The long, strange standoff between safety Josh Jones and the Green Bay Packers has come to an end.
The Packers finally cut ties with the embattled 2017 second round pick by releasing him with a non-football illness designation, per the team. The move comes after Jones had asked to be traded in May after missing a chunk of the offseason program but the Packers could not find a suitable partner. Jones initially broke the news himself on Sunday morning.
It’s a sad end for a player who flashed promise early in his rookie season only to find himself buried on the depth chart as 2017 and 2018 went on. Jones saw action mostly at safety but also played some inside linebacker in Mike Pettine’s defense last season but found himself on the roster bubble this year after the Packers signed Adrian Amos and drafted Darnell Savage as well as the rise of Raven Greene.
As for his reported illness, Rob Demovsky of ESPN reports Jones has hyperthyroidism and has been dealing with it for awhile. Demovsky also noted the condition “can be treated with medication” and “it’s not believed to be anything that would prevent him from playing.” What remains unclear if the illness really is the reason behind his release or this is just Green Bay’s way of classifying the release of a player who had become a thorn in their side.
In terms of where this leaves the Packers, Jones is yet another second round whiff on defense for former general manager Ted Thompson. Jones joins former cornerback Quentin Rollins and former offensive tackle Jason Spriggs as recent second round busts selected under Thompson. The jury remains out on cornerback Kevin King, Thompson’s final second round pick who has been plagued by injury himself but has also shown flashes of being a shutdown corner when healthy.
It’s unfortunate the Packers weren’t able to even get a single pick for Jones even it would have been a fifth or later. It would have been a net loss considering where he was drafted but it at least would have been something.
Instead the Packers and general manager Brian Gutekunst are once again left empty handed and in a deficit of talent thanks to a drafting blunder of the previous front office regime which, to be fair, Gutekunst was a part of.
Jones and Green Bay never fully clicked and now he’ll get a chance to jump start his career elsewhere and he will likely be claimed on waivers.
Where he will land is unknown but Jones definitely will not be back in Green Bay.