Aaron Jones “anticipated bigger offers in free agency”

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Packer running back Aaron Jones will remain Packers running back Aaron Jones, thanks to a four-year, $48 million deal with a $13 million signing bonus.

His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, announced the deal and added this: “We anticipated bigger offers in free agency but Aaron wanted to stay with the Packers.”

Some would say there’s no way to know whether there would be bigger offers in free agency, because the legal tampering period doesn’t commence until Monday at noon ET. The reality, however, is that agents know what else is out there, because illegal tampering always happens.

It’s possible, if not likely, that Jones took Green Bay’s offer now because the Packers made it clear that, once the window opens for striking unofficial deals on Monday, they’d spend that money on another running back and/or on players at other positions. Thus, Jones and Rosenhaus aren’t guessing on what else may have been available before taking Green Bay’s offer. Surely, they knew.

The question then becomes whether it’s true that other teams would have made “bigger offers.” In an industry rife with prevarication (periodic SAT word alert), there’s nothing wrong with an unprovable white lie. No one is going to be able to disprove it, and few will even care.

If it’s true, however, it’s a break from generally-accepted NFL precedent. Star running backs usually get big money only from their current teams. When star running backs hit the market, they rarely get huge money elsewhere.

One noteworthy exception is Le'Veon Bell, who got $27 million guaranteed over two years from the Jets in 2019. That was widely regarded as a mistake  by former Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan — one that was compounded by the fact that the next team on the list was in the range of $8 million annually.

It also will be interesting to see the full breakdown of the Jones deal. While $13 million in the form of a signing bonus is solid, the full structure will reveal plenty. Most likely, it’s a two-year deal with an annual team-held option for the balance.

Of course, that’s what it is for most if not all running back deals. Some, like the deal paid by the Cowboys to running back Ezekiel Elliott contract in 2019, have rolling guarantees that make it hard to pull the plug after two years.

As annual average goes, Jones is tied with Bengals running back Joe Mixon for sixth place, behind Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey ($16 million), Elliott ($15 million), Saints running back Alvin Kamara ($15 million), Vikings running back Dalvin Cook ($12.6 million), and Titans running back Derrick Henry ($12.5 million).

Like always, the devil resides in the details of these deals. For example, Kamara’s contract has a fat back end that gets the average to $15 million annually. Whether and to what extent the Jones contract has any such devices remains to be seen. Whether anyone else was ever going to offer him more will never be known.

56 responses to “Aaron Jones “anticipated bigger offers in free agency”

  1. That 15 mill for Kamara is going to hurt if it is going to be Hill skipping passes across the turf to him.

  2. Graham Mooney says:
    March 14, 2021 at 4:54 pm
    Idiot move. AJones was gonna make stupid money elsewhere.

    Dude you realize the salary cap went down by $15 Mil SMH!

  3. Every year people use this term, and every year it drives me crazy. By definition, there is no such thing as “legal tampering”. That’s like saying “legal assault”. If it’s legal, it’s not tampering. What they are doing is preliminary negotiations prior to the start of free agency.

  4. Glorified RB2 making elite RB money. Definitely has pictures of some Packers brass…

  5. 2 fumbles and left injured to not return in the last game of the year, LOL. Good luck with that.

  6. Why? Why are these players so misled?

    Let’s recap:

    1. Pandemic
    2. 4 Billion lost. Billion!
    3. Flattened cap.
    4. Full, bloated market not seen since expansion in 1995.

    So, why would he think that? When very good players are cut en masses this week or after the draft, and they don’t want to play for a reduced salary, there will be more retirings, too.

    This isn’t rocket science but then again, look at how many teams have moron GMs.

  7. I just want to put this out there, can ANYONE please tell me the last time a team that was paying their starting RB a significant portion of their cap space won the SB? Not saying Jones is a bad player cause he’s not, and I’m not saying he didn’t deserve to be paid for what he has accomplished on the field. Just for the life of me I can’t remember.

  8. It’s a QB league, and if there was any doubt, Tom Brady put those notions to rest. Tampa Bay hadn’t won a playoff game in 18 years, and New England hadn’t missed the playoffs in 20 years (except 2008 when Brady was injured). I love RB’s. They’re exciting. They can be slightly over-paid because they generate some excitement and put fans in the seats, sell jersey’s, etc.

  9. Bird in hand is better than two in the bush. This applies to both Jones and the Packers…

  10. The statement itself is ambiguous. It could also be interpreted as, “We were anticipating bigger offers [than what my client was shaping up to get] in free agency.”

  11. This just makes the Packers top two 2020 draft picks look like complete wastes in a super bowl window. Love and Dillon as a backup RB will not impact the team for years to come.

  12. good deal for both. If you’re not a Packers fan, you shouldn’t care. You always want to keep your best players, and Aaron Jones is the best running back for the Packers, too many jealous fans and haters out there these days.

  13. Olyhawkguy says:
    March 14, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Glorified RB2 making elite RB money.

    +++++

    “RB2” finished 4th in the league in rushing. Do you have any idea how many franchises the NFL has?

  14. chickensalad43 says:
    March 14, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Love and Dillon as a backup RB will not impact the team for years to come.

    +++++

    Did you turn injuries off on Madden again?

  15. Despite the overall negativity from the usual suspects, one could look at it as the Packers are returning an integral part of an offense that was not only the highest scoring in the NFL last season, but was historically one of the most efficient. Ever.
    But, complain away.
    It’s what offseasons are for.

  16. Cook is a better player than Jones any day and he didn’t request for more money. Jones just lost a chance to win Superbowl. 😆 Packers will always choke as long a Aaron is the qb.

  17. Cook is a better player than Jones any day and he didn’t request for more money. Jones just lost a chance to win Superbowl. 😆 Packers will always choke as long a Aaron is the qb.
    —–
    We are all dumber for having read this

  18. Look I’m not fond of paying RBs 10+ mil a year but let’s look at this for a moment.

    The Packers are perennial contenders and came very (ask the 14 NFC teams sitting home watching that playoff game) close to making the SB last year. 2 years with this offensive group is probably a realistic window before it is time to rebuild.

    Rosenhaus, for lack a of a better term, is a liar, he’s never turned down a nickle for his clients in his whole life. He looked around and said “Hey reduced cap, reduced value for running backs and probably more money on the table than you are really worth (given the current situation), we had better take this deal and bank the bird in hand.”

    Now it’s up to all parties to prove they made the right decision.

    And the Jets’ signing of Bell was among the dumber decisions they have made in the last few years. Maccagnan was stupid enough to make the offer and Bell was smart enough to take it. As PT Barnum said “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  19. Jones and rosenhaus should’ve know, it’s not the 90s anymore, teams just don’t pay ridiculous money for running backs anymore. Jones should be THRILLED with what he got, teams found out that they can get the same production from a rookie running back on a ROOKIE DEAL.

  20. Bold HEADLINE screams that Jones anticipated a bigger offer. However, the story says that Drew Rosenhaus said “WE anticipated bigger offers”! Click bait and switch!

  21. Excuse me, can I get a clarification here? I’ve been really busy and haven’t been on here very often of late so I can’t be sure. All this hullabaloo about Aaron Jones… is this the earliest the purple panic has ever started or is this just residual panic from last year?

  22. Jones would have had much bigger offers in another time. But because of the revenue losses and reduced cap, he hit free agency at a bad time.
    I think it worked out for the best for him and the Packers, though.

  23. All these comments, even if negative, means people notice. If it were something in purple, maybe 5 comments max – few care about irrelevance.

  24. neverdieeasy says:
    March 14, 2021 at 4:56 pm
    That 15 mill for Kamara is going to hurt if it is going to be Hill skipping passes across the turf to him.
    ********************************************************************************************
    He will also be skipping the ball across the turf to Michael Thomas which will hurt even more.

  25. People thinking that this deal means Jones will make $12M/yr for four years must also think the Saints are actually going to pay Taysom Hill $35M/yr for the next four years. When will people learn that initially announce numbers rarely reflect the reality of how the deal will play out?

  26. Bye bye Robert Tonyan, Allen Lazard, Cory Linsley, Jamal Williams and Kevin King.

    +++++

    Tonyan and Lazard are restricted free agents and will be back. Linsley will be missed. Williams too.

    Kevin King, good riddance.

  27. What this article mainly does, is to highlight that this year especially, it will be a buyer’s market, with many of the buyers being unable to participate much at all.

    And what that means is that the very few teams in really good cap situations (Jaguars, Jets and Patriots in particular) can, if they’re both smart and patient, pick up a number of excellent bargains and craft some excellent short term and mid-term deals. Hate to say it, but I think Belichick’s been planning for this, possibly from as far back as last year’s draft.

  28. Based on this contract Lamar Jackson should break the bank in his next deal!

  29. Unlike the fans of many teams I trust my team’s front office. This signing, and the development of some key positions in 2020 means the following: GB can focus on the draft to fill positions on both lines, WR 2, which makes Jones and Dillon that much more productive, and CB. TE is no longer the need JT was and the young ILBs impressed as rooks. And Gutey has draft capital (10 picks) to move up and fill needs

    I like where this is heading……

  30. Kevin King, good riddance.
    —–
    Truer words have never been spoken. Go hang out with what’s his name who couldn’t handle the onsider in 14.

  31. What hurt Jones were the two fumbles that got him benched in the NFC Championship game. He better take what he can get.

  32. The league is changing. No one here in the comments section seems to have a clue.
    QB stars are sucking up too much cap space to field a decent team for more than a few years. Sign your bell cow for $10-15 million; draft a decent backup at QB and RB for the future/injury; be strong in the trenches and on defense.
    Then when you have a star QB on his fifth year of the contract where he is viewed as underpaid you push all your chips into the middle of the table. How do you think Eli won 2 Super Bowls?

  33. I cannot believe people keep calling Dillon and Luck picks waste. If nothing, those picks give leverage on negotiating table. Also they can stil cut these players red and move on with dead cap. Plan is still same unless Rogers and Jones keep playing at this level for next 3 years which is very unlikely

  34. Dillon was drafted (way overdrafted more accurately) so GB wouldn’t have to pay AJ this kind of money. Teams draft RBs in the 2nd/3rd rounds to replace the guy that’s about to be off their rookie contract. The Packers giving Jones this deal is admitting they don’t trust Dillon.

  35. How much is guaranteed? People overreact to the number but as apparent with Goff and Wentz, teams seem to be able to get out of any contract. Kyle Van Noy signed his big contract last year and dolphins were able to get out of it pretty easily in a cap strapped year for the league.

    It doesn’t matter what the total number in a contract says; guarantees are the number that matters.

  36. chickensalad43 says:
    March 14, 2021 at 5:29 pm
    This just makes the Packers top two 2020 draft picks look like complete wastes in a super bowl window. Love and Dillon as a backup RB will not impact the team for years to come.
    —————————————————————————————–
    Agree . If they drafted a WR or TE who could have given Rodgers another dependable target besides Adams in crunch time and a CB who knew you don’t let a WR run by you with seconds left in the half we could have seen Rodgers dedicating the Lombardi trophy to Jodie Foster .

  37. Why do fans even care how much a team pays their top players to remain with the team,its all part of the teams business plans.certainly some teams will end up being sorry for their business decisions but that occurs in all big businesses at some point.we wont know the true outcomes of those decisions for two years down the road.if Jones rushes for 800 yds and 350 yds recieving and helps the Packers get to the playoffs or further it will be a great signing.

  38. It’s been a long time since the Packers had a legit “Big Three”. Rodgers, Adams and Jones might be the best since Favre-Javon Walker-Ahman Green in those early Mike Sherman years.

  39. Bye bye Robert Tonyan, Allen Lazard, Cory Linsley, Jamal Williams and Kevin King
    ==========

    King isn’t even worthy of an honorable mention there.

    He should be dishonorably discharged.

  40. If they drafted a WR or TE who could have given Rodgers another dependable target besides Adams in crunch time and a CB who knew you don’t let a WR run by you with seconds left in the half we could have seen Rodgers dedicating the Lombardi trophy to Jodie Foster
    =========

    Receivers have the highest bust rate of any position. Look at Ruggs this year. Top WR taken, all 5 others out-produced him.

    TE is not an issue. Tonyan was fantastic. Lewis is a great blocker. Sternberger and Deguara are solid developmental players.

  41. It’s been a long time since the Packers had a legit “Big Three”. Rodgers, Adams and Jones might be the best since Favre-Javon Walker-Ahman Green in those early Mike Sherman years.
    ==========

    I’ll take Favre-Driver-Green… IF I can have Shermans line as well. MAN that unit was fun to watch. Just dominant.

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