With training camp opening up this week, the Green Bay Packers have to be thrilled to sign first round draft pick Datone Jones to a rookie contract. The defensive end is set to make $7.7 million over four years with a team option for a fifth year. He will receive roughly $4 million in terms of a signing bonus while he is guaranteed $6.3 million.
Hopefully, Jones will become the player everyone in and around the organization knows he can be so that he can earn a much bigger contract, such as what Clay Matthews accomplished this summer.
His personal success will immediately transition over to the team, as he will be a critical piece to get the defense performing at a high level. It may take some time to get going, but there is no question he must turn into an elite player over the next few years in order for the Packers to get back on top. Green Bay needs him to be a top-notch pass rusher to go along with Matthews and outside linebacker Nick Perry. They also need him to be effective in the run game.
Jones posted 62 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks while suiting up for UCLA in 2012. The Packers will need him to put up monster numbers in his rookie season, while he will have to consistently attack the quarterback with the same intensity that Matthews does. There is a lot riding on what Jones will be able to do along the defensive line, which certainly puts on added pressure. However, if he wants to help Green Bay win another Super Bowl he will have to be everything the Packers expect right out of the gate.