Packers' upcoming free agency decision on AJ Dillon is as clear as day

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There are going to be a lot of conversations taking place regarding the Green Bay Packers' approach to free agency from now until its start date of March 13.

Some players will require lengthy discussions about their future, while others will be quite brief. This brings us to soon-to-be 26-year-old running back AJ Dillon. Green Bay has what appears to be one of the easiest decisions staring right in front of them—let him walk in free agency.

Averaging 40.9 yards per game on the ground on a career-high 11.9 attempts, the career-low 3.4 yards per carry was not what anyone had in mind from Dillon last season.

When going beyond surface numbers, an even more alarming analysis of his performance is uncovered. Dillon had the worst touchdown percentage rate of any running back with more than 15 carries inside the 10-yard last season. The fourth-year back would also rank 38th in yards per carry, 35th in success rate (32%), and 31st in EPA per rush. This was not the level of performance expected of Dillon, making it incredibly difficult to justify his time in Green Bay being extended.

Packers must move on from AJ Dillon in free agency

As an impending unrestricted free agent, 2023 was a crucial year for Dillon to prove his worth, not only to the Packers but to the rest of the league. Falling well short of those goals at an age where he should still be productive should be all Green Bay needs to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision, a decision that should lead to Dillon exploring opportunities elsewhere with other organizations.

Even if Dillon is open to returning to Green Bay on a deal that is considerably less than what he may have been hoping for, the Packers would be wise to consider other options that may be available to them.

It is about ensuring there is a capable backup on the roster to contribute when called upon, and protecting themselves should they be forced into a starting role unexpectedly. Dillon had his chance last year to prove he is capable of carrying the necessary load should Jones be unavailable, and he was unable to do so.

With Jones getting close to 30 years old and in the final year of his contract, Green Bay should look to remain as flexible as possible when it comes to the future of the running back position, and letting Dillon go in free agency is a small part of that process.

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