At the end of the 2011 season there was much talk about what would happen with Greg Jones with this coming season. With a new, more run-pass balanced coach coming to town some felt that Jones and his $4.5 Salary Cap Hit ($3.4 million base with the rest bonuses) could be on his way out the door. It was brought to my attention by my friend David on facebook that Jones is currently set to make $100K more than Jones Drews' base salary before bonuses.
I believe that no one in the Jaguars will doubt the importance of Greg Jones to the Jaguars as a run-first team but one must ask: "Will he be worth the higher than average price tag to a new regime?" Let's take a look at why he should and/or why he may not be around much longer below...
Jones blocks extremely well, but does little else. Jones, who will be 31 in April this year carries the highest salary cap number of all nfl fullbacks currently will likely at least be discussed as an early season salary cap cut nominee by the coaching staff, at minimum. Due to the fact that Jones will also be a free agent after this season he will likely be waived as trade bait for a run first team (with little success for a full back of his salary and age), released, or simply not resigned after this season. With most full backs retiring between the age of 30-33 the writing is on the wall.
Many of you will likely say "No way Jones Drew lets them get rid of Greg Jones!" or some variation of that statement.....And in response I'll say, the Jaguars have allowed both Kennedy Pola and Earnest Byner (both of MJDs former RB Coaches) to leave since 06'. I'm sure he wasn't happy about any of those moves. How would this be any different? It's business....
On the flipside, Mike Mularkey already has seen the effects of losing a full back during the season seeing that last year Atlanta lost All-Pro fullback Ovie Mughelli in week 6 of the season and had to do with Mike Cox for the remainder of the year after picking him up in free agency. While that move put the Falcons in major salary cap trouble Mularkey saw first hand how the Falcons rushing yardage per game INCREASED from 109 per game to 119 per game after the loss of Mughelli.
I don't see Mularkey keeping both a high salary Jones AND a younger, faster, and cheaper Brock Bolen on the roster. The Jaguars have already offered Bolen the veteran minimum for this season (**which is how he's a restricted free agent). That would make Bolen almost $4 million cheaper than Greg Jones.The question remains what's the cost verses the benefit?
No matter what happens, we know one thing....the picture above speaks for itself." #GregJonesIsABeast!
**RFAs have received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are free to negotiate with any club until a deadline which occurs approximately a week prior to the NFL Draft, at which time their rights revert to their original club. If a player accepts an offer from a new club, the old club will have the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elects not to match the offer, it may receive draft-choice compensation depending on the level of the qualifying offer made to the player.