It would appear that Josh Jones has changed his tone and could be around for the 2019 season with the Green Bay Packers.
The safety position was a mess for the Green Bay Packers in 2018 and as a result, GM Brian Gutekunst spent some big money on free agent Adrian Amos and traded up in the first round to grab Darnell Savage from Maryland.
These moves clearly must have irritated Josh Jones who saw himself as a safety and wasn’t open to the idea of taking snaps elsewhere in 2019.
Trying to force the Packers’ hand, Jones would not show up the voluntary OTA practices and demanded that they either trade or release him. He would, however, show up to mini-camp but that was more so due to the fact that he would be fined had he missed. Yet even though Jones was in Green Bay, he wouldn’t practice because of an injury.
With all of that said, as we now find ourselves in the midst of Training Camp it would appear that Jones is ready to move forward with the Green Bay Packers and embrace whatever role he is given this season:
"“Listen, we put the (offseason stuff) in the past. That’s in the rearview,” Jones said Tuesday. “It’s July 30. I’m living in the present. And the present is helping this team, going out there and competing. Helping the Packers get to where we want to be, like I’ve said since I got here.”"
While unfortunately Jones has struggled for the better part of his first two seasons in the NFL, the Packers are far better off with him on their roster in 2019.
For one, he helps add depth at two positions, safety and inside linebacker, both of which have some concerns in that area.
Without Jones, behind Amos and Savage at safety is second-year player Raven Greene who was an undrafted rookie in 2018 but had shown some flashes in his limited opportunities. And while he is off to a nice start in Training Camp, there is still a bit of unknown surrounding his game.
After Greene comes Natrell Jamerson and Mike Tyson, both fringe roster players who are more likely to make an impact on special teams if they make the final 53.
At inside linebacker the Green Bay Packers have the uber reliable Blake Martinez but behind him, there are more question marks. While the hope is that Oren Burks makes the year two jump, there are still a number of improvements that need to be made on his part before he can be a trusted three-down linebacker.
Then we have James Crawford who was a special teams standout in 2018 along with rookies Ty Summers and Curtis Bolton. But at this point, we just don’t know if any of the three are capable of playing significant snaps on defense.
Jones biggest issue since arriving to the NFL has been in coverage, but he is a much better player closer to the line of scrimmage.
Of course, we all remember the “Josh Jones Game” from his rookie season against the Cincinnati Bengals. That game Jones would make 11 tackles, three of which were for a loss, and would also record two sacks.
Jones is at his best when he is attacking the offense while letting his athleticism and natural instincts take over.
Up to this point in Training Camp, Jones has taken snaps at both safety and linebacker, but with the additions of Amos and Savage, he should see more snaps as the nickel linebacker where Jones should also see more success.
With his newfound outlook, Jones had this to say after Tuesday’s practice:
"“Anything that gets me around the ball, gives me a chance to attack downhill, I like that stuff.” Jones would also add, “I feel like I could definitely be one of the best players in the league at that position, that hybrid position.”"
Although Jones lack of reliability at times has come under fire from some Packers fans – if Green Bay and Jones have truly worked things out – we should be happy to have him back for the 2019 season as the Packers are a better team with him than without.