Packers: Aaron Jones as good as gone following franchise tag deadline

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers should begin to prepare for life without star running back Aaron Jones.

The franchise tag deadline came and went on Tuesday and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Packers opted against using it.

It means Jones, on the back of consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in Green Bay, is heading to free agency. The chances of him re-signing with the Packers? Likely not too good.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers will try to re-sign Jones before free agency begins, but attempting to make a deal and actually agreeing on one are two entirely different things.

And what’s the incentive for Jones to sign a deal before testing free agency? He will have no shortage of offers around the league and it will be in his best interest to wait it out and let the competition begin.

Will the Packers be able to compete financially? Almost certainly not. Over The Cap has Green Bay inside the bottom 10 when it comes to cap space. The team still needs to clear over $11 million before the new league year gets underway.

Financially, the Packers aren’t in position to work out a long-term deal with Jones.

Packers could be about to lose a star player

For a team that fell a game short of the Super Bowl two years running, losing Aaron Jones is tough.

Jones has found the end zone 35 times since the start of 2019, including the playoffs. That’s a lot of points the Packers will now be losing.

GM Brian Gutekunst could’ve found a way to make the franchise tag work. If nothing else, it gave the team time to work on an extension with Jones while not running the risk of losing him in free agency.

The Chicago Bears, a team in a worse cap situation, found a way to franchise tag Allen Robinson. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchised Chris Godwin.

There’s still time for Jones to re-sign, but with the franchise tag deadline now gone, that becomes increasingly unlikely.

The AJ Dillon era could be about to get underway.