Robby is going to be pissed that I’ve even suggested this. However, I have never quite been on the Jeff Janis bandwagon like he has.
Sure, I would have loved to see the guy get maybe, I don’t know… more than 49 offensive snaps in 2017. But Fat Mike isn’t that creative. His fat, gravy-filled head can’t conceive how to use more than three receivers, rotate guys, create matchup problems, run trick plays and so forth.
The most creative thing old Gravy Head has come up with in the past two years is the damn two-fullback set and the notion that, “Hell, I can just dip this dinner roll right into my ear.”
The fact is, I don’t know if Jeff Janis can play receiver. None of us do. We haven’t actually seen him get a chance to do so.
That makes Jeff Janis nothing more than a valuable special teamer. And don’t get me wrong, JJ is a valuable special teamer.
Consider that the Packers set a team record in net punting average two of the past three years. The first of those years was with that ginger, Tim Masthay, crappily striking the ball in 2015. The only reason he got that record was because of Jeff Janis, who, whatever he brings as a receiver, is exceptional in punt coverage.
Masthay’s net was 40.2, but his gross was just 43.9 and he hit just 18 of 81 punts inside the 20.
Vogel, a rookie, bested Masthay’s net mark at 41.6 in 2017. His gross was a more respectable 44.4 and he hit 19 of 71 inside the 20. Equally as importantly, Vogel hit just two into the endzone in 2017 and Masthay had six touchbacks in 2015.
In 2016, the Packers’ — or Big Ted’s — hand-selected replacement for that ginger fuck was Jake Schum, AKA Jake Bum. Guess what?
Janis was off as a gunner in 2016. He started the year injured and didn’t start to look like his old self until late in the campaign. Hence, Bum also got sent packing.
This isn’t all about how punters benefit from the presence of Jeff Janis, however. It’s also about Janis’ prospects in free agency.
Janis will be a free agent in March. The Packers obviously don’t see him as much more than a special teamer. The thing is, despite all of Robby’s well-placed propaganda (and let’s be honest, EXTENSIVE research), I don’t think the rest of the NFL thinks any differently.
I would highly doubt anyone is going to pay Janis to come in and compete at receiver. After four years and a total of 17 receptions for 200 yards — that simply isn’t a high-value target. It’s an afterthought target that signs with someone during the summer or just after the draft.
In which case, it makes Janis nothing more than a valuable special teams player… to the Packers. Much like Jarrett Bush was. Much like Chris Banjo was.
And that’s why I’m betting Janis is back with the Packers. Maybe for a couple million a year, simply for his value on special teams. Fat Mike will never use him at receiver.
And that’s just what it is. Besides, the guy just likes hunting in his backyard too much.