Should Atlanta Falcons target James Jones in free agency?
Should the Atlanta Falcons target wide receiver James Jones in free agency?
Wide receiver is a position of need for the Atlanta Falcons, but targeting a player in free agency could free up draft picks to fix the holes on defense.
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If the Falcons do enter the market for a receiver, it almost certainly won’t be on a big name like Alshon Jeffery. The price tag would be way too high for a player like Jeffery, and the Falcons have too many other needs to spend money on. There’s no guarantee the top free agents even hit the market
But how about James Jones?
Jones has good chance of hitting the market
Even at 31-years-old, Jones can still produce in the NFL. In a disappointing season for the Packers’ offense, Jones still led the way with 50 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns. Similar numbers would go a long way in Atlanta.
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There’s also a very high possibility Jones hits the market. He was brought in as an emergency option in Green Bay when star receiver Jordy Nelson was lost for they year with a torn ACL. Jones happened to become a free agent at the perfect time, and the Packers brought him back on a one-year deal.
But the Packers tend to lean towards youth, which is why Jones left Green Bay the first time in 2014. With Nelson back, they have Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis waiting in the wings, so Jones may not have a spot.
What can he bring to Atlanta?
Jones is a true professional and is a talent. He didn’t enter the best of situations in Green Bay, as he was effectively the No. 1 receiver. Jones’ best work has always come when he’s not the top target at a team. While he’s posted career-best numbers as a No. 1, that’s more due to volume than solid production week in week out.
With Julio Jones dominating a defenses’ gameplan, James Jones would have more opportunities to do what he does best as the Falcons’ No. 2. What Jones does is run good routes, catch contested passes and find the end zone. In his past four years, he has caught 31 touchdown passes. In 2012, he led the league with 14 touchdowns.
Even against tight coverage, Jones has the ability to make tough catches which makes him tough to defend and particularly dangerous in the red zone.
Contract won’t be high
Wideouts the wrong side of 30 don’t make a ton of money generally. After being cut by the Raiders and Giants last offseason, Jones is hardly in line for a mega-money deal. But for the price tag he would command, the Falcons could get tremendous value.
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With Julio Jones lining up as the top target, plugging James Jones in as the No. 2 with Justin Hardy in the slot could help transform an Atlanta passing attack that struggled a lot in 2015.
What are your thoughts on James Jones? Would this be a good move for the Falcons?