Green Bay Packers shouldn’t trade Josh Jones just yet

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 24: Josh Jones #27 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a sack during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 24: Josh Jones #27 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a sack during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Just as OTAs were beginning Josh Jones requested a trade, but the Green Bay Packers shouldn’t be in a hurry to move on from him.

In what was a surprise to many at the beginning of voluntary OTAs, Josh Jones was not present and had stated that it would be best for both him and the Green Bay Packers if they would release or trade him.

Looking back at the 2018 season, Jones had already been vocal about his frustrations with the lack of playing time that he was receiving and it wasn’t until the trade of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix took place and an injury to Kentrell Brice that Jones would finally see more time on the field.

Since coming to the Green Bay Packers as a former second-round pick in 2017, Jones has struggled to see consistent playing time as he has often times been a liability in coverage.

Fast forward to this offseason where the Green Bay Packers would sign free agent Adrian Amos and draft Darnell Savage in the first round, Jones clearly felt that the writing was on the wall as far as his future at safety in Green Bay would go.

To some extent, he is correct as he likely won’t be seeing as many snaps at safety as he would like, but with that said, he can make an impact elsewhere.

Now with mandatory mini-camps underway, Jones has shown up but it is likely due to financial reasons above anything else. Had Jones skipped mini-camp he would have received nearly $90,000 in fines and for a player with a base salary of $850,000, that just isn’t a smart business decision.

However, Jones would not practice because of a hamstring injury. Whether that’s Jones not wanting to risk injury given his demands or maybe the Packers’ staff hasn’t been able to clear him, who knows? But as of now, it doesn’t appear Jones will be doing much participating.

Yet even with Jones’ demands, the Green Bay Packers shouldn’t give in for two primary reasons. One, he can still provide value to this team in a number of areas, and secondly, he has no leverage whatsoever.

While Jones would struggle with coverage responsibilities as a safety, he is much better playing closer to the line of scrimmage where his natural instincts can take over.

Given the additions of Amos and Savage along with the question marks at inside linebacker outside of Blake Martinez, it’s very possible that Jones could see a fair amount of snaps in the old Morgan Burnette hybrid role which is a much better use of his skill set.

In Jones’ rookie season against the Cincinnati Bengals, we saw how successful he can be as a Blitzer and a box defender. In that game, Jones was all over the field and would make 11 solo tackles, three of which were for a loss, along with two sacks, and two quarterback hits.

And although he has had his issues at safety, with unknown players such as Raven Greene and Mike Tyson behind Amos and Savage, Jones is still likely to get some snaps there as well, even though it may not be as many as he desires.

Jones is also a player that the Green Bay Packers can use heavily on special teams where he can be an impact player on both kickoffs and on punts.

Overall, Jones brings versatility to this defense which defensive coordinator Mike Pettine covets and he has the potential to make some plays when he is on the field.

Perhaps it was coach Matt LaFleur after the Packers’ first mini-camp practice who summed up best what Jones can bring to this team:

"“I think he’s a versatile guy. He can fill a lot of roles, especially in Pettine’s defense where we’re going to play multiple defensive backs and put these guys all over the place. He’s a talented young player that I think can help us.”"

Moving on to reason number two that the Green Bay Packers shouldn’t trade Jones just yet is that he is in no position to make this demand.

For one, he hasn’t performed nearly well enough to command a huge, if really any trade market. And in 2019, Jones’ carries a cap hit of only $1.15 million, meaning, if he continues to sit out through training camp and into the preseason, financially there is very little impact on the Packers.

By no means do I expect Jones to go this route because as an unproven player in this league, he’s only hurting his career by sitting out for an extended period of time.

Really the only choice that Jones has is to lace ’em up and go perform to the best of his ability at whatever roles the Packers place him in.

If he is able to make some noise in training camp and in the preseason, he is giving himself the opportunity to earn more playing time in Green Bay, which is what he wants. However, if GM Brian Gutekunst decides that the fit here just doesn’t make sense anymore, then Jones has at least helped his trade value.

There is a scenario that I can see where if Jones is underperforming or isn’t fitting in with the defensive scheme, that Gutekunst could trade him before the deadline as he did with Clinton-Dix last season to at least get a draft pick for him, knowing that he is likely gone in 2020.

Next. Defense, it is time!. dark

But until then, the Green Bay Packers should hold tight because Jones can still provide value to this team in multiple facets with his versatility and eventually Jones will have no other options but to participate in team activities.