Jones has previously worked with Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo when the two were both in Green Bay. It’s an interesting move for the Giants, who are fairly loaded at the receiver position with the return of Odell Beckham, Jr. and a recently healthy Victor Cruz. But with defenses looking to lock those two players down on every snap, it could open up options for Jones. Here’s what you need to know about the wideout:
1. Jones Played for the Oakland Raiders Last Season
On March 17, 2014, Jones signed a three-year, $11.3 million deal with the Raiders and his impact on the field was immediate as soon as the season began. He hauled in the game-winning touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 20, snapping Oakland’s 16-game losing streak and finished the year with 666 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Jones was released by the Raiders on May 5 after the team selected Amari Cooper in the NFL Draft and brought in former 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.
2. He Has Battled Through Injuries Recently
Jones has battled through injuries recently, notably playing through a nagging leg injury in 2013. Still, the wideout has found a way to continue his productivity and has managed to be a consistent offensive threat, no matter what kind of asterisk might be next to his name.
During that injury-prone 2013, Jones set career highs in catches (59) and yards (817).
3. Jones Was Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the Third Round of the 2007 Draft
After a successful college career at San Jose State University, Jones was selected in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and was immediately named a starter for the team.
In the 2010-11 season, Jones, working as the third receiver on the depth chart, caught 50 receptions for 679 yards and five touchdowns, including two touchdowns in the postseason. He hauled in five receptions for 50 yards in Green Bay’s 31-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in that year’s Super Bowl.
Throughout his time in Green Bay, Jones worked with offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who assumed the same role in New York last season. The former relationship has, reportedly, had a strong influence on the Giants decision to bring in the veteran wideout.
4. He Credits His Football Success to His Pop Warner Coach
Jones got his football-start in San Jose, California, playing Pop Warner for coach Marion Larrea. It’s that coach and those moments spent playing Pop Warner that helped turn Jones’ life around and put him on the eventual-NFL path.
Jones described what growing up was like to CSN Bay Area:
I was homeless for 15 years. In and out of homeless shelters, in and out of hotels. It was rough, mom was on drugs, dad was on drugs. I remember my childhood like it was yesterday. I remember sleeping in tents, I remember sleeping on benches. It was extremely rough going through the things that I went through. The hardest part is you only get 90 days to stay in the homeless shelters, and then you have to leave. It was rough, it was humbling.
After he won Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers in 2011, Jones autographed and gave his game-worn jersey to Larrea, commending his former coach for the time he spent with him and saying he would not have achieved what he did without him.
5. Jones Will Join the Giants at Training Camp
Jones will reportedly make his signing official on Friday morning, pending a physical with New York medical staff. The Giants first training camp practice is slated for that afternoon. Players had reported to camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Thursday morning.
The Giants are hoping that Jones can add a bit of veteran status to the young locker room, particularly in the second season with McAdoo at the helm of the offense. It’s also the second time the team has invited Jones in for a visit, so the squad does seem genuinely interested in having on the team in some capacity.
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