Packers: What are the pros and cons of re-signing Aaron Jones?
In about a month, we’ll know where Aaron Jones will be playing football in 2021. There’s a good chance it won’t be with the Green Bay Packers.
Jones, a fifth-round pick by the Packers in 2017, has become a star running back and among the best at his position in the entire NFL.
Over the years, the Packers have done a good job of re-signing star players they drafted to second contracts. What would be the pros and cons of re-signing Jones?
Pros of Packers re-signing Aaron Jones
The Packers aren’t a team set for a rebuild or a few years away from competing. They’re championship contenders right now. That might not be true in three years time.
By re-signing Jones, Green Bay would be bringing back one of its best players for another run. If Jones walks, the team would lose one of its most explosive offensive players. A running back who averages 5.2 yards per carry in his career, and has 25 rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns in the past two seasons.
Jones is a Pro Bowler coming off consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, while still just 26 years old.
While it can be a risk signing running backs to big contracts, it’s fair to say Jones hasn’t seen the same workload as many other top running backs around the league. Over the past four seasons, Derrick Henry has 1,072 carries. Ezekiel Elliott has 1,091. Jones has only 651.
Jones is one of the best running backs in football. For a Super Bowl contender, bringing him back would be a sign the Packers are going all in.
Cons of Packers re-signing Aaron Jones
Jones will likely become one of the highest-paid running backs in football. According to Over The Cap, Christian McCaffrey makes an average salary of $16.01 million per year. Elliott and Alvin Kamara are both at $15 million. Jones’ salary will be right up there, even if slightly lower.
The Packers would need to get creative with their cap to make it work which could force them to release players who could otherwise contribute in 2021. It would almost certainly prevent them from being active in free agency outside of a couple of cheap deals.
And despite Jones’ lower number of attempts compared to other running backs mentioned earlier, it’s still a risk to sign a running back to a big deal. Not to mention that Jones has dealt with a few injuries over the past four seasons, completing all 16 regular season games only once while missing a combined 10 games since 2017.
But despite that, we all know how great Jones is. He’s a superstar. The fans love him. His teammates love him. And the Packers are a better team with Jones on the roster.
What Green Bay need to determine is, first of all, whether it can afford to bring him back, and then what other moves signing Jones would prevent them from making.