Elliott re-signs; Jones drawing interest
GREEN BAY - Thin at the outside linebacker position, the Green Bay Packers moved to bolster the position Monday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with Jayrone Elliott and weighing whether to re-sign Datone Jones.
Elliott told PackersNews.com on Monday night that he had chosen the Packers over the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers after completing visits with the latter two.
He tweeted, "Great meetings with some historic organizations especially meeting (Steelers coaches) Mike Tomlin and Joey Porter ... but Green Bay is home!"
Meanwhile, Jones was visiting the Minnesota Vikings, a source said Monday, leaving open the possibility that he could be crossing the border to play for the Packers' rival. The Packers re-signed outside linebacker Nick Perry, but they still are thin at the position and their level of interest in Jones isn't known.
Jones had only one sack last season, but according to team stats led the Packers with 16 quarterback hits and was fifth with 12 pressures. He played on 53 percent of the snaps, serving as an outside linebacker, defensive end and inside pass rusher.
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A first-round draft pick in 2013, Jones hasn't been able to put it all together and become a consistent performer. The Packers waited four full years before Perry blossomed, so they might be willing to give him another chance to prove himself.
If Jones flies the coop, the Packers would be left with Perry, Clay Matthews, Kyler Fackrell and Elliott as their returning outside linebackers after the departure of Julius Peppers to Carolina.
Though his biggest contribution has been on special teams, Elliott has experience playing outside linebacker and is still young.
The Packers did not offer Elliott a restricted free-agent tender of $1.79 million, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. It did not preclude Elliott from returning to the Packers, but he had to negotiate a new contract.
Elliott missed five games because of injuries, but he still led the Packers in special teams tackles (13), according to team-kept statistics.
Meanwhile, the one-year deal tackle Don Barclay signed with the Packers was worth $1.025 million and included a $150,000 signing bonus and $100,000 workout bonus. His first-year base salary is $775,000 and there are an additional $300,000 in play-time incentives, according to a source with access to NFL salary data.
Ryan Wood of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin contributed to this report.