Packers GM gives brutally honest explanation for releasing Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Jones / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Green Bay Packers fans won't forget the opening day of free agency anytime soon.

Along with the addition of Xavier McKinney and Josh Jacobs, the Packers said goodbye to franchise legends David Bakhtiari and Aaron Jones. The McKinney signing made sense and we expected Bakhtiari's departure, but nobody predicted Green Bay would replace Jones with Jacobs.

Jones's quick decision to sign with the division-rival Minnesota Vikings made it even harder to process. One moment, Packers fans were excited about the possibility of Jacobs-Jones backfield, but just hours later, Jones did a "Skol" chant in his introductory press conference with the Vikings.

Life moves fast in the NFL, and it's a tough business. Jones's departure is a perfect example of this.

Brian Gutekunst explains Packers' 'tough' decision to release Aaron Jones

The Packers' decision to release Jones was financial. They didn't want to take on the upcoming cap hits and asked Jones to take a pay cut for the second straight offseason. General manager Brian Gutekunst provided more details at the NFL's Annual League Meeting.

"As you guys know, we asked him to take a pay cut," said Gutekunst. "As we went through that process, we realized it probably wasn't going to come to fruition and we had to do what was in the best interest of our football team. That's what we did."

The Packers asked Jones to take a significant pay cut, but he took only a slightly better deal with the Vikings. He gets the opportunity for revenge on Green Bay twice a season.

It won't be easy watching a fan favorite wearing Vikings purple—although, let's be honest, it's nothing new—but it's important to remember the great moments Jones provided in Green Bay.

Gutekunst spoke about how challenging the decision was.

"Yeah, really tough," said Gutekunst. "The business of football never stops. Any player that's committed the way he has to our football team, the way he was in our locker room, and obviously, a very productive player. It's always tough."

Jones gave his all during his seven seasons with the Packers on the field, as a leader in the locker room, and in the community.

His departure again highlights the tough business of the NFL. Gutekunst took the emotion out of it, aiming to find an upgrade at the running back position once Jones was unwilling to accept their offer. As Gutekunst said, he was trying to make a decision "in the best interest of our football team."

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