The Green Bay Packers have signed one of the best free agents of the offseason. Aaron Jones looked set to be playing football elsewhere in 2021 but the Packers have worked out an extension right at the buzzer.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it’s a four-year, $48 million deal with a $13 million signing bonus.
Jones is one of the best running backs in football and has been simply outstanding for the Packers under Matt LaFleur.
And this contract extension is great news for not just the Packers, but also Jones.
Why the move is great for the Packers
In 2020, Green Bay’s offense ranked No. 1 in scoring. A key reason to the team’s offensive success was Aaron Jones, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl after completing his second straight 1,000-yard season.
Jones was Green Bay’s best running back from the moment he was drafted, but frustratingly found himself in a RB committee under Mike McCarthy. But since Matt LaFleur has taken over as head coach, he’s found the perfect way to give Jones a featured role on offense.
The results speak for themselves.
It’s unlikely any running back in free agency or the draft would be able to make that kind of impact for Green Bay in 2021.
Jones also has a career average of 5.2 yards per carry. Only once has he failed to reach 5.5 yards per attempt in a season.
The Packers have now ensured one of their best offensive players is back and he’ll once again play a vital role in LaFleur’s offense.
It would seem unlikely Jamaal Williams will return following this move, but AJ Dillon impressed as a rookie and should see more playing time next season. With Jones and Dillon, the Packers will have a thunder-and-lightning combination and possibly the best running back duo in football.
It’s no surprise that GM Brian Gutekunst maintained interest in re-signing Jones. He’s that important to this team.
Why the move is great for Aaron Jones
Jones now becomes one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL and it’s well deserved. But what makes the move even better for Jones is that he gets to remain part of one of the league’s best offenses.
LaFleur’s system is perfect for Jones. He’s has a featured role and is used heavily as a receiver. Jones plays on all three downs and can make an impact in so many ways.
It also means Jones remains with a Super Bowl contender. Had he signed elsewhere in free agency, it’s possible the best offers would’ve come from teams likely out of playoff contention. With the Packers, he’s part of a dominant offense and a team that will again be one of the top contenders in the NFL.
Jones knows the system and has been outstanding in this offense.
He now gets to stick with the team that drafted him, go for a Super Bowl, while now becoming one of the highest-paid running backs in the league.
It’s a win-win for both sides.