3. Aaron Jones, RB
2024 cap hit: Roughly $17.72 million (Dead cap: $12.348 million)
It might be a painful cut, but the Green Bay Packers could absolutely cut or trade Aaron Jones at some point in the 2024 offseason. Jones has played in just seven games this season and is averaging 3.7 yards per carry. He was supposed to be a focal point of the offense as the Packers try to make as seamless of a transition to Jordan Love as possible, but his lack of availability and poor performance when on the field has certainly been illuminating, to say the least.
Jones is currently set to count nearly $18 million against next year's salary cap with over $12 million in dead cap if the Packers choose to move on. However, by making Jones a post-June 1 cut, the Packers can actually add $12 million in salary cap space next offseason which would help if they want to do any extensions in the summer, make any trades for other veterans, or possibly just start preparing to add larger contracts to the team in 2024 and beyond.
A cap charge of nearly $18 million for a running back is bordering on unheard of in today's NFL, so Jones -- who already accepted a pay cut this year -- might be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
This is the unfortunate reality of what happens when your guaranteed money runs out in the NFL, and Jones is more likely to be playing elsewhere in 2024 than in Green Bay. And this will lead us to a potential complete reset at the running back position with AJ Dillon also slated to hit free agency. Actually, Jones's situation could ultimately result in Dillon's future with Green Bay changing a little bit. Maybe the Packers will find a way to bring Dillon back and add another back in the draft.
One way or another, don't expect Aaron Jones's nearly $18 million cap charge to be on the books when 2024 rolls around.