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With Jones gone, McCarthy expects Boykin to step up

Mar. 26, 2014
 
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin. File/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jarrett Boykin. File/Press-Gazette Media

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With the departure of James Jones in unrestricted free agency to the Oakland Raiders, the Green Bay Packers find themselves a little thin at wide receiver.

“When you move on from any veteran core productive football player, there’s always going to be a void,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday morning at the NFC coaches’ breakfast at the NFL’s annual owners meeting.

“And with that void comes opportunities for other players. I fully expect our younger players to step up, starting with (Jarrett) Boykin.”

McCarthy will rely on veterans Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who each are in a contract year. Boykin, entering his third NFL season, is the projected No. 3 receiver who started eight games last year and had 49 catches for 681 yards and three touchdowns.

“I can’t say enough about Boykin,” McCarthy said. “The young man is a heck of a player. He’s done it the right way.

“He’s performed every opportunity he’s given so it’s time for some of our other young guys to step up. We’ll see what the next couple months bring us as far as player acquisition.”

Behind Boykin on the depth chart is Myles White, who played in seven games last season and had nine catches for 66 yards.

Jones signed with the Raiders for around the same $3 million salary he was making in Green Bay, leaving the impression the Packers were ready to move on.

But McCarthy said that wasn’t the case.

“I think any time you get into these free-agent situations, especially with your own players, what they’ve made in the past, really the philosophy of paying forward, I would think that’s mostly what everybody does,” McCarthy said.

“So unfortunately it didn’t work out with James. James was a player that I always felt was one of our core players. I think his opportunity to go back home in a sense (to his native California) is a good thing for him personally.

"I wouldn’t say we were looking to move on from him. It’s the business part of it, there’s going to be one or two individuals every year if you’re doing your job right, your roster is built the right way, you’re bringing a young class in, there are players that are going to move on. Unfortunately (center) Evan (Dietrich-Smith) and James were the two this year.”

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