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Departure of ILB Brad Jones Becoming More Likely?

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Departure of ILB Brad Jones Becoming More Likely?

The writing could be on the wall for the Packers to lose free-agent linebacker Brad Jones.

According to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Jones arrived in Tennessee for a visit with the Titans Thursday and remains there Friday.

It's Jones' first official visit, but more could be coming if Jones leaves Tennessee without a deal. Agent Josh Wright told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that as many as eight teams have expressed interest in the 26-year-old linebacker since the start of free agency.

If interest in Jones is as vast as reported—his visit to Tennessee certainly helps confirm such an idea—the Packers might be priced out of re-signing a player who made 10 starts as a fill-in last season.

Season-ending injuries to both Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and D.J. Smith (knee) thrust Jones into a new role—playing inside in the 3-4 defense—and he went on to register 77 tackles, two sacks, four passes defensed and a forced fumble.

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the Packers' best inside linebacker last season, although his play did slip once the number of snaps piled up and the postseason began. His best game came against the Titans in December.

Of the interior linebackers still on the market, only Kevin Burnett had a higher PFF grade than Jones last season.

If signed, Jones would be the seventh new player for the free-spending Titans this offseason.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (37) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Denver's picture

I won't miss Jones much at all, but here's hoping Bishop stays healthy and the Pack find themselves a stud ILB in the draft.

Kevin's picture

Not gonna lie, kind of upset that Ted is seemingly content to let Crabtree and Jones walk. Quality back ups with a lot of value on special teams and they shouldn't be too expensive.

If you aren't going to sign other teams' superstars, at least keep our role players

Evan's picture

"Ted is seemingly content to let Crabtree and Jones walk. "

You don't know that.

imma fubared's picture

This ain't offer by a far stretch. We could also lose Shields, EDS is more than likely gone too and Findley's status is not assured.
Plus were relying on Bishop and Moses to come back and play not play one game and miss the season. Bishop is injury prone, Jones aint.

The poster formerly known as Bearmeat's picture

cant keep em all. good for jones

mudduckcheesehead's picture

Yeah. If we can't keep him, I hope he gets his money from somebody. I'd still like to have a smart, hard working, character guy like Brad on the team. But if we can't afford him, I hope he gets us a nice compensatory pick next year.

Lou's picture

Jones was a surprise to make the team in his rookie year, has always been solid on special teams and was serviceable as a spot starter at both inside and outside LB and in addition always seemed to have a smile on his face. If somebody as incompetent as Walden can get $4M a year you have to bet Jones will get contract offers, whether he gives Thompson a chance to match no one knows but he seems like the kind or person that would entertain that thought.

Mojo's picture

I remember reviewing Jone's combine testing and some of his game highlights after Ted drafted him. I thought he had a good combine and the game film was impressive, especially when he had to chase someone down to the sidelines. He showed good speed. I think he's a better athlete than most people realize. Plus he's smart. If he's selected by another team, he could take off. Too bad we didn't see much of him here.

Rocky70's picture

Injuries didn't help him any but you're correct. Bishop almost got away when it was obvious he should be on the field. Jones may end up gone for the same reason.

The problem is obvious. If AJ Hawk didn't exist, Jones would already be re-signed & penciled in as the ILB for season 2013. Another TT mistake?? -- The mistakes are adding up.

Stroh's picture

Jones and Hawk play different positions dude... Hawk has to take on OL while Jones (or whoever the weak ILB is) gets to run to the ball to make plays. Turnover plays are a problem w/ Hawk, but please quit w/ the Sign Jones to play Hawks position. HE can't... Hawk does all the thankless jobs to ALLOW the weak ILB to make plays!

cow42's picture

this is why i'd rather draft a guy like minter as opposed to a guy like ogletree or brown.
this is also why i don't like the idea of bishop and smith as starters... or bishop and jones.... or bishop and manning. who takes on the OL in those scenarios?

bishop is the playmaker - and he's good at it (and smith/manning should be his backups). his ILB partner's gotta' be a take-on-blockers guy.

minter would be better at it than hawk is.

by the way - i'm not advocating drafting minter... just a guy like him... probably can find a guy like that later than where minter'll go.

also - just because jones is visiting other teams doesn't mean he's gone.

tt's just letting the league tell him how much jones is worth. once he knows that then he'll make a decision.

imo jones is expendable (if he proves to be too costly). bishop, smith, manning, and lattimore are all in that spot. what the Pack really needs is a better "hawk".

Stroh's picture

Bishop is the ILB that probably can play Strong ILB as well as Hawk. Francois did pretty well in breif exposure, so having him back is a good idea too. IMO, Manning and Bishop at ILB give the Packers the best improvement. Ogletree and Bishop (moved to strong ILB) would be the other option. But I really think Manning is gonna step up this year. They gotta get him on the field. Plays like a faster Bishop w/ very good playmaking ability.

Rocky70's picture

Please --- Get a clue.
Positions in the NFL are not as intricate & specialized as what you may think. I mean, Jones moved from outside to inside & he did very well with the move. He can play BOTH inside positions. Just like there are many OLB who can play on the DL when switching from 3-4 to 4-3. --- You really need to read more & post less.

You have no argument ---- Again.

Stroh's picture

Bishop probably could play Hawks spot, He has the physicality to do it. Jones is too soft! get a Clue!

Rocky70's picture

Above is for "Mr. Stroh"

Alias Evan, BeddarCheddar, Jamie, mark, Devil Doc, California Cheesehead, hayward4president, trvs & many others.

Isn't it nice to be duped by ONE poster over & over & over. Look for the 3 dots --- (...)

MarkinMadison's picture

First time as pro ILB last year and he did fine. Covered well. Good speed. Nothing to do put pay him or let him walk. Tell you what though, TT better draft two ILBs, and not just in the 7th. Postion is looking awfully thin right now.

Stroh's picture

Jones gave up more 20+ yds completions in a little over 1/2 season than anyone else on the team. He's supposed to be a good cover guy, but he wasn't last year.

CSS's picture

Jamari Lattimore and Terrell Manning are Bishop clones (physically and athletically), they will both be interesting camp story-lines for me this summer. Lattimore's first year at ILB last year, and late in camp. Want to see a healthy Manning.

Stroh's picture

Manning is gonna be a damn good player! If they release Hawk in June so the cap hit isn't so high, I would slide Bishop to Strong ILB (Hawks position) and start Manning. He's a faster, version of Bishop w/ the same physicality and aggressiveness. Other than drafting Ogletree, Manning is easily the ILB that can really elevate the Defense the most. Manning and Bishop would be a terrific set of ILB IMO.

Lattimore I like as an athlete but he's not nearly as good at Manning IMO. Smith is too small and would get picked on relentlessly.

imma fubared's picture

Too bad none of these guys are ever healthy like Jones is. At least he is on the field.

MarkinMadison's picture

He stayed in on 3rd downs, so he definitley had more opportunities to give up 20+ yard completions than Hawk, I'll give you that much. PFF gave him a +4.6 against the pass. He may have given up some plays, but he was still the best ILB the Packers had against the pass all last year.

Denver's picture

I keep forgetting about Manning when I'm advocating for a pretty high ILB being picked this year. It will be interesting to see how he plays when hopefully healthy this year.
Hawk just restructured so he's probably going nowhere for now.

cow42's picture

stroh -

i agree that bishop could play hawk's spot but he's played so well at the WILB position that i'd be apprehensive about moving him out of it to make room for a rookie or an unproven guy.

Stroh's picture

It would be a way to get the 2 best playmaking ILB on the field together. It would probably decrease Bishops playmaking ability a little but it would hopefully get another playmaker at ILB on the field.

Now that Hawk restructured its a little unlikely. But Manning has the ability to be as good or better than Bishop IMO.

jeremy's picture

I'll be disappointed if they draft an ILB in the early round. they are just fine with what they have in Hawk, Francois, Bishop, Smith, Manning and Lattimore.

OL, DL, S, RB, TE, OLB, are all higher priority than ILB right now.

KurtMc's picture

Maybe TT will go for dumervil. now available. Come on TT, do something... Whatever

Evan's picture

Yeah, sign something. Who cares if the player is good or anything. Just throw money at someone.

...

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

...

mudduckcheesehead's picture

lol ...

Point Packer's picture

Yeah, just give someone something so we can have a piece of the FA pie. Come on TT, make life interesting in the off-season. Just for once....please.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Jones can be replaced with a decent 6th round draft pick. No big loss.

I bleed Green More's picture

I see a lot of new faces playing this year.

imma fubared's picture

and just where are we getting them from with only 7 LATE ROUND draft picks. Our rivals all have early round picks where the real players are.

Evan's picture

Stroh
"HE can’t… Hawk does all the thankless"

Cow
"This is also why i don’t like the idea of bishop and smith as starters… or bishop and jones…. or bishop "

Oh my god, Cow and Stroh both used ellipses. They're the same person! Maybe we're all the same person.

I bleed Green More's picture

Were going to see some young guys this year.

Nononsense's picture

Robert Francois should and hopefully will replace Hawk in the starting lineup. Hes easily our most physical ILB and really the only guy we have that truly fits that spot IMO. If we need someone to take on offensive lineman and not get pushed around, Francois is your guy.

In 3 games on defense he tallied 21 tackles(3 for loss) 2 Ints and 1 Forced Fumble. Hawk has zero Ints and zero FFs in the last 35 games including playoffs. Its time to give someone else a try.

Let Hawk, Bishop, Manning, Lattimore and Smith all battle it out to play opposite Francois. Thats my 2 cents anyway.

morgan mundane's picture

I personnally had Jennings go to the Vikes a couple of months ago so I'm not that shocked. Neither am I surprised Ted my zero moves in FA. I expected all this to happen and us losing a good handful of players to other teams.

Why. Ted is the only GM with a fixed budget. The Pack were in finally straights last year and this year is even worse. Get used to it.

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