HOUSTON -- This spring fullback Greg Jones left an organization a few years away from winning for another one that seemed on the cusp of a playoff run.
Even though the Jaguars, the team that drafted him in 2004, offered more money, this late in his career Jones wanted to win. So he signed with the Houston Texans.
It's not unusual for a player to choose his team in free agency based on where he'll have the best likelihood of success. But as Jones can attest, that doesn't always work as planned.
"It’s been a little difficult for me, but it’s football," Jones said. "Sometimes things work out one year and sometimes they don’t. I’ve been in that situation and obviously I’m in it again. Next year might be different here if I’m here, if I’m not. You never know. But hopefully we can get it turned around these next six weeks."
This weekend when his current team faces his former team, they'll bring a combined three wins into the game. At 2-8, the Texans are only one game better than the Jaguars, 1-9. Both teams are primed for a top-five draft pick and in contention for the top overall pick.
Most people expected the Jaguars to struggle. Their quarterback situation was unsettled and a new coaching staff had a lot of holes to fix. The Texans, however, were picked by many (including myself) to win the division and win at least one or two playoff games.
"Just looking at the guys we got in this locker room, you cannot predict what happened," Jones said. "It’s still a shocker."
Difficult seasons, though, aren't new for Jones. In his nine years with the Jaguars, the team only finished three seasons with winning records. They made two playoff appearances, one in 2005 and one in 2007.
And facing his former team will have other strange aspects, like standing on the opposite sideline from players who were his teammates. The roster has turned over quite a bit, but he'll still see one of his best friends, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
"It’s nice to finally to get an opportunity to go against him," Jones-Drew said. "I told him I wish him the least amount of luck as possible. I hope he stays healthy and has a horrible game."