ESPN Wisconsin

Packers making pitch for Jones

Jul 27, 2011 -- 7:09pm

GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers’ hope of the Green Bay Packers re-signing unrestricted free agent wide receiver James Jones may be more realistic than first thought.

According to an NFL source, the Packers are making an effort to keep Jones, who was expected to be fielding significant offers from other teams as the free-agent period began this week. The source said he believes there is “definitely” a chance Jones re-signs with the Packers.

"I know they're talking," the source said of negotiator Russ Ball and Jones' agent, Frank Bauer.

In an interview with Steve “The Homer” True and Mitch “Thunder” Nelles  on ESPNMilwaukee and ESPNMadison Tuesday afternoon, Rodgers implored the Packers to keep Jones.

"James is extremely talented and he's a guy that I think we have to bring back without a doubt," Rodgers said. "He should be priority No. 1. And I mean that with all my heart. He really should be priority No. 1. We don't win the Super Bowl without him. And we need him."

In 65 career games and 18 starts (including playoffs), Jones has caught 166 passes for 2,305 yards and 16 touchdowns. Last season was his most productive, with 50 catches for 679 yards and five touchdowns in 16 regular-season games and 11 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ four postseason games, including Super Bowl XLV.

Reached via text message Wednesday afternoon, Jones said he heard about Rodgers comments and appreciated them.

“I’m glad to hear that he has my back, like always,” Jones wrote. 

Rodgers also made a pitch for the team keeping veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher, but given the team's salary-cap situation, that appears unlikely. Tauscher did not respond to text messages Wednesday.

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