Packers: What Aaron Jones deal means for Jamaal Williams

Green Bay Packers, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers re-signed star running back Aaron Jones with the Pro Bowler receiving a four-year deal worth $48 million, as reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

It’s a big signing for the Packers who have recently been making a number of roster moves to get under the salary cap before the start of the new league year.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one move they are expected to make in the coming days is extending Za’Darius Smith’s contract. It would allow them to structure it in a way to reduce his cap hit for 2021.

Even with all these roster moves, it’s unlikely the Packers will have much cap room to work with once free agency starts.

With Jones re-signed, it leaves another question. What’s next for Jamaal Williams?

Williams, who was drafted one round higher than Jones back in 2017, is also set to become a free agent. The two have formed one of the best running back combinations in the league over the past couple of years, but it sure seems like it’s about to come to an end.

While Williams will likely get a more affordable contract than Jones’, it’s hard to imagine the Packers will be able to justify paying both running backs when they are so limited in cap space. Especially after drafting AJ Dillon in the second round.

It also means re-signing All-Pro center Corey Linsley becomes all the more difficult. In all likelihood, both Williams and Linsley will be playing elsewhere next season.

The Packers still have a strong 1-2 punch in the backfield with Jones and Dillon. The two have contrasting styles which should work well together. Dillon can wear defenses down with his power, while Jones is elusive and explosive with the ball in his hands.

To ensure they have good depth, the Packers should consider using a Day 3 draft pick at running back but they don’t need to make it a priority in the earlier rounds.

It always felt as if the Packers would re-sign one of Jones or Williams, but not both. With Jones signing a new deal, it’s difficult to see a scenario in which Williams is a Packer in 2021.