Coming into this weekend there was much excitement over this new "legal tampering window" that the NFL was trying out this year. We all waited for an explosion of news and rumors with a few key signings thrown in. Then Saturday came and…..well…..nothing happened. Oh there was a story here and there, but nothing really too earth shattering. On the Packers front there was next to nothing. Sunday evening things changed a bit and a story emerged that might be an ominous sign for many Packers fans.
JS Online is reporting that eight teams have contacted Brad Jones’ agent since late Friday night. It seems that Jones has not flown under the radar as many of us thought and is drawing much more interest than I expected. This is great news for Jones’ camp, but it may be troubling for Packer fans. The Packers may have a bidding war on their hands if they want to keep the recently converted ILB.
Jones has been an interesting player to watch as the free agency period approaches. Some media outlets have been very high on Jones pointing to his flexibility and strong 2012 campaign. For example PFF has Jones listed as their third best available linebacker and Pete Prisco at CBSsports.com has Jones listed as the 23rd best available free agent this year. Meanwhile, other sites have not been as kind to Jones. NFL.com has Jones listed as the 74th best available free agent and Jones failed to even crack ProFootball Talk’s list of the top 100 free agents.
Jones had an impressive 2012 season for the Packers after making a successful transition from OLB to ILB. He started the year playing mostly on special teams, but was forced into the starting lineup after injuries to D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop. After taking the starting job he was impressive and quickly became an upgrade in pass coverage and run defense. Many Packer fans have been hoping that he will be resigned by the Packers and compete with A.J. Hawk for the starting ILB job opposite of Bishop in 2013.
We will have to wait until Tuesday to see if this new development causes Jones to sign with a different team. Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and as such he cannot sign a contract with a team until 3 P.M. Tuesday, March 12th.