17

March

Former Packers WR James Jones Joins Oakland Raiders

James Jones

Jones leaves Green Bay after six seasons and will join the Oakland Raiders

James Jones is now a former Green Bay Packer.  The free agent wide receiver has signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders.  The move will reunite Jones with former Packers personnel man and current Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Jones reportedly received some early interest from the New York Jets and was said to be in favor of joining the Carolina Panthers, had they expressed interest.  On Monday, Jones chose the Raiders and the San Jose native is headed home to California.

The Packers didn’t seem to have an early interest in bringing Jones back according to Frank Bauer, Jones’ agent.  This report emerged in late February.

Jones was a third round draft pick by the Packers in 2007 and his departure leaves only placekicker Mason Crosby left from that draft class on the current Green Bay roster.

Jones had 301 catches for over 4,300 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career with the Packers.  Jones led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2012 with 14.  Jones overcame early problems with dropped passes and entrenched himself as a top option in the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers offense.

Jones’ departure leaves the Packers with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boyking at wide receiver.  The emergence of Boykin last season likely gave the Packers confidence that he could fill some of Jones’ role.  With the draft upcoming in May and what is said to be a deep class for wide receivers, don’t be surprised to see the Packers get after one sooner than later.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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25

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida

NFL Draft Profile: Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey

Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey

Player information:

  • Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida
  • 5-foot-8, 180 lbs.
  • A world-class track athlete who can do far more on a football field than just run.

NFL Combine:

  • 4.45 40-yard dash*
  • 3.93 20-yard shuttle*
  • 11.06 60-yard shuttle*
  • 6.50 3-cone drill*
  • 120″ broad jump
  • 36.5″ vertical jump
  • 16 bench press reps

* =Top performer

News & Notes:

Won two straight USA Today high school National Championships while at Lakeland (Fl.) High School…Played in four games his freshman season but received a medical hardship waiver after hurting his shoulder…Ran for 682 yards and four scores during his redshirt-freshman year, earning SEC All-Freshman honors…Finished his college career with 2,393 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, plus 66 catches for 764 yards and six more scores…Returned 25 punts and 18 kickoffs…Lost seven fumbles during his four years…Was charged with aggravated stalking in 2010 after sending his ex-girlfriend a threatening text message, later suspended by the school…Those charges were dropped when he completed a program of community service and anger management…Has experience playing running back, receiver and special teams…He’s been one of the nation’s most productive punt blockers over the last four years, as his six blocked punts set a SEC record…Struggles blocking out of the backfield but has a solid, compact frame…Most compare him to Percy Harvin, his former teammate at Florida and current Minnesota Viking…If used right at the next level, could have Darren Sproles like impact…Given his versatility and rare athleticism, the Packers could realistically afford to use a roster spot on him as another Swiss Army knife type player.

What they’re saying about him:

CBS Sports: ”Perhaps the most explosive cutting ability and straight-line speed of any athlete in the 2012 draft. Can make defenders look silly due to his lateral agility and sudden acceleration. Versatile. Saw time as a running back, receiver, punt returner and kick returner for the Gators … Looks natural catching the ball out of the backfield and has shown the ability to track the ball over his shoulder and snatch passes outside of his frame …”

3

September

Green Bay Packers Roster Cuts: Chastin West and Brandon Underwood Let Go

Cuts continue to trickle in as the Green Bay Packers attempt to trim their roster to the league-mandated number of 53 men by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Recevier Chastin West and defensive back Brandon Underwood are among the biggest names let go. Many thought West had an opportunity to crack the 53-man roster as the sixth receiver after an impressive camp and preseason. Underwood was attempting to play safety after being drafted as a cornerback in the sixth round in 2009.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein, these players have been released so far:

CB Brandon Underwood: Underwood just never lived up to all the athletic potential. He wasn’t a mature guy off the field and injuries started to get the best of him. Not a good combination to have when trying to make a talented football team.

WR Chastin West: Many thought he’d stick as the sixth receiver, but West will get his chance in the NFL. He’ll be picked up in a hurry.

G Caleb Schlauderaff: He’s a practice squad possibility. The Packers are thin on the interior of their offensive line.

CB Brandian Ross: Made some plays to open camp but tailed off from there.

WR Diondre Borel: Never had much of a chance at a position full of talented players.

G Sampson Genus: May still be a practice squad guy.


WR Kerry Taylor: It was always going to be an uphill climb for Taylor at a stacked position. He’ll be a guy the Packers look at to bring back on the practice squad.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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28

July

Packers 2011 Training Camp: The Best Positional Battles to Watch

Ryan Grant will be taking on all challengers for his starting job

Ryan Grant will have plenty of competition in Packers training camp.

With the NFL’s longest work stoppage in league history in the rear view mirror, the Green Bay Packers will begin their 2011 training camp on Saturday, July 30th in De Pere, Wisconsin. It will be the first step in the Packers Super Bowl title defense, and like most training camps, it should provide a framework for how the organization’s roster will look heading into the 2011 season.

But it will also be home to several intriguing and important positional battles that will determine who starts and who rides the bench to open the year. Let’s go in-depth to breakdown some of the Packers best battles to watch during training camp.


RUNNING BACK

This will be the one everyone watches. 28-year-old Ryan Grant is returning from a season-ending ankle injury, and as the leading man to start each of the last three seasons, Grant still believes he is going to be the primary carrier. Grant claims the ankle is 100%, which is more then conceivable considering he believed he could have played in the Super Bowl if not on IR. He’s also the most experienced and accomplished back on the roster, as Grant rushed for over 3,400 yards and 23 touchdowns from 2007 to ’09.

When Grant’s 2010 season ended just eight carries in, the Packers running game floundered in his absence. Grant’s vision and one-cut and go mentality were sorely missed. Neither Brandon Jackson or John Kuhn were able to handle the No. 1 role, and the Packers running game was nearly non-existent. That is, of course, until 2010 sixth rounder James Starks took control of the position late in the season.

Starks rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries in his NFL debut against the 49ers, marking only the second time to that point that a Packers rusher went over 70 yards in a game. Starks then mostly disappeared for the remaining of the regular season, but reemerged for the playoffs and took the postseason by storm. His 123 yards against the Eagles in the Wild Card was a Packers rookie playoff record and arguably the team’s best rushing performance of the 2010 season. He rushed for just 66 and 74 yards in the following two games in Atlanta and Chicago, respectively, but Starks provided the kind of offensive balance the Packers needed.