The Buccaneers’ wide receiver corps is still thin. Could they look to add another veteran for the depth issue that they have?
Buccaneers’ fans have heard countless amounts of names and rumors that the Bucs could be looking at to fix their depth issue. “What about Alshon Jeffery if he is not franchise tagged by the Bears?” “How about Roddy White, he has familiarity with the coaches?” These are just two of the bigger names that have reached the rumor mill in Tampa. Unfortunately, the Bears did franchise tag Jeffery, and White only wants to play for an immediate contender.
Recently, the Bucs’ website released an article featuring the names of three free agents that fans should keep an eye in the future. One of those three names was James Jones. Yes, the Green Bay Packers’ hooded internet sensation.
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The 32-year-old journeyman has bounced around plenty during his tenure in the NFL. Jones was drafted in the third round of the 2007 draft by the Packers and immediately made an impact on their team. He was able to amass 4,305 yards and 37 touchdowns in his first seven years, all with the Packers, but eventually his time in Title Town came to an end. Jones signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders where he only lasted one season before being cut by the team due to the 2015 selection of Amari Cooper.
Jones then found himself without a job, but was able to quickly sign with the New York Giants. Jones didn’t last long in the Big Apple, only to go through the offseason and pre-season before being cut once again. A day after his release, the Packers reached out to Jones offering him a one year deal to come back and help the injury prone receiving core that they had in the 2015 season.
This previous season he was able to catch a career high 890 yards, and it is not question that without Jones that Packers could not have lasted into the divisional round of the playoffs. Once the season ended due to the duel in the desert with the Arizona Cardinals, Jones expected to be re-signed to the team as he stated in an interview with Jason Wilde of ESPN.
"“I wasn’t mad that they didn’t bring me back, but I was surprised,” Jones stated. “Me and Mike had a very good conversation at the end of the year after we had lost to Arizona, and I kind of felt like, ‘OK, cool, I’m going to be back.’ Whether it’s [a] one-year [deal], whether it’s two years, I felt like Mike was going to bring me back. But he didn’t.” “But I don’t have any hard feelings, I love all those guys over there, and I hope that they do good.”"
It is obvious that Jones has a certain type of loyalty to the Green Bay organization, but he did say he wanted to keep playing during that interview. So why not Tampa Bay? The Bucs need depth and James Jones is more than depth. I t also is evident he has plenty left in the Tank. If V-Jax has an injury prone season, who steps up to help? No one wants to see another year where the only true receiving threat is Mike Evans. Relying on the small, young Buc receivers or the recovering Louis Murphy is not a route anyone wants to see.
Coach Koetter wants to implement the long ball more in this upcoming season, who better to do it then Jones? He has a proven track record, everyone knows he can play, so why not bring him to Tampa Bay? What do you say Bucs’ fans?