Hey, don’t look now, but the Green Bay Packers are tearing up that free agent market! They’re like a house on fire! The Packers re-signed linebacker Brad Jones on Thursday. He got $11.75 million over three years.
What? You’re not impressed?
Well, at least they did something. We wouldn’t call the Packers inside linebacking corps a strength — in fact, we’d call it the opposite — but bringing Jones back was a good move.
Jones was a non-factor at outside linebacker during the first three seasons of his career. He was moved inside last year and was pretty much an afterthought. That is until Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith went down with season-ending injuries. Jones was thrust into the starting lineup alongside the lackluster A.J. Hawk and played pretty well — certainly better than Hawk.
Jones put up 77 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble while making 10 starts.
Now, we’re not going to pretend or even suggest that Jones is the long-term answer for the Packers on the inside, but he’s proven to be a decent backup and spot starter. Let’s say Bishop and Smith are never the same. We know Hawk is terrible. Jones is a great insurance policy.
If there’s one thing surprising about the move, it’s that that Packers made it at all. Other than the fact — and we’re pretty sure about this — that Ted Thompson has been drifting through the ether on a whiskey, coke and hooker bender since free agency started, the Packers reportedly had competition for Jones.
And you know what happens when the Packers face competition. In the playoffs they wilt like a flower in winter. In free agency, they dick around until another team signs the guy they want and then wonder what happened.
Jones previously visited the Titans, who offered him a shot to compete for a starting job. Is Jones getting that in Green Bay?
Competition certainly doesn’t hurt. In addition to the guys we mentioned, the Packers also have second-year player Terrell Manning, Jamari Lattimore and another recent re-signing, Robert Francois.
Of the bunch, Bishop should be the only one guaranteed of a starting spot. That is, if he’s healthy.