Josh Jones wasn’t happy with a lack of playing time last season and that frustration continued when the Green Bay Packers signed free agent safety Adrian Amos and selected Maryland’s Darnell Savage in the first round of the NFL Draft. Expecting that his playing time won’t increase much with those personnel moves, Jones opted to skip the start of OTA’s this week.
Coach Matt LaFleur made sure to mention to reporters on Tuesday that OTA’s are “voluntary” under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, but it’s simply unheard of in today’s NFL for a player to miss the teams off-season program without a legitimate reason.
LaFleur said he has not spoken with Jones and told reporters that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst would handle the situation. LaFleur didn’t answer how he would handle the situation if Jones misses the teams mandatory minicamp, which starts on June 11.
Jones still has two years left on his original rookie contract, leaving him little bargaining power.
Veteran teammate Tramon Williams said he understood Jones’ frustration.
The Packers could dig in and wait this out if they choose. The acquisitions of Amos and Savage mean the Packers have their plan at safety and they have Williams, who is working at corner, but played safety last season.
Jones did get playing time last season, but it came after the Packers traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice was injured. The Packers likely went the direction of adding Amos and Savage after deciding that Jones wasn’t going to be the long-term answer.
Jones could still return. He won’t draw any fines until he misses minicamp time. Such a move would likely come with further disruption to the locker room. So the Packers could try to trade the former second round pick, most likely not getting a lot of value in return. Or they could release him altogether. Time will tell.