Even after cutting camp darlings Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, the Green Bay Packers may not be done making changes to their stellar group of Wide Receivers. Rumors have started to swirl about the availability of 6th year man James Jones. While Jones drew little interest just a season ago as a Free Agent, phone lines have rung off the hook in Green Bay with teams desperate for a WR are asking about Jones. If Jones is on the Trade Block, who would be the best fit for him, and is it in the Packers best interest to trade him?
James Jones already has the size (6’1 208 lbs) and speed (4.59) to be a starting WR, he came into camp this year in the best shape of his life, and according to ESPN’s John Clayton was the 2nd best WR in camp after Jordy Nelson. In 2011, Jones served as Green Bay’s No.3 WR, and while his 38 receptions and 635 yards may not be great, his 7 trips to the end zone on only 38 catches is far more impressive. Unfortunately for Jones, he stands little chance at moving ahead on the depth chart, and with Randall Cobb nipping at his heels, his role as the No.3 WR may not last long. If Jones wants to take the next step in his career, he has to let management know he is willing to accept a trade to get more opportunities elsewhere.
If there is one thing the Green Bay Packers have incredible depth at, it has to be the WR position. Already armed with Pro Bowler Greg Jennings and 2011 breakout star Jordy Nelson, just the top 2 guys give Green Bay one of the best receiving duo in the game. Then when you add James Jones, 2nd year man Randall Cobb, and veteran Donald Driver there is really no comparison across the board. If Green Bay were to trade James Jones, it would open the No.3 slot for Randall Cobb, who impressed coaches in camp and showed last season he can make big things happen with his speed. While Green Bay has depth at WR, the team could use help in the Secondary and at MLB after losing star LB Desmond Bishop to a torn hamstring and 2nd year CB Davon House will be limited all year with a shoulder injury. Another option for GM Ted Thompson would be to trade Jones for draft picks in 2013, which could be even more beneficial with Thompson’s pedigree of draft success. If Green Bay is getting calls about Jones, it would be in their best interest to make something happen, and use depth at one position to fill holes on their defense.
The question now is who is in the most need for a WR, and when you look around the league there is a perfect fit in South Florida. When you take a look at the Miami Dolphins depth chart, it is almost laughable when compared across the league. Davone Bess is a strong option as a No.3 WR with his speed and hands, he shouldn’t be near the No.1 job on a depth chart. As for No.2 man Brian Hartline, he is a question mark health wise, and like Bess is better served as a No.3 WR on any other team. If Miami truly wants to help rookie Ryan Tannehill progress quickly as a rookie, then they have to give him weapons to throw to. James Jones could step in as the team’s No.1 WR and become the go to guy in the passing game. If the lack of depth at WR and for the sake of helping Tannehill isn’t enough, the icing on the cake has to be with Head Coach Joe Philbin. Philbin served as the offensive coordinator in Green Bay last season, and already has a familiarity with Jones. Philbin would know exactly how to use Jones in the passing game, and it would be a win for everyone in Miami.
This trade just makes too much sense for the Packers, Dolphins, James Jones and Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins have a stock load of 2013 draft picks that could be packaged, which could be turned into gold by Ted Thompson. Meanwhile James Jones gets to shine for a new team, and Ryan Tannehill will finally have a WR to throw to. Let’s make it happen Ted Thompson and Jeff Ireland.