GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers don’t appear ready to give in just yet to safety Josh Jones on his reported wish to be traded.
Speaking after the first day of the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp Tuesday, general manager Brian Gutekunst said they’d been in constant communication with Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, this offseason but won’t move just to quench the former second-round pick’s thirst for a new start.
“I think it’s more about what our team desire is, and right now we’re kind of working through that,” Gutekunst said. “But he’s a very talented player. He’s shown that on the field at times. We’ll go along and see where it goes.”
A report by ESPN of Jones wanting out of Green Bay surfaced at the start of the Packers’ OTA practices in early May. He ended up being the only player not to attend at least one of the three sessions open to the media.
“I have a trainer in Florida that I like to workout with,” Jones said of his reasoning for staying away. “I also had a daughter that was born not too long ago, so I’m just being a family man, being a father to my kids.”
Jones was there on Tuesday, though he didn’t practice. He was held out with what he and the Packers were calling a hamstring injury. Reporters peppered him with questions in the locker room afterwards, including whether he wanted to be traded and whether he had any interest in still being a part of the Packers.
“I’m here, so obviously I’m a part of this team, correct? I had my jersey on today at practice,” Jones said. “Obviously, I’m dealing with a hamstring injury, so I wasn’t able to practice. That’s why I wasn’t out there. But I’m here at mandatory minicamp, I’m just not able to practice.”
The Packers have undergone a dramatic transformation in their secondary since Jones was drafted in 2017. Since Gutekunst took over as GM in January 2018, he’s jettisoned nearly everyone but Jones. The list includes Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Damarious Randall, Kentrell Brice, Morgan Burnett, Davon House, Quinten Rollins and Jermaine Whitehead. They’ve been replaced through free agency (Tramon Williams, Adrian Amos) and the draft (Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Darnell Savage).
Most believe the additions of Amos and Savage this offseason were the biggest issues for Jones, but he denied that.
“Not at all,” Jones said. “You got to look at it. Our defense underperformed the past two years. All of the moves that [Gutekunst] made, he made to help this team.”
It’s unclear if Jones will still be a part of the team come training camp, but if he is, he said he’ll be on the field practicing.
“Why wouldn’t I?” Jones said.