Packers free agency: Jeff Janis, Jahri Evans

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Mark Eckel

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By BOB McGINN

One in a series examining the Green Bay Packers’ unrestricted free agents. They can begin signing with other teams on Wednesday at 3 p.m. They can formally negotiate with other teams for 48 hours before that.

JEFF JANIS

Position: Wide receiver.

Age: 26.

Last contract: Four-year, $2.290 million ($51,392 guaranteed) as a seventh-round draft choice from Saginaw Valley State. Signed May 14, 2014.

Games/Starts (including playoffs): 56/1.

2017 playing time: 50 snaps on offense (4.8%); 249 snaps on special teams (58.7%).

Career statistics: 24 receptions for 345 yards (14.4-yard average) and three touchdowns, three drops in 52 targets (5.8%), 30 kickoff returns for 744 yards (24.8) and no TDs, 26 tackles on special teams.

Yearly grades: Incomplete in 2014, C-plus in 2015, D-plus in 2016 and C-minus in 2017.

2017 analysis: Janis encountered double-team blocking almost every week as opposing special-teams coaches refused to let him beat them. His tackle total of six was a far cry from the 15 that he amassed in 2015. Played merely eight snaps from scrimmage in the first 14 games, and almost all of those came on the kneel-down team. Logged 42 snaps in Games 15-16, making one nice reception and dropping a bang-bang post in Detroit that probably would have been a touchdown. It’s obvious that Mike McCarthy has no use for Janis as a wide receiver. Still, he should be able to carve out a nice niche here or elsewhere because wide receivers with his speed-toughness-tackling ability often last a long time in the league.

NFC scout: “They’ve got to figure out what to do with Jordy (Nelson) and (Randall) Cobb. That will determine if they keep Janis … Probably half the teams have a wide receiver that can tackle and play special teams. He’s a really good special-teamer. A lot of teams just don’t keep that extra special-teams guy because they’d rather have a different position covering (kicks). I don’t think he’ll get (big) money but he’ll definitely get signed. He’s pretty close to (Kassim) Osgood. I mean, Janis is good. Minnesota had one like that two years ago in Adam Thielen. There’s a lot of them that start out like that.”

NFC scout: “I never really liked him. If you’re a backup wideout you better be able to play special teams. Those kind of guys you always need.”

AFC scout: “Every time he goes in the game he catches the ball. If I was him I’d move on.”

NFC scout: “He’s got talent. I’d sign him. You can’t convince me that a guy that big, that fast, that tough … there should be a place for him. That toughness is real and he has made plays (as a wide receiver).”

The bottom line: If Janis reaches the market Wednesday the Packers shouldn’t be surprised if he is signed within 72 hours as a special-teams ace. Those types of modestly-priced players traditionally go in a hurry.

JAHRI EVANS

Position: Guard.

Age: 34.

Last contract: One-year, $2.25 million ($200,000 guaranteed) as an unrestricted free agent. Signed April 26, 2107.

Games/Starts (including playoffs): 193/193.

2017 playing time: 912 snaps on offense (87.1%); 54 snaps on special teams (12.7%).

Yearly grades: D-plus in 2017.

2017 analysis: The Packers caught a break when Evans, at age 34 and in his 12th season, was able to play every snap for 14 games before a bad knee shut him down for Games 15-16. His first and presumably only season in Green Bay epitomized stopgap. Way late on the trigger, GM Ted Thompson was lucky Evans remained available the day before the draft and that he accepted $2.25 million for one year. Evans’ halcyon days in New Orleans were long gone. He remained combative. He tried to win by engulfing defenders with his mass. Size was his primary attribute. Evans led the team in pressures allowed (28 ½) and “bad” runs (15 ½). If the quarterback was knocked down, he cared and helped him up. One reason why the screen game suffered was Evans’ lack of speed and agility. It seemed at times as if Evans was short-circuiting against stunts and movement, but his miscues were due more to an inability to move laterally, bend and pick people up. If the Packers need another band-aid, they could do worse than even a 35-year-old Evans (DOB: 8-22-83).

NFC scout: “Just an average football player. They were lucky to get 14 games out of him. Tough veteran. He was their fifth lineman.”

NFC scout: “He’s an old veteran journeyman. He might sign with somebody closer to the start of the regular season but they won’t do anything with him right now. No question he’ll be on the street after the draft. He played OK. He’s always been the same. He’s a big, strong guy. He’s hard to get around. He’s what, 34? So you know he’ll be there if you need him.”

NFC scout: “I can’t believe he’s still hanging on. He won’t get anything early. More toward the season if somebody needs a guy.”

AFC scout: “Too old. He’s done. Can’t move.”

The bottom line: It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him retire as a member of the New Orleans Saints. He was elected to the Pro Bowl for them in 2009, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13 and ’14.

The post Packers free agency: Jeff Janis, Jahri Evans appeared first on Bob McGinn Football.

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rpiotr01

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Interesting comments on Janis. Seems like other teams think more highly of him as a receiver than the HSNC.
 
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Cheesedog

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Janis is exactly the type of player they like in NE.. wont be surprised if he ends up there.
 

realitybytes

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Interesting comments on Janis. Seems like other teams think more highly of him as a receiver than the HSNC.
some of us fans do too. i'm absolutely certain that he was wasted in green bay. other teams would have found a way to get him on the field a lot more often. if you're old enough to remember billy schroeder, you know what i mean. so what if he only runs one or two routes? as long as he does them well, you can use him effectively. the one time that mccarthy had no other choice than to use him because everyone else was injured, janis performed very well and ran a wide variety of routes. there's no doubt in my mind that he would have easily been a #3 receiver on a lot of other teams, and maybe with a lot more game experience a #2.
 

eyecatcher

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some of us fans do too. i'm absolutely certain that he was wasted in green bay. other teams would have found a way to get him on the field a lot more often. if you're old enough to remember billy schroeder, you know what i mean. so what if he only runs one or two routes? as long as he does them well, you can use him effectively. the one time that mccarthy had no other choice than to use him because everyone else was injured, janis performed very well and ran a wide variety of routes. there's no doubt in my mind that he would have easily been a #3 receiver on a lot of other teams, and maybe with a lot more game experience a #2.
I am a fan of Janis and what he did in that one game is nothing short of amazing. That said there has to be more to it than MM doesn't use him. There has to be a reason he isn't being utilized as a receiver.
 

Cheesedog

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I am a fan of Janis and what he did in that one game is nothing short of amazing. That said there has to be more to it than MM doesn't use him. There has to be a reason he isn't being utilized as a receiver.
Because MM is a bad coach who isnt as good an OC as he thinks? angelic((whistling))
 

Mark87

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Could be or Janis is a bad WR who can't run a route to save his life. sp)
Spread guy from grade school on. Limited route tree. When you have Sir Prick at QB who demands his WR run routes the same way your bound to fail. I'll Add in just like the DB's craptastic postion coaching(That doesn't help) Why wouldn't he move on ??
 
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