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Packers Agree to Deal with LB Brad Jones

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Packers Agree to Deal with LB Brad Jones

The Green Bay Packers have agreed to a new deal with linebacker Brad Jones, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Jones made a free-agent visit to Tennessee and reportedly had interest from several other teams. However, just one day after meeting with team officials at Lambeau Field, Jones has agreed to return to Green Bay.

A backup for most of his first three NFL seasons, Jones emerged as a key contributor in 2012 once Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and D.J. Smith (anterior cruciate ligament) were lost for the season. A fill-in at inside linebacker from Week 7 on, Jones finished with 77 tackles, two sacks, four passes defensed and a forced fumble over 10 regular-season starts.

UPDATE: Jones signed a three-year deal worth $11.75 million, with $3 million in signing bonuses. 

If Jones found his market colder than he expected, the Packers could be getting a team-friendly deal. Either that, or Jones returned from visiting with other teams armed with the leverage needed to get the deal he wanted from Green Bay.

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 (49) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ArodMoney's picture

Have to think he had offers from places where he could have been a starter. I think him and Bishop are the front runners to start right now.

Fan's picture

What about Smith?

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

I agree. No way Jones beats out Smith if Smith is healthy.

Stroh's picture

You kidding? Jones is much better than Smith. Not that it matters cuz neither is nearly as good as Manning LOL. Jones and Smith are backups IMO. Manning will be a starter soon over both.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think I was just debating on the other thread with someone who was convinced that Hawk's starting job is protected. Let's see the numbers for Jones. That may tell us a lot. And Hawk takes a cut and a couple of days later they sign Jones? Coincidence?

Stroh's picture

Packers wouldn't have bothered renegotiating Hawk if they were going to start Jones over him. They would have released him outright if they had any intention of starting Jones ahead of him. Either way they play different positions at ILB. Hawk does the dirty work so Bishop/Jones can run to the ball. Jones is a Weak ILB and Hawk is a strong ILB. The 2 aren't interchangable, since not all ILB are willing and able to take on the OL every down like Hawk does. Jones won't be starting over Hawk. If Bishop cant return, he can play for Bishop.

Gotta be a very Packer friendly contract that his market was soo soft no other offers were made.

ArodMoney's picture

If they cut him his cap hit would have been the same this season no matter what. Might as well keep him on the roster in case of injuries.

Just because they had different roles last year doesn't mean things can't change this year. Hawks moved all over the place in his career and so has Jones. Yea maybe Hawk can eat up one blocker better, but does that make up for his coverage deficiencies?

Stroh's picture

They would have waited to release him till after June 1, so the cap hit wouldn't be as much. The fact they bothered to renegotiate instead of releasing him virtually guarentees Hawk will be a starter. They're still paying him about 5M he won't be a backup at that price. For all the talk about Hawks issues in coverage, he does have them, but in a little over 1/2 a season Jones gave up more 20+ yd receptions. He hardly excelled in coverage. He should be the best ILB in coverage, but he wasn't very good last year either. Jones is gonna be a backup ILB unless Bishop can't get healthy and Manning doesn't develop.

MarkinMadison's picture

Please explain why Jones can take on OTs as a OLB in a 3-4, but not guards or centers as a SILB in the 3-4?

Stroh's picture

He sucked taking on OT too. Why do you think they moved him inside?!

MarkinMadison's picture

Because Bishop and Smith went on IR...

Stroh's picture

They moved him inside during traing camp. That where most of his reps were in camp. Didn't cut it at OLB so they were trying him inside.

Ma Linger's picture

Even Hawk isn't dumb enough to realize that the money he lost, Jones got. I'm sure those two will get along great this year. I think they call it 'screw your buddy'.
Wonder if they trade Hawk down the line? I can't think of anyone who would want him.

Derek in CO's picture

Hooray!!! We finally kept somebody!

Evan's picture

How soon you forget Robert Francois.

Ma Linger's picture

Who?

cow42's picture

cool, i guess.

jeremy's picture

Wouldn't you rather have him at SILB than Hawk? Especially at the assumed price...

cow42's picture

actually - no.

i don't think jones would be able to take on blockers as well as hawk.

i'd rather see jones at WILB and bishop at SILB.

really hope manning ends up being better than jones or hawk.

jeremy's picture

Really? He's taken Tackles every down at OLB and IMO is a their best LB covering TE's. I would not be surprised to see him at SILB in the Nickel over Hawk all of next season. I agree on Bishop and Jones, I just see them at the opposite positions. Bishop can make a lot of plays on the weak side.

trvs's picture

Super Random Idea.... What if the Packers traded Hawk to the Vikings?

Eh? That could be funny/interesting...

I hope Manning can take a big step forward this year.

Lars's picture

Love it. A 7th round pick is good enough.

Chad Toporski's picture

Packers are on the books for $7 million in dead money against the cap with Hawk's contract.

That cap hit accelerates in a trade.

PadLevel's picture

$7 Million in deadmoney... How could that happen to our genius GM? Isn't he the prodigy that single-handedly built this team with his business acumen and drafting prowess? Had to vent my frustration a little - its maddening to see other teams get better and we are stuck with McCarthy's promises of solving the Read Option by a visit to Texas A&M. Good luck with that plan!

madmanJack's picture

so how can you tell what teams have gotten better when no games have been played? oo...you mean on paper...like the Eagles last year...gotcha!

PadLevel's picture

Respect your opinion, but I wish we used the Ron Wolf model and did not waste the prime years of Rodgers, CM3 and Raji. Eagles went the Redskins route and were careless with their money. It doesn't have to be the Eagles way or the Teddy T way - those are two extremes. 49ers had no reason to bring in additional talent - they are already the most talented team in the league, yet they did not remain complacent. JMHO

Stroh's picture

Yeah that Ron Wolf model got Favre alot more SB rings didn't it?

Chad Toporski's picture

"How could that happen to our genius GM?"

He did it on purpose.

http://jerseyal.com/GBP/2013/03/21/packers-contracts-the-salary-cap-and-...

Ma Linger's picture

McCart ain't a rocker scientist that's for sure. Hey Mac, were on the three and your bringing in Koon, I bet its at trick. He is going to run the ball. How inventive.

Ya he won a SB but he almost blew it by horrendous play calling. Apparently Rogers can't throw for three yard TD's and we do have the fullback on the team that were paying.

Plus that always reliable place kicker if we don't score.

redlights's picture

I'm hoping they bring Urlacher in; McMahon brought us a Lombardi, who knows??

Evan's picture

Yeah, McMahon was integral.

jeremy's picture

Bring Sharper back too, they need a Safety!

MarkinMadison's picture

I'm happy to see Jones back. I feel a lot better about ILB now.

Nononsense's picture

With Francois and Jones back they have to trade or cut Hawk, there is no way Hawk wins a starting spot this year and its just not good business to pay a backup around 3 mil with a cap number of 5 mil.

Trading him before his roster bonus is due would be the ideal thing but Id trade him even if the Packers have to pay that.

Get him the hell out of town now.

Chad Toporski's picture

Like I said above, the Packers would be forced to eat $7 million in dead money by trading Hawk before June 1st.

cow42's picture

not a bad call.
that restructured deal probably makes him more "tradable".

i'd be cool with...

bishop
jones
manning
draft pick
smith
*francois
*lattimore

*one of these two gets cut

that draft pick would have to be someone who plays SILB, though - otherwise bishop's the only one who could play there.

aw - hell... who cares? they never play base anyhow.

ArodMoney's picture

There is a 0% chance of Hawk leaving this season

Ma Linger's picture

I would never wish an injury on anyone but if like Hawk got a serious case of chicken pox or something and had to miss a bunch of games, then our run defense would improve greatly with Jones.

Stroh's picture

Didn't expect this... market must have been very soft. You would think a team would sign him as a versatile backup and ST. With Packers depth at ILB tho a little tenuous he should have been to get an offer.

Ruppert's picture

I would personally rather see Jones playing strictly special teams when a draft pick beats him out of an ILB job.

mark's picture

Jones is a very good player. He's gotten better every year and he may take an even bigger leap this year after all his playing time last year. I always assumed we'd never be able to bring him back. I'm thrilled we did.

Stroh's picture

I think he's as good as he's gonna get. Versatile career backup and ST player. Good solid guy to have on the team but he's not going to improve by any great amount anymore. He is what he is...

Matt's picture

Well TT won't be signing anymore free agents.

I bleed Green More's picture

I think its a good move, get the young guys a bit more experience.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Tinkering Ted scheming again!

dawg's picture

TT needs to pull Rabbits out of his hat on draft day!!!
Or, his legacy will decline. Just sayin!

PackerPete's picture

Actually if one has read Silverstein's article, then it's clear that Jones got a substantial contract, possibly higher than Hawk. What I think will be happening is that Jones and Hawk will be starters, and the Packers are hedging against the possibility that Bishop is not the same player anymore. People seem to keep forgetting that once Jones started, he was a 3 down player. Hawk was the one taken out on 3rd downs. Smith will be a backup, if he'll on the roster at all. Manning could get a 2nd chance to show what he can do, and Lattimore and Francois will be competing for one spot, which is mostly ST. My money is on Francois, since he could also play as a starter if needed and has shown that already in the past when Bishop and Hawk were out.
I think it also means Ted will not draft ILB, I think there will be a OLB drafted but that's it. Hopefully the draft for defense will focus on DL and Safety positions. Offense will be OL, RB, QB, and WR, not sure about the order.

Brooklyn81's picture

Draft pick and IM happy

Nononsense's picture

I was under the impression that Hawks roster bonus had yet to be payed but it has so its clear that I won't be getting my wish. I won't wish injury on anyone but thats probably the only way he doesn't start this season and thats a crying shame.

Still doesn't change my belief that Robert Francois is our best current ILB to play Hawks position of SILB.

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