Brad Jones worked his way up the NFL-ladder as a seventh-round draft pick from Colorado in 2009. After a disappointing 2014 campaign, he'll have to find his way back up once again. The Green Bay Packers announced this Friday afternoon that the six-year linebacker has been released.
Jones, 28, played sparingly for the Packers in their base defense in 2014, contributing mostly on the special teams unit after losing his starting job at inside linebacker to Jamari Lattimore and eventually Sam Barrington. He recorded a career-low 18 tackles this past season, but his best year with the Packers came in 2013 when he started 12 games and recorded 84 tackles (60 solo). Last season he also assisted on 24 tackles and recorded three sacks--the second-highest in a season for him--and forced a fumble. Sadly, the last on-field memory Packers fans will have of Jones is his role on Seattle's fake field-goal attempt in the NFC Championship game.
General Manager Ted Thompson said the following in a statement released by the team:
We thank Brad for his contributions and dedication to the Packers over the past six years. We wish him all the best.
Jones' separation from the team only now questions what the Packers will do with veteran A.J. Hawk as well. Hawk's play has declined at the same position over time after being selected fifth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, though reports surfaced earlier today that he had surgery immediately following the season to remove painful bone spurs from his ankle. Inside linebacker will most definitely be a position of need for the Packers as they head into the draft this spring.
As a result of this move, the Packers will absorb a salary cap charge of $1 million, the prorated portion of Jones' signing bonus; however, Jones' base salary and additional compensation total about $3.7 million, which is the amount that the Packers will end up saving against the cap as a result of the move. Based on today's NFLPA salary cap projection of $143 million, this move leaves the Packers with approximately $30 million in cap space.