Latest Packers free agency rumor is a huge insult to Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers
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The NFL is a business, and players understand that. But the Green Bay Packers have shown a lack of respect to Aaron Jones in two consecutive offseasons.

Green Bay hopes to bring back Jones. General manager Brian Gutekunst even said the "anticipation" was that Jones would return for another season.

And the Packers need to bring him back. Jones makes the entire team better. He rushed for over 100 yards in five straight games to end the season, including two in the playoffs. His leadership helped lift the league's youngest roster after a slow start.

But he continues to get disrespected, which may result in him leaving Green Bay in free agency.

Report: Packers will release Aaron Jones if he doesn't agree to pay cut

Jones isn't just a Pro Bowl player but an outstanding person. Last offseason, he took a pay cut to help the team because he "didn't want to be greedy."

Now, the Packers want him to do it again.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers will release Jones if they can't negotiate a pay cut in the next two weeks.

"If the two can't reach agreement in the next two weeks, the Packers would release him and then hope whatever they are offering isn't matched on the open market. If it wasn't, they'd have a chance at re-signing him at their price."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jones took a pay cut a year ago to stay in Green Bay. He then delivered some of the best football of his career while remaining one of the leaders in the locker room. The young players look up to Jones.

The Packers' response? To demand another pay cut.

Yes, the NFL is a business. Green Bay doesn't want to take on Jones's $17.58 million cap hit. Brian Gutekunst's job is to manage the roster, and part of that is negotiating deals to help maintain a healthy salary cap.

However, respect also plays a significant role, especially for franchise legends like Jones. He has given his all to the team and embodies everything it means to be a Packer. But demanding another pay cut is a slap in the face to one of the team's most respected and loyal players.

And it could backfire in a big way. Another team may be willing to pay Jones. The Packers would lose their star running back and need to start over at the position. Silverstein reports Green Bay also isn't expected to re-sign free agent AJ Dillon.

The Packers have been criticized for their treatment of star players on the way out. Jordy Nelson said he was "hurt" by the team's "unwillingness" to work with him on his contract in 2018. Instead, the Packers cut Nelson. Hopefully, we aren't headed for a similar situation with Jones.

There are other ways to create cap space. Disrespecting Jones isn't the way to do it.

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