Packers used a rare contract rule to bring back AJ Dillon

Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon
Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

AJ Dillon isn't going anywhere. Somewhat surprisingly, the Green Bay Packers have re-signed their former second-round pick despite various reports indicating that they planned to move on.

Dillon joins Josh Jacobs in a new-look Packers backfield. Green Bay's moves this week could take running back off the list of draft-day priorities. They may still add another running back, but it's no longer a significant need.

However, there's more to the story. Dillon is back in Green Bay, but the terms of his contract aren't seen often in the NFL. The Packers are using a rare contract rule to bring back Dillon.

Packers used rare four-year qualifying offer on AJ Dillon

Dillon accepted a team-friendly deal to remain in Green Bay. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Packers used a four-year qualifying offer to re-sign Dillon.

You might be thinking, what does that mean?

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Dillon's base salary can't go over $2.58 million, and the Packers will pay around $1.1 million on the salary cap. It's a bargain deal, and one has to wonder whether another team would've offered Dillon more money.

According to Anthony Holzman-Escareno of, a four-year qualifying contract can only be offered to free agents with at least four credited seasons. The deal is worth up to $1.35 million more than the minimum salary for the position.

It's an incredibly team-friendly contract. The Packers can't lose.

But what about Dillon? It's hard to imagine another team wouldn't have offered him a better deal. Dillon loves playing for the Packers and has embraced the Wisconsin lifestyle since the team drafted him in 2020. He quickly became a fan favorite, so perhaps he took a hometown discount to return.

It's great to have Dillon back. The Packers landed one of the bargains of free agency.

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