Packers: 5 potential replacements for Aaron Jones in 2021

Kenneth Gainwell (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Kenneth Gainwell (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Chris Carson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Chris Carson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

3. Chris Carson

So, what if the Packers don’t use the draft to address the running back position but instead turn to free agency?

“Chris Carson is a name I heard buzzing around if Aaron Jones doesn’t come back,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini told “The Pat McAfee Show”. This will be something to watch closely. Like Jones, Carson is set to hit free agency as the Seattle Seahawks opted against using the franchise tag.

There’s good reason why the Packers might be interested in Carson as he’s a talented running back. He had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and ’19, putting up a total of 2,381 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Carson can also contribute as a receiver. This past season, he caught 37 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns. He’d likely see plenty of passes thrown his way in Matt LaFleur’s offense.

Carson’s contract could also be more affordable than Jones’, with Spotrac projecting he’ll earn around $7.4 million per year. The Packers would still need to create some cap space to make it work, but Carson’s contract is likely to be considerably more affordable than what Jones will get in free agency.

Outside of Jones, Carson is the best running back set to hit free agency. If Jones signs elsewhere, Carson will be a player to watch.