The Green Bay Packers must find a way to bring back Aaron Jones in 2024.
Jones's contract, age, and recent injury history are reasons why the Packers could part ways with their superstar running back in the offseason. But there's no longer any doubt about it. He has to return next year.
Not only is Jones playing some of the best football of his career, but his leadership is vital to this young team's success. Jones leads by example with his performances on the field, but he also lifts up his teammates and shows them what it means to be a Packer.
Jones has four straight 100-yard performances for the first time in his career. He dominated the Dallas Cowboys' defense in the Packers' playoff opener, rushing for 118 yards and three touchdowns.
The Packers have the league's youngest roster. They are finding their way together. But in Jones, they have a player to look up to. Jones is impacting games as a runner as much as ever, but his leadership is helping this team reach heights they couldn't have dreamed of.
Jayden Reed's sideline quote is another reason why Packers need to keep Aaron Jones
NFL Films released a sideline video from the Packers' upset victory over the Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card Round. It featured a conversation between Jones and rookie wide receiver Jayden Reed.
"You're the reason I go hard, bro. You're somebody to look up to, bro. You're somebody to play for. I want to go out there and block for you. I feel f----d up when I don't make the block," said Reed.
Jones is the leader this young team needs. He took a pay cut to stay in Green Bay in the offseason and is showing his teammates the way, not only as a dominant player but as a teammate and a person.
The Packers may upgrade their running back room in the offseason, especially if they don't re-sign free-agent AJ Dillon. Adding another explosive player to the backfield would only help. A new running back could complement Jones in 2024 and potentially take on the lead role down the line.
Green Bay will have to figure it out financially, but there's no way they can move on from Jones in the offseason. He should finish his career with the Packers.