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WR Jones signs with Raiders

Mar. 17, 2014
 
James Jones, who turns 30 later this month, just finished a three-year deal with the Packers worth $9 million. File/Gannett Wisconsin Media
James Jones, who turns 30 later this month, just finished a three-year deal with the Packers worth $9 million. File/Gannett Wisconsin Media

James Jonesí market the last time he hit free agency, in 2011, was soft enough that he returned to the Packers at a relatively bargain price.

Not this year.

Jones today signed a three-year contract worth $11 million with the Oakland Raiders, according to a report by ESPN. The Raidersí general manager, Reggie McKenzie, is a former Packers executive who knows Jones well. Jones also grew up in San Jose, Calif., and played in college at San Jose State, so heíll be playing again in Northern California.

The Packers wanted to re-sign Jones and keep together the three receiver set with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb that made up their most used offensive personnel package from last year. But Jonesí departure confirms that the Packers have placed a higher priority on extending the contracts of Nelson and Cobb this offseason. Both are in the final season of their deals.

General manager Ted Thompson likely set a value for Jones and dropped out of the running when the Raiders went above it.

Jonesí departure means that third-year receiver Jarett Boykin moves up to the No. 3 receiver role. Boykin finished third on the team in receptions last season with 49 for a 13.9-yard average.

Thompson also is a good bet to use a draft pick at receiver this year. The other receivers on the roster are Myles White (nine catches last season), Chris Harper, Sederrik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey.

Jones, who turns 30 later this month, just finished a three-year deal with the Packers worth $9 million. He started 30 games the last two seasons with the Packers. Over the last three years heís averaged 54 receptions and caught a total of 24 touchdown passes.

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