being cut by the New York Giants on Saturday,
receiver James Jones and the Green Bay Packers
agreed to a one-year deal. Jones played seven years
with the Packers before going to Oakland in the 2014
GREEN BAY — James
Jones is back where he started, and he believes he's the same player
the Green Bay Packers remember.
After all, he hasn't
been gone that long.
"It feels like
I've been gone for 10 years and I've only been gone for a year,"
Jones said Monday, after his one-year deal with the Packers became
official. "A lot of hugs I've been giving out here. Like I rose
from the dead a little bit.
appreciate it. It's good to see these guys. They were family to me for
seven years, so it's good to be back home."
Jones spent seven
seasons in Green Bay before signing a three-year, $10 million
free-agent deal with the Oakland Raiders in March 2014. Although he
caught a career-high 73 passes in Oakland, he managed only 666 yards
and was released this spring. He caught on with the New York Giants
but was released on the final roster cutdown Saturday.
By Sunday, he was
back in Green Bay, and a couple of hours after he landed at the
airport, he was on the roster, signed to help a wide receiving corps
that lost Pro Bowl receiver Jordy Nelson to a season-ending knee
injury in preseason.
"I knew it was a
possibility considering what happened to my buddy Jordy," Jones
said of returning to Green Bay. "I was with (the Giants), so I
really wasn't even thinking about it. But when I got released, I knew
it was a possibility. (I'm) glad to be here. Get up to speed and
hopefully help win some games."
That will start with
Sunday's season-opener against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field,
where Jones is expected to be in uniform and likely will share the
third receiver role with rookie Ty Montgomery behind starters Randall
Cobb and Davante Adams. He is in football shape after spending camp
with the Giants, and the Packers' playbook, while containing some new
wrinkles, hasn't changed all that much in the past 17 months.
"There will be
new concepts (for Jones to learn); there are every year. There will be
variations of concepts that existed when he was here," Packers
coach Mike McCarthy said. "I don't think he will have any major
learning curve or anything like that. He'll pretty much focus on the
(weekly) game plans. We don't really have the time to go back and go
through all the installs and things like that."
Asked if he's
concerned about getting up to speed in the offense, Jones said that
"99 percent of it is the same. Aaron has switched a couple of the
signals and stuff like that, and me and him will get together and go
over some signals for some of the things that are going to happen in
Green Bay released
second-year receiver Myles White on Monday to make room for Jones on
the 53-man roster. White had a team-high 157 yards receiving in the
Jared Abbrederis, was one of nine players signed to Green Bay's
practice squad. A Wisconsin native, Abbrederis was a fan favorite
after playing his college ball in-state with the Badgers, though his
career has been slowed by injuries since being drafted in the fifth
round last year.
Bradford, a fourth-round pick in 2014, and defensive tackle Christian
Ringo, a sixth-rounder this year, were among other practice squad
The Packers were
excited to sign Jones because their pass-catchers behind Cobb and
Adams were unproven. Not only is Montgomery a rookie, but second-year
man Jeff Janis caught just two passes for 16 yards last season as a
The 31-year-old Jones
caught 310 passes for 4,305 yards and 37 touchdowns in seven years in
Green Bay, playing one season with Brett Favre and six with Rodgers.
In Oakland, his quarterbacks were Matt Schaub, Matt McGloin and Derek
"He's a good
football player," McCarthy said. "Let's not lose sight of
During his final two
seasons in Green Bay, Jones had 64 receptions for 784 yards with an
NFL-leading 14 touchdowns in 2012 and 59 catches for 817 yards and
three TDs in 2013.
Still, he knows he
has doubters after being cut by two teams in a four-month span.
"I feel like
I've got a lot to give. I feel like I'm still playing at a high
level," Jones said. "I had the most catches of my career
last year. I don't necessarily feel like I'm falling off. But I've got
a lot of people to prove wrong. If there's any time to do it, it's
right now with the best quarterback in the league."