Packers 2022 roster preview: Aaron Jones’ final year in Green Bay?

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Aaron Jones has been outstanding as the Green Bay Packers‘ number one running back.

Jones forms one of the best running back duos in football alongside AJ Dillon. The two will be tough to stop this season.

But could this be Jones’ final year in Green Bay?

2021 stats

Jones was active for 15 games in the regular season, starting all of them.

He had 171 rushing attempts for 799 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He also had a career-best 52 receptions for 391 yards and six touchdowns.

Jones finished the 2021 season with 1,190 all-purpose yards and 10 total touchdowns.

2021 season review

The beauty of having two great running backs is that the Packers didn’t need to give either a huge workload. Matt LaFleur could rotate Jones and Dillon to keep them fresh.

It’s why Jones had his fewest rushing attempts since 2018. He still averaged a healthy 4.7 yards per attempt and had a bigger contribution in the receiving game than we had seen before.

Despite the Packers losing their first playoff game, Jones had a big performance with 12 rushing attempts for 41 yards, but more importantly, nine catches for 129 yards, including a 75-yard reception before halftime.

Jones didn’t have the featured role in 2021 that we’ve seen before, but a breakout season for Dillon meant LaFleur could rotate his running backs.

Will he make the roster?

Yes. Jones will enter the 2022 season as the Packers’ number one running back.

What to expect in 2022

The Packers could lean on their ground game more frequently this season due to the changes made at wide receiver. Without Davante Adams, the Packers lack a clear WR1. Handing the ball off to Jones and Dillon makes sense.

We should see another fairly even split in the carries between Jones and Dillon. It worked great last year, so there’s no reason to take another approach. The two complement each other so well.

Bigger picture, the question is whether this will be Jones’ final season in Green Bay.

According to Spotrac, Jones’ cap hit will rise by almost $15 million in 2023, but the Packers would make a saving of over $10 million by moving on from the former Pro Bowler.

Unless the Packers are willing to re-do his deal to spread out future cap hits, the reality is this could be Jones’ final season in Green Bay.