I won’t argue with the Jeff Janis critics and haters out there. We’re on the same side on this one. After three years, it’s clear that Mike McCarthy doesn’t assign any value to Janis as a wide receiver. There certainly is no further need for the Green Bay Packers to waste anymore time, take up a roster spot, or spend more money on a player the coach so thoroughly rejects.
I do believe, however, but won’t debate the point, that Janis has trade value. Maybe a fifth-round draft pick, and if not, a sixth or seventh choice. I urge Ted Thompson to test out his marketability. If no one wants to invest a draft choice for his services, then I recommend he be released as soon as possible. Let’s make way for another receiver with better prospects for becoming a meaningful part of the Packers’ passing attack.
After all this time, keeping Janis around for the final year of his contract just to be a punt team gunner can’t be justified. Plus, the Packers still have a logjam at the receiver position. In addition to Janis not making it, there’s a good chance that Trevor Davis is no longer wanted by the team, and it’s far from clear whether Geronimo Allison has the right stuff. The Packers need to clear the roster of players who have stalled out and they need to “develop” some new receiver prospects ASAP.
Rodgers Needs Receiver Help
The playoff loss to Atlanta dramatically revealed just how thin the team is at receiver. In this NFC Championship game, Aaron Rodgers threw for 227 yards to his three veteran receivers: 82 to Randall Cobb, 78 to Jared Cook, and 67 to Jordy Nelson.
The rest of the team’s receivers totaled 27 yards (16 to Davante Adams, 11 to Geronimo Allison, and zero to Richard Rodgers, Trevor Davis, and Jeff Janis). And it’s not like these three three-year men and two rookies didn’t get playing time. Here are the percentages of offensive snaps for each against the Falcons: Adams and Allison, 40%; Davis, 32%; Rodgers, 25%; and Janis, 21%.
Remember when the team began the season thinking there was so much receiver talent that seven roster spots were needed for wide receivers? For many reasons, four have not produced on the field, or five if you count tight end Rodgers. Allison, who I’ve always been lukewarm about, still has time to develop, but it doesn’t appear that Richard Rodgers, Janis, or Davis will ever make significant contributions to the Packers’ passing attack.
In case you forgot, two of those original seven receivers on the roster were Jared Abbrederis (now with Detroit) and Ty Montgomery (now a running back).
Some additional mention should be made of Green Bay’s futile tight end searches. Justin Perillo, another of the Packers’ third-year guys, was quietly released in November. On February 10, he re-upped with the Bears. I never got to see enough of Perillo to second-guess the team on this one, but in the 15 catches he made here I never saw him do anything but look good. Perillo is just another in a lengthening list of tight end rejects: Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Colt Lyerla, Ryan Taylor, Jake Stoneburner, Kennard Backman, Tom Crabtree…
Not only do the Packers need to be developing new receivers to be solid backups and contributors, they’ve also got to find and develop receivers for starting and starring roles, as Nelson will be 32 when the 2017 season begins and Cook will be 30. Say what you will about Davante Adams, he’ll never be able to fill Nelson’s shoes when it comes time for Jordy to hang it up.
How badly do the Packers need to add quality to the receiving corps? I personally would use the Packers’ first draft pick on a wide receiver projected to be Jordy’s complement and eventual replacement. If they miss the mark once again when they draft more receivers in 2017, Aaron Rodgers is going to be faced with a downright inferior group of players to throw to over the next several years. Besides, if Nelson, Cobb, or Cook (assuming he stays) gets seriously injured in 2017, we’re looking at 2015 all over again.
Will Thompson and McCarthy Do the Sensible Thing?
That’s a lot of background. The whole point being that the Packers and Jeff Janis need to part ways – for the good of both parties. The team ought to try to get some value for him. There must be some team who saw Janis in the 2015 playoff game against the Cardinals, and has a longer memory than McCarthy.
If no trade offers are made, he should be released outright. It makes no sense to use up a roster spot and waste training time and effort on a player who, other than in emergencies, Big Mike won’t play and Aaron Rodgers won’t throw to.
Luv ya Jeff, you deserve so much better than what you got from the powers-that-be in Green Bay. Here’s hoping you’ll get a fair chance elsewhere!