Packers salary cap: Predicting Aaron Jones’ future in 2023
Aaron Jones is one of the Green Bay Packers‘ star players on offense.
When the offense runs through Jones, the Packers tend to move the ball a lot easier. However, his future remains unclear this offseason.
While he is under contract in 2023, the Packers need to create cap space, and Jones’ cap hit is set for a significant increase.
So, what’s next?
Note: All contract numbers are according to Over The Cap.
Aaron Jones’ 2023 salary cap hit
Aaron Jones’ cap hit had been below $6 million the past couple of seasons, but it now reaches $20.01 million in 2023.
What are the Packers’ options?
A contract restructure is a potential short-term fix, but all that does is push money into future years. It’s an approach the Packers have taken repeatedly with other contracts in recent years, which they continue to pay off this season.
But it’s still an option.
Green Bay could move on from its Pro Bowl running back.
Releasing Jones this offseason would create $10.46 million in cap space. The team would still have to pay a dead cap hit of $9.56 million for Jones to play elsewhere.
They could make it a post-June 1 release, creating $16 million this year with a dead cap hit of only $4.01 million.
The downside is that Green Bay would also pay $5.54 million in dead cap next year.
My prediction is that Aaron Rodgers’ future plays a role.
If Rodgers is back in Green Bay, the Packers have to go all-in for a Super Bowl. You don’t do that by releasing one of your best offensive players.
But if the Packers move forward with Jordan Love, they can begin to think longer-term. It then may make more sense to move on from Jones and draft a running back to pair with AJ Dillon.
Jones can still play at a high level, but will Green Bay take on his huge 2023 cap hit?