Packers safety Josh Jones returns for mandatory minicamp after skipping OTAs

Jim Owczarski
Packers News
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GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers opened their mandatory minicamp Tuesday morning and safety Josh Jones appeared on the practice field with his teammates.

Jones, who missed all of the voluntary organized team activities, would have been subject to fines this week and coaches could have publicly voiced displeasure about an absence.

Jones did not participate in the practice because of a hamstring injury, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said. Jones is unlikely to be able to practice the rest of the week, according to coach Matt LaFleur.

Green Bay Packers defensive back Josh Jones (27) warms up before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field Thursday, November 15, 2018 in Seattle, WA.

Asked about Jones' expressed desire to be traded, Gutekunst said he would do whatever was in the best interest of the Packers.

Jones had good reason to be on hand Tuesday, despite being unable to take the field. Players can be docked up to $14,775 for skipping one day of the minicamp. The scale increases after that, with a fine up to $29,550 for the second day missed and $44,325 for the third day missed (or up to $88,650 in total).

It should be noted, however, that it is the team's option to fine Jones, or any player who misses a day, and those fines can be rescinded by the club.

The frustrations that caused Jones to leave the team this spring and request a trade have been building for months. Last October, after playing for the first time in the 2018 season with four snaps against the Detroit Lions, it was suggested on his weekly show with USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin that Jones finally got a chance to be on the field.

“You count that getting on the field?” he shot back. “Because I don’t.”

When pressed, Jones, a second-round pick in 2017, made it clear he was displeased with his lack of playing time through the season’s first several weeks.

“That’s what I’m here for,” he said then. “You ain’t going to (draft) a player in the second to not contribute to the team.”

When Gutekunst signed safety Adrian Amos in free agency and then traded up in the first round to draft Darnell Savage Jr., Jones' situation became even murkier. So he skipped the voluntary OTAs and had been working out in Florida, according to ESPN.

LaFleur noted last month that OTAs are “voluntary” under the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Jones’ contract doesn’t include a workout bonus, giving him leverage to miss voluntary practice sessions without losing money.

Ryan Wood of USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin contributed to this report.

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