the offer.
After all, you've seen his quotes, right? "I want to be a starter...I don't know if that will happen here with Donald Driver playing until he's 40." Are you kidding me? Driver is slowing down and the end is near. Jones has a chance to play opposite Jennings for years with one of the game's top QBs throwing to him. The Pack plays in 3-4-5 WR sets more than anyone in the NFL.
The Packers' brass will lament the loss of Jones...for about a minute, and then they'll move forward and reload. Sure, they'd welcome him back with open arms--at the right price. We've seen moments of brilliance, only to be erased by inexplicable drops at the worst possible times.
Ultimately, this offense won't miss him. Provided Jermichael Finley returns at 100%, the team will once again feature him in the offense, along with Jennings and the other receivers. Look for the Packers to add a receiver in the draft--it could be in the first few rounds, if they find someone who can also handle returns.
The offense would enter 2011 with Jennings, Driver, Nelson and a rookie (plus Swain) at WR, and Finley, Quarless and Crabtree at tight end, with Grant, Starks, a third down back and the three fullbacks.
My guess is the offense won't lose a step and won't overpay a talented, but maddening WR. Rodgers can make mediocre WRs look good and good WRs look great. I say the Pack takes its chances that they'll find someone else and begin reloading that position.