Should the Packers Trade Josh Jones?

Josh Jones wants a trade after two years with the Packers.

Josh Jones wants a trade after two years with the Packers.

Former Packers second-round pick Josh Jones is requesting a trade.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports Jones is staying away from the Packers’ OTA practices this week in hopes of being dealt.

The Packers picked Jones 61st overall in 2017, the same draft in which they selected Kevin King.

Why trade Josh Jones?

Demovsky argues that Jones has “never gotten consistent playing time” and should therefore be traded. That’s a bold statement, but it’s not entirely accurate. Jones has played a lot over his two years in Green Bay.

In 2018, Jones played 501 snaps on defense over 13 games, 10th most on the team. In his last nine games of the season, Jones never played less than 54% of the snaps. In eight of those nine games, he played more than 70% of the snaps.

As a rookie in 2017, Jones was on the field even more. His 731 snaps ranked third on the Packers’ defense that year.

But reading Demovsky’s position more charitably, it’s fair to wonder why Jones hasn’t been a more consistent performer on defense. Even if he’s gotten relatively consistent snaps, he hasn’t consistently been a significant contributor. Jones has managed just one interception, seven passes defensed, and three sacks in his two seasons. Over some 1,200 snaps, that’s a distressingly low output, no matter how inconsistently those snaps have come.

His lack of performance has led to a semi-regular recurring series on The Power Sweep wondering if and when Jones would be a regular contributor, if ever. It was a frustrating reality that Jones couldn’t put his physical gifts to good use, despite being put in every position to do so from Day 1.

What could the Packers get for Josh Jones?

Assuming that trading Jones is inevitable, asking what the Packers could stand to get in return is the obvious question. Though I normally advocate for looking at other similar trades as guidelines, there’s no reason for that here. The short answer is the same as the long one: the Packers aren’t likely to get much, if anything, for Josh Jones.

Consider the compensation they received for Brett Hundley, a similarly unsuccessful draft pick in Green Bay. Despite playing a much more valuable position, Seattle only had to part with a sixth-round pick for Hundley’s services. It’s fair to conclude that Jones, a safety, wouldn’t net the Packers much more than that. The best case scenario might be a player-for-player trade like the one Cheesehead TV’s Andy Herman proposes:

Should the Packers decide that moving Jones is their best option, getting a chance with another player might be their best option. But that’s assuming they could find a willing partner. Even if there’s interest for Jones out there, the rest of the league may be content to wait this out, hoping the Packers choose to simply release Jones rather than dealing with a locker room malcontent.

Whatever does happen, there’s one unavoidable truth here: Jones is just another in a long string of disappointing defensive backs drafted in Green Bay. With two more joining the roster this spring, here’s hoping that trend is at an end.