James Jones Trade Rumors: Why Dolphins Must Deal for Packers WR
Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that the team hosted Donte Stallworth for a workout, but is also looking to make a deal for a wideout. Kelly writes:
Miami has been actively pursing receivers in a trade, and Green Bay's James Jones is one of the players being targeted. Earlier this week Ireland said the second-round pick Miami got for cornerback Vontae Davis and the third-round pick the Dolphins acquired for trading Brandon Marshall to Chicago this offseason is "ammunition" to make something happen.
Jones was a third-round pick out of San Jose State in 2007 and has been a productive member of the Packers’ loaded group of wide receivers.
For the first four years of Jones’ career with Green Bay, he remained buried on the depth chart as Greg Jennings and Donald Driver were the established starters. But this past season, Driver’s age pushed him down the pecking order, and Jones had to battle Jordy Nelson for a spot in the starting lineup.
Heading into 2011, the Packers re-signed Jones, but there was no clear-cut winner between Jones and Nelson for the second wide receiver role. Nelson broke out as one of the NFL’s premier deep threats this past year, averaging 18.6 yards per reception and catching 15 touchdowns.
This has kept Jones on the fringe, although he still caught 38 passes for 635 yards and seven touchdowns last year. The 28-year-old has the talent to be an every-down player on the Dolphins.
The transition to the Miami offense will be smooth in terms of X’s and O’s with Joe Philbin as the Dolphins' head coach. Philbin was promoted to Green Bay’s offensive coordinator position the same year that Jones was drafted.
Should the Dolphins trade for James Jones?
However, the Packers wide receiver would have to adjust from working with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers to catching passes from rookie Ryan Tannehill. This will be a challenge, but Tannehill certainly needs the help.
The Dolphins are extremely thin at wide receiver since trading Brandon Marshall. Legedu Naanee and Davone Bess are currently pegged as the starters, and they combined for just four touchdowns catches last year.
Miami will find that the “ammunition”—as Kelly calls it—will be especially effective against Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson. Thompson is dogmatically devoted to building his team through the draft, and trading his third- or fourth-string wide receiver for a mid-round pick will be extremely appealing.
This is a deal that could certainly get done promptly if the Dolphins are motivated to make a competitive offer. Jones would be an immediate upgrade at a position where the Dolphins need to get better in order to support their rookie quarterback.
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