DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24: James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers scores a third-quarter touchdown on a 65-yard pass from teammate Aaron Rodgers #12 during the third quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Packers defeated the Lions 27-15. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Personally, I have nothing against James Jones. He's an above-average player who has produced at a consistent level for the Green Bay Packers, and he's more than capable of being a good No. 3 receiver for a playoff team, or a No. 2 receiver for a team that isn't quite as good. Unfortunately for him, he plays on a team that is very deep at the wide receiver position, and he's competing for time with a second-year player expected to have a big year.
Randall Cobb is going to see more time in the slot this season. He might not completely supplant Jones as the No. 3 option, but he is going to see more time. Jones is going to struggle to produce at the same level as he did last year, even if he plays mistake-free football.
James Jones' stats in 2011: 38 receptions, 635 yards, 7 tourchdowns, 16.7 yards per reception - These weren't the best numbers of Jones' career in terms of receptions and yards, but he posted career highs in touchdowns and yards per reception. Considering the slow start that Jones got off to, catching just two balls for 16 yards in the first two games of the season, these were fantastic numbers.
Cobb's coming for him, though, and there are rumors that both Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley have a shot to make the team. Jermichael Finley will be expected to do more as well, so there will be less balls to go around to each player.
Why I might be full of it - Cobb hasn't done it on a consistent basis yet, while Donald Driver is another year older. It's not unfathomable that Jones will significantly out-perform both of them in training camp and preseason, holding onto his job and then some. There's no guarantee that Cobb is going to improve significantly, even though that's what everyone expects.
Projected Stats for James Jones' in 2012: 24 receptions, 338 yards yards, 4 tourchdowns, 14.1 yards per reception - I'm expecting to see something between the numbers he posted in his second and third years in the league this season. Jones should be the fourth WR and fifth passing option for a team that passes a ton. He'll still be productive enough to earn what he's being paid, but he won't put up numbers similar to his first, fourth and fifth years in the league.