Receiver James Jones signed with the Oakland Raiders this week after, for some reason unbeknownst to us, generating little to no interest in free agency. Jones generated even less interest from his former employer, the Green Bay Packers.
Kind of like when you see your ex-girlfriend at a party and just look the other way like she isn’t there. The old blow off.
From the look of things, the Packers weren’t going to re-sign Jones at any price. Maybe we’re overstating things a little bit, but there’s no evidence the Packers bothered to make an offer and there’s no reason they shouldn’t have.
Why do we say this?
The contract Jones signed with the Raiders is virtually identical to the contract he signed with the Packers in 2011. We’d argue Jones outplayed that deal, which was for three years and an average of $3.2 million per season, and we’d be right. He outplayed it by leading the league in touchdowns in 2012 alone. Never mind the rest of his stats, the playing through pain and the virtual elimination of his well-documented drop problem.
Jones’ current deal with the Raiders is for three years and averages $3.33 million per season.
Could the Packers afford that? Easily. They still have around $17 million in cap space still available.
They could even afford it after signing their draft picks, signing a few more of their own free agents and handing out extensions to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
In fact, we’d bet Jones would even have taken less than Oakland offered to stay in Green Bay. After all, Aaron Rodgers > Terrelle Pryor… by a wide damn margin. And winning > losing, for that matter.
But, the Packers obviously wanted nothing to do with James Jones, which is a mystery to us.