The Miami Dolphins are weak at wide-receiver. Yes, even with the addition of Chad Ochocinco. Brian Hartline is nursing a non-serious leg injury, Davone Bess has made his money in the slot, and no one really knows what Ocho will do on the outside. After that, it’s Clyde Gates, Marlon Moore, and Roberto Wallace along with a slew of other youngsters.
Then there is Green Bay’s James Jones. Earlier this week he said that the Packer WR corp is very deep and he will lose reps. He is open to a trade and that makes some wonder if the Packers would be as well. In Green Bay, they rarely summarily dismiss one of their veterans but this may be a case of filling a need elsewhere. Either by acquiring a player or draft pick compensation. Forget the fact that Jones and Dolphins HC Joe Philbin are familiar with each other. What I want to know is can he be a positive piece to the puzzle?
Statistically speaking, Jones only caught three more passes than Brian Hartline last season when he notched 38 in an offense that spreads the ball around pretty well. His 635 yards on those receptions is more than Hartline and Bess but half of Brandon Marshall’s from the 2011 season. Those numbers are just yards. Where James Jones makes his money is down the field.
Last season Jones’ longest reception was 70 yards. He posted seven touchdowns which was one more than Brandon Marshall’s season total and three more than Davone Bess and Brian Hartline combined. Three more than TE Anthony Fasano. James Jones isn’t a number one WR, at least he hasn’t been in Green Bay where the Packers have Greg Jennings lined up in that role. To show how wide spread the GB offense was, and how the Dolphins offense will eventually be, the number 1 wide-out in GB, Jennings, notched 67 catches for under 1,000 yards and only two more touchdowns more than Jones.
Jones was ranked 4th in almost all statistical categories for WR’s last season. Including receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Speedy number 2 WR Jordy Nelson led the team in all categories including TD’s with 15. Compared to Miami’s 2011 stats, James would have finished third in receptions, second in yardage, first in yards per catch, and first in touchdowns. Statistically speaking, Jones will not make a major impact on the roster by filling the number vacancy left by Brandon Marshall.
What he will do however is give the Dolphins a weapon that knows how to play a role. He is not a “me” player, knows the team first philosophy, and could make the WR’s around him more prominent. The question really comes down to how much would it cost to get him and how much do the Dolphins brass think Chad Ochocinco can contribute in actual games?
If the price is right, say an early day three draft pick, I make this move. Jones has only one real fault and that he sometimes loses his concentration and will drop a pass, but so did Brandon Marshall…consistently. Jones however seems to recover from those mental lapses and usually won’t make the mistake again and I can’t recall a game where he made one with the game on the line. Can he be that go-to-guy in Mike Sherman’s offense? They of course would know the answer to that.
I’m not saying that James Jones is a viable final answer or a definite solution, but I do think that he could add something to this offense. Again, if the price is right. What that price would be, and whether the Packers would be interested in even trading the receiver is another question. Looking at the roster it definitely appears they have a plethora of wide-receivers and some will not be around to start the season.
What do you think?