Indianapolis Colts: Why team should pursue James Jones


Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After a year in which Andrew Luck spent much of his time throwing to two former undrafted free agents (Da’Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen) and one former sixth-round selection (LaVon Brazill), it would likely be wise for Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson to provide the young quarterback with a few extra weapons prior to the start of the 2014 season.

Luckily for Grigson and the rest of the Colts’ front office, one of the more highly coveted wide receivers of this year’s free agency period has interest in signing with Indianapolis.

James Jones, who has played his first seven professional seasons with the Green Bay Packers, told NFL Network’s Around the League that, while he “would love to go back (to Green Bay),” he has “thought about places that (he) would like to go play, whether it’s in Indy or…San Diego or somewhere.”

The Packers aren’t expected to re-sign Jones, and if they don’t, he and the Colts could prove to be an ideal marriage.

After tearing his ACL in Week 8, Reggie Wayne is expected to be healthy for Week 1 of next season. Jones, therefore, would only have to serve as Indy’s third option (after Wayne and T.Y. Hilton) at receiver. And, on an elite team like the Colts, that’s exactly the role a player of Jones’ talent should fill. He’s far from a scrub, but he’s also not a perennial Pro-Bowler.

Over the past four years, Jones has never had more than 64 receptions or more than 817 yards receiving in a single season. He has, however, averaged 53 catches, 729 yards receiving, and seven touchdowns per season. Those are relatively impressive numbers, especially when considering how much Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has enjoyed spreading the ball around throughout his career.

With a Wayne-Hilton-Jones three-headed monster at wide receiver and with running back Vick Ballard returning from an ACL tear of his own, Luck will have weapons at his weekly disposal like never before. And, to the benefit of Jones, the former San Jose State receiver will still have a productive role on a championship-aspiring team. Both parties–Jones and the Colts–would benefit from this (potential) acquisition.

Bottom line: If the Packers refuse to re-sign James Jones, he simply needs to hop on I-65 South and travel about 400 miles, right into the heart of Indianapolis.