It’s the end of an era for the Green Bay Packers wide receiving corps: Jeff Janis is signing with the Cleveland Browns.
To ask many Packers fans, Green Bay is losing one of its most promising wide receivers in free agency. No, not Jordy Nelson, but one Jeffrey Ronald Janis.
To put it lightly, Janis has become something of a legend in Titletown.
The Packers selected Janis in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Saginaw Valley State University — the first wide receiver in school history to be drafted.
He immediately got fans hyped in his first preseason in 2014, catching touchdowns of 33 and 34 yards. It was enough to earn him a spot on the 53-man roster, but he only played in three games that season.
Then, in the Packers’ 2015 preseason game against the New England Patriots, Janis caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Scott Tolzien and the hype train once again barreled out of the station.
By the end of it all, however, in his four seasons with the Packers Janis’ on-field production fell woefully short of the high hopes fans, for whatever reason, decided to pin on him. He leaves Green Bay with 17 receptions for 200 yards and, despite his preseason production, one lone receiving touchdown in the regular season. (He did, however, add a rushing touchdown to his resume in 2016.)
Of course, it’s almost not fair not to include the postseason when looking back at Janis’ career with the Packers, because he was able to amass in one game in January 2016 almost what he did over four years in the regular season.
In that divisional round matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, Janis exploded for seven passes for 145 yards and two scores.
And now he’s off to the Browns, as Peter Schrager reported:
In all seriousness, the Packers will miss Janis’ special teams contributions dearly. Arguably their best gunner, Janis was a tackling force on special teams, though even that area of his game dipped slightly in 2017. Janis tied for fourth on the team with four special-teams tackles last year.
Regardless of what the stat sheet says, however, Janis captured the hearts and imaginations of Packers Nation.
Milwaukee’s own Bart Winkler of 105.7 The Fan penned a touching tribute to Janis on Twitter, thanking him in part for his own professional success (photo included!):
Our own Daily DDT also jumped on the hype train after that Hail Mary versus the Cardinals:
Dave just kept giving Janis chances in fantasy football year after year:
And Packers fan Matt shared this definitely true Janis tale on Twitter:
Thanks for all the memories, Jeff Janis. We may embellish them slightly in our mind, but no one can say we didn’t have a blast.