Jacoby Jones Released by the Texans
"I don't watch the draft. When they draft someone it means somebody I played with for an entire year and sometimes longer, must go." -- Arian Foster on Twitter, 5/1/12
Jacoby Jones will be changing hairstyles.
Arian Foster posted this tweet to his Twitter account late Tuesday afternoon, and despite the lack of any specific names mentioned and the seemingly random nature of the tweet, I'm fairly certain this tweet was a direct response to the Texans' Tuesday release of wide receiver Jacoby Jones, Foster's teammate of three-plus years.
If the tweet wasn't provoked by Jones's release, then it was an inadvertent yet accurate acknowledgment of the dynamic that finally made the soon-to-be sixth-year wide out and kick returner expendable -- basically, with the drafting of DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin this past weekend (not to mention the signing of undrafted free agents Dwight Jones and Jerrell Jackson), the Texans finally had enough competent bodies in the fold to say "so long" to one of the most maligned players in Texans history.
Oftentimes, players are maligned because they're either bad citizens or they grossly fail to live up to expectations. Jones was not an egregious offender on either of those fronts, but at the same time he wasn't squeaky clean either.
While he had his bouts with general immaturity and, on at least one occasion, the law (a DUI arrest back in March 2008), Jones was generally considered a good guy and a flaky but playful quote machine.
As Rick Perry would say, "Oops."
As for his productivity aligning with Jones's talent, it never really happened. Jones was drafted in the third round of the 2007 draft out of tiny Lane College. A late bloomer, when Jones arrived in camp in 2007 his pure physical gifts were quite evident immediately, but he was painfully rough around the edges. The media used to joke at practice that nobody broke off routes too soon with the suddenness and athleticism of Jacoby Jones.
It was the lure of his ability to run and jump and the occasional whiff that the complexities of football were finally slowing down for Jones that kept him on the team for five years. For every punt that he tried to field as if he were Rickey Henderson reaching up to snatch a fly ball (and subsequently muffing), there would be a field-position-changing return for 30 or 40 yards. For every Matt Schaub pass that bounced off his hands like they were balled up in fists, there was a catch and run that made you say, "Okay, maybe?"
The first four years were a whole lot of "Okay, maybe?" The Texans hoped that maybe, just maybe the light would come on for Jacoby Jones.
But the fuse for fans grew much shorter in 2011, when Jones was given a three-year, $10 million contract shortly after the lockout ended. The apparent urgency with which the Texans signed him, not to mention the dollar amount, made Texans fans rightfully expect more from Jacoby Jones.
They didn't get more.
In the end, Jones was done in by two games. The first one was the Oakland game a week after Andre Johnson went down (the first time) with a hamstring injury. As the only player with truly explosive downfield tools for the Texans in that game, Jones had maybe his worst day as a wide receiver, catching one ball for nine yards despite being targeted eleven times in the game. That Monday, I wrote this: