Packers want to keep Aaron Jones, but not at top-tier running back pay

NFC Championship - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Green Bay Packers
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The Packers decided not to place the franchise tag on running back Aaron Jones, but multiple reports say they still want to re-sign him. However, the offer they’re making him doesn’t appear to be one he would accept.

Jones has been offered “more than $9 million per year” from the Packers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The report didn’t say how much more than $9 million, but suffice to say that wording means they’re offering him less than $10 million a year.

Jones surely wants to be paid closer to the top tier of running backs. Christian McCaffrey makes $16 million a year, Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara make $15 million a year, and Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry and Joe Mixon are all in the $12 million to $13 million a year range.

The Packers recognize that teams often regret giving top-tier pay to running backs, and the Packers also spent a second-round draft pick on running back A.J. Dillon last season and see him as a viable replacement for Jones, should Jones head elsewhere. So it’s not likely that the Packers would pay Jones what he’s looking for.

So while the Packers may want Jones to stick around, the most likely scenario is that when he hits free agency in a week, he quickly leaves for a team that will pay him more than the Packers.

51 responses to “Packers want to keep Aaron Jones, but not at top-tier running back pay

  1. Running back success is a factor is talent, grit, ability of both the running back and the O-line that opens the holes for him. Ca$h is king in the NFL, but sure hope Aaron balances ca$h with the situation he decides to go into.

  2. If a deal can’t get done and Jonesy moves on it will be a loss, but it’s business. No matter where he plays, Aaron Jones will always be a Packer and loved by PackerNation! Let’s hope he and the Packers can get a deal done here in the next few days, but if not, there will be several teams fighting for Jonesy. Aaron Jones won’t be available long.

    I like AJ “The Sauce” Dillon. I am confident AJ is ready for a bigger role if needed. Sky is the limit for AJ.

    #GoPackGo!✊

  3. We all want Aaron Jones at a discount rate, unlikely to happen though…

  4. Green Bay is a better team with Jones on it and he has earned top tier money. But it just isn’t smart to pay a running back like that these days, especially when Jones has to have more limited snaps due to his size. I wish him the best with his new team.

  5. Smart, because he’s not a top tier RB. He’s not even close to being the top RB in the division.

  6. It’s a shame for the fans’ standpoint that this is happening so frequently now. You get a great player on your favorite team and even though they want to keep him, they can’t afford to do it so he leaves.
    Free agency is great for those great players but with the small percentage of players earning most of the money, it’s not good for veteran players who are still good but have to take pay cuts just to keep playing and it’s not good for the teams or the fans. It definitely impacts every team’s depth, too.

  7. Well it looks like Green Bay will lose its second best weapon on offense. I’m glad Jones will likely be out of the NFC north as he’s a threat and AJ Dillon isn’t scaring anyone.

  8. Very much would like to see him stay but it’s tough to pay any running back including him $10 million or more for any reason. A highly paid QB with a highly paid RB usually makes for the rest of the team being lowly paid and not very good. Dillion is ready so get a pass receiving RB off of free agency, draft another RB in the 3rd or 4th round and move on. Wish Jones the best as he’s been a super RB but that’s life in the NFL.

  9. The life span of an NFL running back is limited so you can’t blame him for wanting to get paid but that life span calculation must be considered by interested teams also. I would prefer a 7-8 million per year deal over 3 years if I’m Miami. With the draft picks they have they to many options here to spend on a back seeking a high dollar contract.

  10. Aaron Jones is an absolute SAVAGE BEAST on the field fitting the modern game perfectly like a glove with his elite abilities rushing the football but he also doubles as an excellent pass catcher and route runner as a RB. And more importantly Jones skill set is a perfect fit for the GB Offense.

    All that said there is NO WAY ON EARTH I’d pay Jones or any RB for that matter upwards of 14-16 million , running backs just aren’t worth that amount of money and they’re easily replaced. The most I’d pay Jones is $10M per year and even then I’d only feel comfortable giving 3yrs/$30M with say $25M guaranteed. And truth be told as a fan I could stomach that deal but as a GM I wouldn’t make that deal. Long term I’d be much more comfortable letting Jones walk away and then draft a RB to replace him. I mean look at David Johnson, Lev Bell, Todd Gurley, Zeke Elliot all who totally fell off a cliff after signing massive contract extensions.
    I’d be much, much more comfortable if Green Bay were to just let Aaron Jones walk and then look to draft his replacement in rd 2 or rd 3 who the Packers could then still pair up with AJ Dillion ensuring they still have an excellent run game. Dillon averaged over 5+ YPC as a rookie on the 46 carries he received as a rookie showing a ton of potential. As a Cardinals fan I myself am hoping AZ let’s RB Kenyan Drake walk in F/A and they then draft RB/WR Kenneth Gainwell out of Mephis in round 3 who is a perfect fit for Kingsburys offense paired up with excellent young dual threat RB Chase Edmonds. Drake was not worth the $8.5M Dollars he made last season and I think AZ would actually upgrade over Drake via drafting K. Gainwell who’d come on A DIRT CHEAP 3rd round pick.

  11. That’s a tricky one for the Packers because he’s their best playmaker outside of Davante Adams, and their offense becomes a lot less scary without him to the point where they have some work to do to be a Super Bowl contender without him.

    But Rodgers eats up a lot of the salary cap, they have a lot of strong core players that are going to need contracts, and we all know about the shelf life of running backs in the NFL.

  12. It’s all about the details not the dollars, what’s the guaranteed money not the face value. He deserves his money (I’m a lions fan… I know how good he is unfortunately) but if he over demands he risks being cut… like other guys in the past… ask for a high guaranteed money with escalators and you have longevity and money because once you become a cap casualty your devalued and typically don’t get another big contract! Ideal would be a 4-5 year deal 9 mil guaranteed with escalators to make that 13-15 mil… fair for both sides and you may see the end of that deal! $36-45 mil guaranteed with a chance to hit $50-60mil is better than $15-25 mil before getting cut and then bounce around the league for a few years at $4-7 mil… this is what an agent has to get through to him.

  13. I’m sure the Cowboys would have preferred not to pay Dak “top tier” QB pay, too. That’s not a knock on Dak or the Cowboys. That’s what happens when a player is the best available option in free agency – he gets paid (and usually its an AAV that’s near the top of the market).

    Jones was a great draft pick by GB. He offered great production for several years at minimal salary. GB should be thankful for those years. Now its time to either pay the man or bid him farewell.

  14. Shouldn’t even offer that. Resign Jamaal, or don’t, and make the team better in areas of need – WR and the entire defense and special teams.

  15. I can understand why they don’t want to overpay him, running back is the best position where you can go cheap but still get good performance, but Jones added a lot to that offence that his replacements won’t match.
    Noteworthy is that Jones also has had the fewest carries than any of the mentioned backs, so he should still have a lot left in the tank. Any team that signs him should get return on a reasonable contract.

  16. They would be foolish to give him top tier money. It’s an easily replaceable position.

  17. Not to worry. Packer fans be telling us all the time that players simply want to play there. He obviously will take whatever is offered him.

  18. A.J. Dillon is another bust from the worst draft in the history of the NFL. You don’t take a running back in the second round and then try to keep your current running back at $9 million a year with a heavily reduced salary cap. By the way, Jones should take it because he won’t get near that on the open market.

  19. I’d be all for doing whatever it took to keep this guy…….if he hadn’t fumbled in the NFCCG, twice, in the same exact manner each time. Learned a lot from the first one, huh Aaron? He gave Lucky Tom, the LOAT, another walk-in TD. Sorry, that doesn’t spell winner or keeper in my book, not at that money.

    Next.

  20. You’d think that “Mr Rodgers” would get in touch with his pal Jake from State Farm about getting them a discount….

  21. What’s the last team that won a Super Bowl due to running back play?

  22. Aaron Jones is a specialist. He’s closer to Devin Hester than Derrick Henry. Jones made plays as part of a tandem and with Rodgers. How valuable is he in a place like Miami where teams can focus on him? I just don’t think you can give a guy like him a big deal when you just spent a 2nd on a guy and you have Adams and Alexander entering they last year of their deals. I keep Williams for half the cost and draft a guy in the 4th round. You will lose some of that dynamic play making but you might gain some things also. And lastly with 2 fumbles in the biggest game of the year…yea sorry but if you can’t produce in that environment why am I paying you? I can pay a guy 500k to do that.

  23. Rodgers may have to give up some of his salary to keep Jones. That ain’t going to happen.

  24. mikeyb says: “It’s a shame for the fans’ standpoint that this is happening so frequently now. You get a great player on your favorite team and even though they want to keep him, they can’t afford to do it so he leaves.”
    ———————

    Works both ways.

    The best players get the most pay anywhere they can get it. Much better than the pre-free agency era where some teams could hoard great players from leaving. I mean, it was great for building some team dynasties, but not so great for the other 30 teams around the league.

    With free agency parity, all 32 teams now have a chance within a year or two.

  25. No surprise here. This is a one man team and that one man gets ALL the cash and glory. The team will keep losing until THAT someone realizes there is no ‘i’ in team.

  26. If you draft really well, eventually you are penalized in the NFL. Say what you will about the Pack’s drafts, but they’ve hit a few times, and this is the penalty. Think about the Steelers ‘74 draft. Look at it. 50 years ago, you were just able to keep the band together, but if you have a draft like that in the NFL now, there’s no way you can keep them all.

  27. Jones has been excellent, but the Packers will have to find a replacement. Wish it didn’t come to that, but there’s only so much money available and an RB can’t take up that much cap space in the modern game.

  28. Aaron Jones has been a great asset to the Green Bay Packers football team.
    He has served the team well over the course of his contract.
    Aaron’s worked hard, he’s been a beast in both the rushing and passing attack, and never threatened to hold out or be a locker room cancer last season like so many other RBs did angling for their new contract.

    Jones has earned his big payday and I hope he gets it.
    Every penny of it.
    Just with another team.
    I’ll take the compensation pick and roll into the season with AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor, a 3rd day draft pick and whatever assorted UFAs we pick up along the way.
    Fresh legs every 4 years.

    Overpaying RBs is not a recipe for success, they are easily replaceable.
    Yet teams continue to make the same mistake year after year.
    Some teams even make it a franchise habit.
    Let them.

    This money can be spent better elsewhere and the Packers have holes to fill at CB, ILB, DL and T.
    Continue making investments into the O-Line, as GB did last year, and the rushing yards will come.

  29. As much as I want to see him come back and as much as the team will benefit from him coming back he wont. It is because his agent wants a big pay day and wants to be know again for representing guys who get big pay days. I am not sure what other opportunities are available for Jones to pick up money – ie Wisconsin Cheese company or whatever but if he gets a bigger and longer pay day and more guaranteed money he needs to take it. But he should watch out for Drew – he might get a big offer but then in the details he might be making less . But I think Jones is playing Show me the Money – he has a fair offer and should take it. Not on a running back.

  30. This is getting insane! Turning down $9MIL……to play a game! How much money do you need?

  31. I would like to buy a new car at way less then the asking too. Jones was never a consideration, he wants to be paid what he is worth and that aint happening in GB.

    This is another ‘allmossy” by the Packers. They almost got X, they tried but almost got Y. Just couldnt get X and Y to play for less money then every other team was offering.

  32. Jets are probably tripping over themselves to get to the phone to get another high prices RB.

  33. If we can’t resign Aaron Jones, I feel like the combo of Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon together will give us about 85-90% of the effectiveness of Aaron Jones. And for a team that was #1 in points scored in the NFL, at most, that’ll drop the Packers to somewhere in the top 5. Defense wins championships though – we had an embarrassment of riches on offense last year, but we need to reinvest in defense for 2021 and beyond.

  34. Remember the article the other day that said; “why shouldn’t players take every penny they possibly can?”. Here’s your answer, two fold. Because the Packers will be worse off, because they cannot afford to keep their top RB. And because Jones will chase the money and go to a team that will probably end up 8-8. Money rules for these guys, even though getting $10 mil vs. $12 mil a year will not make a lifestyle difference.

  35. He plays on a team with what may be the best QB in the NFL, a top tier offensive line, a stud receiver…

    I’m sure he wants the big payday, but look at Bell when he left the Steelers. If I was Jones I would fight the best contract I could for 5 years and loaded with incentives and stay in Green Bay vs getting a big contract on a crappy team and being cut in a few years for not playing up to your contract.

  36. I look at it this way, as an opposing fan watching a Packer-Vikings game, I’m more nervous when Jones is on the field compared to Williams or Dillon, and its not even close. He’s the best free agent RB on the market, but it will be interesting to see if he can get more than $9M/yr on the market with the reduced cap and devaluation of the RB position. I still think there’s a chance he may stay with the Pack.

  37. There is a reason why they did not tag him, no way is he going to settle for the $8 million RB tag price and they did not want that headache. To bad like Le’Veon and his agent, Jones will soon find out the RB market just isn’t worth much, especially with the down cap year and all the cut or soon to be cut vets hitting the market.

  38. They didn’t tag Jones because there’s still too much heavy lifting to get their cap in order.

    Money and contracts still need to be restructured and shaved to not only get under the current threshold, but provide the 5 million or so needed for newly drafted players in April.

    By tagging Jones, that contract becomes an immediate 8 million dollar anchor, as opposed to money spread out over the total number of years in a long term deal.

  39. Resign Williams at $4m per year and use Dillon more. Still a net loss of talent, but not worth top tier money like Cousins or Cook.

  40. When did 9 million stop becoming a lot of money? If he doesn’t grab that, he should have his head examined. Second contract running backs usually are not worth the money.

  41. Running backs have shorter careers. He should try to get as much as he can, while he can.

  42. Jones should obviously capitalize on the situation. If he can get a bunch of guaranteed money in a 3 or 4 yest deal somewhere, he should grab that without hesitation. Some teams are more than willing to squander any chance at winning to land players or pay current players too much money. Good on Aaron Jones if he can find a team willing to do that.

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