The forgotten man in the Green Bay Packers receiving corps always seems to be James Jones. For most of his career, Jones has been the number four receiver on the team behind the likes of Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver. With the injuries to Jennings and Nelson this season, Jones had his opportunity to shine.
Jones spent most of the season as the number two receiver to Randall Cobb or was a slot receiver and he took full advantage of his extra playing time. Jones led the led the team in touchdowns this season with 14, which doubles Jones’ previous career high of seven touchdowns which he had in 2011. He also had career highs in in receptions with 64 and and receiving yards with 784.
The performance this year by Jones was big in more ways than one. With Jennings becoming a free agent this offseason the Packers are going to have to give him a large contract if they want to keep him in Green Bay. The decision will be tough for the front office, but with Jones showing that he is capable of filling the hole, the Packers may be more willing to let Jennings go and have their future in the hands of Jones.
This is only Jones’ sixth year in the league and Aaron Rodgers has already shown that he has plenty of faith in him. Throughout Rodgers entire career, Jones is the only player that he has ever lobbied for that the Packers re-sign when it came to negotiations. The public backing of Jones shows how much confidence that Rodgers has in his wide receiver. After his breakout season, Jones has proven that he deserves more playing time, especially in the red zone.
While it’s too early to predict what will happen during the 2013 season, don’t be surprised if Jones is in more of the gameplan for the Packers offense. Jones is entering the prime of his career and has already established trust with Rodgers. This could be the first of many great years for Jones in the Green Bay offense.
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