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Cory's Corner: The Josh Jones Plan

Remember Josh Jones?

You know, the Packers’ safety that skipped all of the “voluntary” organized team activities in effort to force a trade.  

Well, we are five days away from the start of training camp and there hasn’t been a mumble or a whisper about trading Jones. That doesn’t mean the Packers won’t trade him, because the trade deadline is Oct. 29. 

However, it does mean that training camp could get weird. How many veterans are going to want to answer questions about a guy that doesn’t really want to be there? Imagine being Adrian Amos, ready to approach a new challenge, but the weight of this albatross keeps you frustrated. 

That’s why general manager Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur must work together on this. They need to showcase Jones in the preseason as often as possible. (Which will also keep guys like Amos and Tramon Williams as healthy as possible.) 

Gutekunst and the Packers must blow up every positive performance Jones has in the preseason. Treat it like the Super Bowl. And the simple reason is because Green Bay doesn’t need that attitude rolling into the regular season with a new culture and new coaching staff. 

The Packers have until Aug. 31. That is the final cut down day for every NFL team. That’s when teams must whittle their rosters down to the magical number of 53 players. And it’s also when many teams are trying to plug holes thanks to a rash of injuries during the preseason.

This is where Jones comes in. Granted, he has only started 12 games in two years because his coverage needs work but the Packers could get a fourth or a fifth rounder and try to get some value out of a situation that has quickly gone sour. 

The problem is, the Packers took Jones in the second round of the 2017 draft. They had high hopes for an athletic hybrid defensive back that could roam the back end and eventually become a leader back there. Jones was the second in a string of four defensive backs that were taken in the first and second rounds in 2017 and 2018. Kevin King was also picked in 2017 and the corner entering his third year is arguably the biggest question mark for the Packers heading into this season.

Right now, other teams are likely staying away from Jones. They are balancing his athleticism with his coverage mistakes coupled with his selfish attitude. 

Maybe Gutekunst and LaFleur should even have a meeting with Jones. Tell him if you truly want out of Green Bay, you’re going to have to earn it on the field. Because teams aren’t going to be willing to offer up any trade for a guy that barely played. 

But this isn’t the storyline that LaFleur had envisioned as he entered his first training camp. He would rather be talking about how Aaron Rodgers is meshing perfectly to the new scheme and its new philosophy. 

Yet, here we are: talking about a guy that has struggled to get on the field and oftentimes has been exposed when he’s played. 

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (70) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mark Gaedtke's picture

I wonder if the 49ers would be interested in an even up trade - Josh Jones for their third QB, Mullen. He is acquainted with our system and handled himself pretty well last year when Garapollo was injured. I think he's better than Kizer or Boyle.

Rak47's picture

That's the catch 22, he handled himself well showing some value, especially at his salary. Jones on the other hand has shown no value or at least bare minimal if you linger on the Bengals game 2 years ago. I would love to see it though.
Maybe the Bengals can suckered into a trade. Lord knows it would be the first time.

Coldworld's picture

No point in dwelling on where we took him in the draft. That’s water under the bridge. If we could get a 4th or 5th rounder for him at this point I’d be over the moon.

He is an athletic freak with a diminishing chance that the light will go on enabling him to exploit that on the field. Other teams know that just as much as we do. Add to that his behavior/attitude this off season and I would be very surprised if a GM out there wants to commit that kind of draft capital.

Turophile's picture

I'm not sure if his frustration is about playing time, or position.

Playing time takes care of itself to a large degree. If Jones is good enough, he should and probably will get the playing time, especially as it is a largely a new coaching regime in Green Bay.

Position is trickier, but Jones is in a (potentially) good place here. Despite the addition of two safeties (which I'm sure pained him), the Packers are thin there, which gives him solid chances and one injury away from being a regular starter. If anything the Packers are even thinner at ILB. Martinez is one starter, but other than the question mark that is Oren Burks, this position is possible even thinner than safety.

The chances are there, but it requires a buy-in from Jones and good enough play to become a quality backup pushing to become a starter.

Coldworld's picture

Your analysis makes sense, which is why in my opinion his actions make little to none. I think other teams will also see that and be more wary as a result.

Old School's picture

I see it like this: He was a md-2nd round pick, a size/speed guy. More athletic than Micah Hyde. And he’s had opportunities on the field his first two yeasts but he’s put some bad stuff on film and people have questioned his instincts and coverage.

We get rid of Burnett, Dix, Whitehead and Brice....so Jones has to be thinking it’s his turn.

Then we get Amos, and Savage, and he realizes the plan doesn’t include him as a starter. Then we sign Tyson, a vet safety, and all of a sudden he realizes he’s a special teams guy.

He wants to play and doesn’t think it’ll happen here and I think he’s right. So he needs to go somewhere else. I don’t blame him.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Agreed, OS. This is his career we are talking about, and he isn't in control of it. He also knows he turns 25 this September. Right now he is still young even by NFL standards. If he is "unselfish" he'd be 27 before GB turns him loose.

Josh Jones played 4 snaps over the first eight games. Can't say I blame him, either.

flackcatcher's picture

Guys, If he had a damn brain cell functioning he would figured that out last season. Packers are building a whole new position in their system. Most, if not all NFL teams are doing the same with the wholesale rule changes. Now a smart guy would understand, and work hard to adapt his skill set to show his value not only to the Packers, but the league as a whole. He could demand CB+ money if he becomes a core player in a position with few players at this time able to field the skill set necessary. At this moment, time and his ego are his problems. Like I said a couple a months ago, I still don't get this guy.....

Coldworld's picture

Players don’t have a right to play they have to earn it. He hasn’t earned playing time. Simple as that. All he is is unrealized potential. I don’t deny your summary of his career though I wanted to pick up on the Tyson comment. Tyson is really a special teamer as I understand it: he is no lock to make the roster. If you are right, and Jones is flustered by that, I think he has real problems and, if others share your view, I think his chances of being picked up drop further.

If there is one thing NFL teams value it’s the contract system. A great player may be able to force a move once in a while, but the idea that a player who has never grabbed even a starting role can try these tactics is not going to be a precedent that teams will favor.

Taken together, Jones’ only chance and the Packers only chance of getting any meaningful value for his selection is if he realizes that his only way forward is to prove his value on the field and to go all out in camp.

As has been pointed out above and the league will be aware, there is ample opportunity to do so with this roster, and if he can’t or won’t the best he will be looking at is a backend of the roster minimum wage and limited opportunities elsewhere if he does stay in the league.

Old School's picture

if the Packers thought Jones was the guy, they wouldn’t hav signed Tyson. Add in Raven Greene and Jones is the odd man out.

Jones isn’t “flustered”; he’s just reading the writing on the wall.

fthisJack's picture

the writing on the wall for him should be to work his butt off and earn that 3rd safety/ILB spot instead of whining that he was drafted to be a starting safety. suck it up buttercup or you won't be on the roster and can be someone else's problem.....if you're lucky.

Guam's picture

Either the light bulb turns on or Jones will be one of the last cuts in TC. I just don't see another team relinquishing a draft choice for someone who has proven so little in two years. Unfortunate to waste a second round pick, but that is the hard reality of the NFL.

RWood832's picture

Nobody thought Brett Hundley would yield anything in a trade, but Gutey did get something in return from Seattle.

Coldworld's picture

Huntley had no character question marks and was signed as a back up.

Guam's picture

Hundley is a QB and they are always over valued/over drafted.

Guam's picture

delete

ricky's picture

Molehill, meet mountain. Jones has not done well in the Packers defensive scheme. He wants out so he can get a fresh start elsewhere. He is not a key player or an impact player or anywhere near that. He is a disappointment. Do fans really spend a lot of time wondering who is going to replace Jones? This is not Bakhtiari asking for a trade, or Martinez, or any other player who has proven their worth, and contributed to the team. Why should reporters be asking about Jones? He is a non-entity, and could very well end up being cut. He is Brian Brohm without the trade request. Let it go.

ricky's picture

Molehill, meet mountain. Jones has not done well in the Packers defensive scheme. He wants out so he can get a fresh start elsewhere. He is not a key player or an impact player or anywhere near that. He is a disappointment. Do fans really spend a lot of time wondering who is going to replace Jones? This is not Bakhtiari asking for a trade, or Martinez, or any other player who has proven their worth, and contributed to the team. Why should reporters be asking about Jones? He is a non-entity, and could very well end up being cut. He is Brian Brohm without the trade request. Let it go.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree. I'm not talking or thinking about it these days. It's now up to Jones to come to camp and show something each day. Whether for the Packers or another team . otherwise he will certainly be cut.

Freezn's picture

Jones will never beat Savage out for the starting Safety position and I don't think he can beat out any of the back ups either

stockholder's picture

During the offseason in 2017, the Packers lost T.J. Lang, Micah Hyde, J.C. Tretter and Jared Cook to free agency. All four players signed with different teams and that led to the Packers gaining an extra draft pick in the fourth round, two extra picks in the fifth round and one extra pick in the sixth round in this year's draft. Those extra picks led to the Packers taking J'Mon Moore, JK Scott, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown. Hyde felt betrayed. Not to mention Casey Hayward. And Randall. Josh Jones saw the writing on the wall. He's Dangerous, and now a Cancer. ( play me or trade me). I hope Gute moves him quickly. Kizer and Jones would be a great package for a pick.

Lare's picture

Gutekunst and LaFleur don't need to be doing anything, this is up to Jones agent to be making calls and find a suitable trade partner for him. As long as he's under contract, he'll play for Green Bay or he won't get paid. The other players know the situation and they have enough other stuff to be worrying about.

Old School's picture

Your ignoring the third, and most likely, IMO, possibility: He reports with an mysterious injury. Back, hammy, something like that. He gets paid, he doesn't play. That's what Mike Mitchell did in 2003. Remember when Javon Walker wanted out? You simply cannot force a guy to play for you, and your ability to "punish" him for not playing isn't nearly as great as you think. Report, pull a hammy, get paid for hanging out in the hot tub. That's your punishment.

The ONLY good option for the Packers at this point is to keep him off the field before he can claim a work related injury. That's why we're not going to see him 'showcased' in the pre-season.

His trade value is near zero. Teams can just wait until he's released. They can offer a conditional 7th to avoid trying to claim him on waivers. He doesn't want to be here . Turn the page and fill his roster spot with someone who does. There are NFL caliber players available in free agency yet, even some safeties or guys who can help on special teams, who would actually want to be here. This is a no brainer, IMO.

Coldworld's picture

He would, having not practiced in mini camp likely then end up on the non football injury list and not get cut. If he practiced and went down, the worst the packers would be looking at is an injury settlement. For him to obtain anything significant would mean he is unsigned as incapable of passing a Packers or another team’s physical. In short he would not be playing. Most likely that would end his career.

Old School's picture

An injury settlement means we pay him and release him. How is that better.? And if he’s not really hurt, there’s no reason he wouldn’t pass a physical.

You are operating on the assumption we can force him to play or we can ruin his life? Why?

Bure9620's picture

His frustration is he was a 2nd round pick and he only has value on Special Teams. It would be nice to see if the Packers can hold onto him on the 53 and have him play special teams. My hope is Jones gets a few snaps and makes some splash plays, sacks, or maybe picks off a couple balls thrown right to him, HHCD style, inflating is trade value and allowing us to get a pick for him before the trade deadline. The move of HHCD for a 4th last year was a masterful move by Gute.

Coldworld's picture

It’s really all up to him. As others have noted there are opportunities for the taking. All he has to do is show that he is able to step up and start. If he doesn’t like the role, he needs to show that he can cover deep or face reality.

It is all on Jones. He can prove his value, here or elsewhere, or he can prove that he is out of touch with reality and usher himself out of the league in all likelihood.

ILPackerBacker's picture

LOL what a group! Is this packer fan talk?

A few years ago the saints and drew held voluntary workouts and the packer and Rodgers did not. I can only imagine the outrage of these pompous posters about that how much better all the saints and drew were.

Did Woodson go to VOLUNTARY workouts?

PeteK's picture

You can tell that it's baseball season because that came out of left field.

Gort's picture

Apples are not oranges.
Josh Jones is not Charles Woodson.

Holecrap's picture

He was smart enough to see Randle get out of dodge and go to a sb contender by just acting up a little. I say his mental mistakes are deliberate and he wants out because he doesn't like GB?
I say, play the heck out of him in pre season. If he does well, keep him. If he sucks, jokes on him no one else will want him.
Would not be shocked his agent hasn't figured this out too and advised him to sit out training camp and pre season.

justjan's picture

mental mistakes are deliberate........... mental mistakes are deliberate. This does not compute.

dobber's picture

When Randall was sent to Cleveland they were most certainly NOT an SB contender.

PatrickGB's picture

I say wait and see what happens in TC. If he plays well, keep him and give him the reps. If not then trade him. If he sits out then put him on a did not report status and let him wait it out. Teams lose players all the time to injury or whatever. So let’s see what happens over the course of time. He is only one player and not a key one.

Johnblood27's picture

Randall?
Cleveland?
Super Bowl Contender?

Bye Bye credibility!

Old School's picture

I would like to know why you think that Cleveland, with Mayfield, is more of a contender than Green Bay is with Rodgers. Is Mayfield going to have a better year than Rodgers? Or are they just an all around better team with better coaching?

As far as Randle....and I hope this is the last time I have to address this.....I watched...and rewatched and rewatched…. every single defensive snap of his during the 2017 season. I'm going to be generous here and say that he doesn't have much courage as a tackler. I have absolutely no doubt that when Pettine came aboard and he and the defensive staff reviewed every snap they saw the same thing...….it wasn't that hard to notice.

Add in the fact that he was kind of a PITA in general and I'm not surprised at all that getting rid of him was one of the first things that the new DC and new GM did. This was flat out addition by subtraction. I wish him well in Cleveland, but I don't think he's going to help anybody get to the Super Bowl this year.

Old School's picture

Patrick....what happens if he reports, pulls a muscle in his back or a hammy gets tight, then we have to pay him while he sits in the hot tub?

Are you that Castlebery guy from Zbuds?

Tarynfor12's picture

" How many veterans are going to want to answer questions about a guy that doesn’t really want to be there? "

How many veterans or any player will have the guts to say," This is a FO and Jones issue and don't ask again or the interview is over."

Which is exactly what the players should say.

JakeDickerson's picture

There is not a snowballs chance in hell we get a 4th or 5th round pick for this guy.

Since '61's picture

This should not be an issue. Jones is not a player worth discussing. If he causes any problems during TC the Packers should just chuck him before the cancer is allowed to spread.

If Jones makes a legit attempt to make the team and/or tries to increase his trade value fine, keep him until the end of TC or the trade deadline and make a trade if possible. But again if he proves detrimental to the Packers TC or causes any problems for the new coaching staff just chuck him and move on. If he doesn't want to be here that's fine let him go. We were 6-9-1 with him we can be 6-9-1 and hopefully better without him. Next. Thanks, Since '61

greengold's picture

Totally agree. He -could- be a player, but he won't be a player here, unless he has a huge change of heart, which might work out best for GB. Seems he will likely be cut.

As a modern day Safety, how can Jones be unwilling to perform in a hybrid role? Idiotic.

Coach JV's picture

I forget that Josh Jones is on the team until his name is mentioned... sorry to say. In my mind, that means he is to be let go at the final cuts.

packerbackerjim's picture

Unless he balls out in TC, no way is he on the roster for the season opener.

fastmoving's picture

The Packers "must" do anything at all if it come to JJ. After TC and the cuts they will do the right thing.

I would like to see Jones in a green and gold uniform, when the season starts. Think he has some upside…...

PeteK's picture

Trade him for Duke Johnson , who wants out of Cleveland.

Coach JV's picture

The problem with that is Cleveland doesn't want Jones... so wishful thinking.

Old School's picture

I think a trade is unlikely. I think the most likely scenario is that Jones reports but has an issue with his hammy that keeps him off the field.

There will be no showcasing. If he is hurt, he’ll get paid but won’t play. He wants to play and that’s why he wants a trade. You can’t trade an injured player.

He’ll be released and go elsewhere. The Packers will be rid of a guy who doesn’t want to be here, isn’t going to help us on the field , and who will become a distraction.

As Bob Seger would sat.....turn the page. Fill his roster spot with somebody who wants to be here.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Nobody wants him. Chaulk it up as a wasted draft pick and cut both J. Jones and Spriggs.

Next on the hot seat M. Adam's and K. King

Samson's picture

I'm not sure this is really much of an issue. -- I'm sure Gute & MLF have discussed every possible scenario & have an appropriate reaction set for any of them.

But.... at this point I'm starting to have nightmares that somehow, someway GB's BU QB situation may be season 2019's albatross. -- I just can't see either Kizer or Boyle leading the Pack into the playoffs.... There's got to be a better alternative to anyone named Kizer or Boyle.

flackcatcher's picture

Kizer and Boyle are in a far better situation as backups than last year. They get learn and execute MLF offensive system rather than the Aaron Rodgers scheme/based on the Mike McCarthy system. They are all starting from ground zero. At least they both get to show their skill set in a clean system with a clear understanding of the system. The best thing to happen for those two, is Rodgers is no longer running the game planning for this team. (QB1 bragging then complaining about the game plan. What a ego.....)

PeteK's picture

Isn't that every teams albatross.

Samson's picture

No.

Old School's picture

Pete... the Eagles backup won the Super Bowl two years ago. The Rams got Blake Bortles to backup Goff. Tennessee got Tannehill to backup Marriotta.

We buy car insurance hoping we don’t need it. Personally, I think it’s stupid to the point of malfeasance to not have an alternative to a 36 year old QB with a significant injury history.

Coldworld's picture

In none of these cases were they paying their starting QB as we are. There are only certain things you can do in practice even if you are lucky enough to grab a good 2nd QB when a number of teams don’t have one to start. Of your examples, only the Eagles is really persuasive anyway, and that was a one season wonder for them.

Lare's picture

Between Murphy, Gutekunst, La Fleur and Hackett the Packers have around 100 years of NFL experience. If they weren't comfortable with the Packers backup QB situation I think they would have done something about it by now.

IMO, I'd rather trust the people that do this for a living instead of anonymous posters on a Packers blog.

Tarynfor12's picture

Just because someone does something for a living doesn't automatically mean they're good at it.

If all these people were so good none of them would get fired.

Don't under estimate the knowledge and ability of those not in the career field because they chose another path.

Most of the people in this career field are there via some kind of nepotism and that doesn't mean there good either.

It's a lol argument thinking no one outside a field can't know as much or more as one in the career field of sports.

Coldworld's picture

True, but in this case I will still take the odds on them being in a better position to make a better decision than any of us.

holmesmd's picture

NFL owners pay coaches, players, and staff to win. They pay them a lot of money. To assume that people on the street can do their job as will as they can is arrogant and silly. Thats like saying someone could be a doctor better than a doctor. Not buying it. Sure, SOME fans are knowledgeable. Many more are not but just THINK they are.

fthisJack's picture

it's they're not there Taryn.

sam1's picture

Who knows Jones may surprise and work out and be a major contributor! Likely, maybe not, but you never know until the fat lady sings!

Gort's picture

Fat lady is warming up her pipes for next week.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I don't know why the rush to get rid of him. He hasn't shown much yet, except for one monster game, yet he has size and speed and could be a great backup safety or passing down linebacker. Is he worse than Oren Burkes who showed nothing at all last year? I wouldn't trade him just yet. LaFleur needs to do the opposite, talk to him, tell him that if he shows well in training camp and preseason he'll get playing time, and he's one injury away from being a starter. Ignore the fact he wants out, he may be a bit immature but he wants to play. That's a good thing.

Coldworld's picture

Well he has been here longer than Burks and, as far as I know, Burks has not made public his dissatisfaction with the team because he wasn’t starting last year.

holmesmd's picture

Burka was hurt all last year! Just what were you expecting him to “show”? Burka is better than Jones just based on his mental capacity alone! Jones is a brick. He’s got metrics, that’s it.

AgrippaLII's picture

I was hoping this piece would have some new insight into the Josh Jones situation...but it's just a rehash about what is already known. I imagine the other players will refuse to comment on it or tell the interviewer to direct that question to Jones or Lafleur if they are asked about it. I don't think the veteran players will allow him to become a cancer in the locker room. I do agree that Jones will get a lot of chances during preseason to show what he's got. Writers are always trying to make a drama out of a situation comedy!

vj_ostrowski's picture

“He’s nearly worthless on the field and we don’t need the distraction, but the coaches should feature him in the preseason and talk about him constantly” - uh, yeah, sure.

PAPackerbacker's picture

I doubt any team is just chomping at the bit to see what happens to Jones so they can pounce on the opportunity to sign him. If he wants to be on the roster in Green Bay then he will have to earn it by his performance. There are others who will be competing for a roster spot and if they do better than Jones then by all means release him. It just might be an easy decision based on competition. Jones performance in training camp will determine whether he is worthy of being a Packer. Let the competition begin and may the best man win.

A Pickled Packer's picture

Since we're thin at ILB and Jones's skill set is better him being in the box that at safety, was wondering if they attempt to transition Jones to ILB since we are rather thin at the position and Burkes really hasn't proven himself yet. Like Burkes he may show some value covering TE's and RB's coming out of the back field. He isn't good on the back end at safety so why not give this a shot instead of getting peanuts in return. Martinez needs help, whose that gonna be? Still not sold on Oren Burkes being the answer.

The Marathon Man's picture

There's not a chance in Hades Gute will get anything more than a bag of deflated footballs for Jones. Teams know he's not happy, and has virtually no trade value at this point given his poor cover skills and his ability to be out of position at the most inopportune times, so they'll all wait out Gute until he's forced to waive him. If someone wants to try to convert him into a Deone Buchanon-style LB, they might cough up a 7th-rounder, but that's it.

Crazy Tony's picture

Gotta agree his trade value is very low. He should have been a late round pick to begin with and since then he has shown bad play, maturity issues, zero football IQ, fear of competition, a sense of entitlement, and zero development.. Imo he is a waste of a roster spot and if we can’t get a late rounder for him we should cut him. There are much better players who are actually willing to compete that deserve a roster spot and will get snatched if we put them on the ps. I normally don’t write players off so quickly but i know this kid and he’s not changing any time soon.

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