ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 06: James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers drops a pass in the third quarter against William Gay #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers torched the NFL last season. On his way to 15 wins, Rodgers did whatever he wanted to opposing defenses. When given time, he picked secondaries apart. When faced with pressure, he easily galloped for a first down. And if he wanted to kick field goals, he probably would have excelled there as well. He was incredible. Perhaps his most incredible trait, however, was his ability to spread the ball amongst his receivers--15 Packers caught passes from Rodgers last season. Anybody is a receiving option for Aaron Rodgers.
If Aaron Rodgers had a receiving core of only high school players, he'd find a way to still throw for 4,000 yards. So, he'd probably get along just fine without wide receiver James Jones. And evidently, James Jones would get along just fine if he was never a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. According to Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin, when talking about possibly being the odd man out of the receiver situation in Green Bay, Jones said the following:
If they came to me at my locker and said, ‘James, you're going to the Cincinnati Bengals,' I'd cry a little bit and then move on. You've got to do what you've got to do. It's a business.
I'd like to believe he would "cry" because he was leaving the Packers, the only team a part of his short NFL career. But, he could have named any team in that sentence. He could have talked some subtle smack to the division and said he would cry if he went to the Bears, Vikings, or Lions. He could have said 2011's worst team, the Indianapolis Colts. But he said the Cincinnati Bengals, likely because they were the worst case scenario he could come up with. The Cincinnati Bengals have a long way to go before they finally shake their terrible, terrible reputation. Despite three playoff appearances since 2005, despite a bright rookie bunch, despite a concerted and successful effort to move away from the arrests and criminal players, the Cincinnati Bengals are still known as "Bungles", thugs, and losers.
What is especially troubling about James Jones' statement is that he believes the Cincinnati Bengals would want him. Proving very little--except that he can drop passes in the Super Bowl--through his first five season, Jones would accurately be labeled as "mediocre". His ego is a little out of whack if he thinks he's too good for any team. If indeed he is traded, he may experience a harsh reality check and realize that without Rodgers he's not even as good as his 36 yd/game career average.