Packers Offered Aaron Jones Top-Five RB Salary?

Aaron Jones did not end his fourth Packers season on a high note, fumbling twice in the NFC championship game and missing time in Green Bay’s season-ending loss due to injury. The standout running back is now a few weeks away from free agency.

The Packers and their starting back engaged in extension discussions last year, but those did not go especially well. Jones changed agents and is now with Drew Rosenhaus ahead of free agency. The Packers are believed, however, to have offered Jones a deal including a top-five running back salary, Rob Demovsky of notes. The issue — as it often does — came down to guarantees. Big guaranteed cash was absent in Green Bay’s proposal, Demovsky adds.

A top-five running back salary would land in the $12MM range. Jones’ draft classmates Dalvin Cook ($12.6MM) and Joe Mixon ($12MM) helped set the second-tier running back market last year, with Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara joining Ezekiel Elliott on $15MM-plus-AAV deals. Derrick Henry also accepted a $12.5MM-AAV pact at the franchise tag deadline.

Everyone in this bracket has a contract including at least $16MM in full guarantees save for Mixon, whose Bengals re-up includes just $10MM guaranteed total. McCaffrey, Elliott and Henry signed for at least $25MM fully guaranteed, while Kamara’s pact includes $34MM in total guarantees.

Green Bay also has Jones change-of-pace back Jamaal Williams unsigned for 2021 but drafted A.J. Dillon in the 2020 second round. The team has not given a notable contract to a running back since extending Ryan Grant 13 years ago. Re-signing Williams and pairing him with Dillon would certainly come cheaper for Green Bay as well.

Jones is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. His second such season was lower on touchdowns (nine), but the former fifth-round pick managed 5.5 yards per carry on 201 carries — up from a 4.6 average in 2019. Jones joins fellow 2017 draftees Chris Carson and Marlon Mack in being unsigned ahead of free agency. Cardinals transition-tagged back Kenyan Drake is also unsigned, and Broncos two-time 1,000-yard rusher Phillip Lindsay is a restricted free agent. The franchise tag for backs may well drop from the 2020 mark, when Henry’s tag cost $10.2MM, but the cap’s expected reduction stands to limit tag usage this year. That could create an interesting marketplace at this position.

The Packers also have All-Pro center Corey Linsley due for free agency and just signed David Bakhtiari to a record extension. Linsley, 29, is seeking his third contract, but no substantial Packers-Linsley discussions are believed to have occurred yet.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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39 comments on “Packers Offered Aaron Jones Top-Five RB Salary?

  1. mcmillankmm

    Jones should have been happy with top 5 money…he’s not a top 5 RB

    • toddkirchenberg

      Numbers dictate otherwise. Also who do you have ahead of him. He is probably the best catching running back. He has averaged for his career over 5 yards a carry. One of the best of all time. I can think of five top running backs and he is in it. Name your top 6?

      • afsooner02

        Kamara is the best catching back by far. I’d say Jones is the best combo back though. He is better runner than Kamara and it’s not close.

        He’s def a top 5 back and should be paid like one.

        • letmeclearmythroat74

          I’d take Cook over either. Jones is not a better receiver than Cook. Jones rookie year he was rated as a poor receiver. Yes he improved but it wasn’t a natural talent like Cook and Kamera. It’s not about “ top five money” it’s about how much is guaranteed…that’s the hang up. There are several backs in the league that IMO could have stepped into same offense and produced similar results….Drake, Lindsey, Bernard, Peterson, Hyde, Howard … being a RB on that offense is one of the easiest in the league.

          • greenbowlpacker

            I don’t agree some of those backs would put up similar numbers in that offense.

      • dray16

        lots of rbs would have those numbers with the best offensive line in the league. GB would be smart to let him walk.

        • mcmillankmm

          Agreed dray, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pack let him walk…they took Dillon in Round 2 for a reason

      • brave new world

        Mccaffery- better all around back
        Kamara- as good runner better receiver
        Henry- better runner much worse receiver
        Sequon Barkley- equal as runner & receiver
        Dalvin Cook- better in both areas
        Jones slots in at #6
        Next comes guys like Eckler, Drake, Zeke

        • wettle

          Brave new world, I think you did a really good job of listing your top backs and I would agree with your assessment.

        • mcmillankmm

          If you’re truly listing the top 5 in the game he’s not in there…but there are also other RBs I would certainly roll with for the long run over him also

        • Mr Goodkat

          I’d put Chubb & Zeke ahead of him, but yeah he’s in that 6-8 range for me.

        • greenbowlpacker

          I would switch Jones and Barkley on that list, otherwise I agree. Barkley has more potential , Jones has produced more for his team

  2. IndianaBob

    Should switch him to receiver. His age will be less of a problem and paying him won’t hurt the team building.

  3. IBackTheNats6

    We’ve seem the star RB FA game with bell and gordon and it was kind to neither. Jones needs to take it

    • Jcool90

      Right or he’ll get like 5 million a year 3 year 15 total with 7.357 guaranteed. Lol there is so many rbs that need to get paid. Or they gotten raises already, a year contracts.

  4. dugdog83

    By drafting AJ Dillon it sure feels like GB will let him walk and use that money on a WR.

      • greenbowlpacker

        Which of those rookie receivers would have gotten them to 14-2? They were #1 seed so obviously they didn’t need a receiver that bad.

  5. MikeGrr19

    I’m always wary of paying RBs
    Who was the last RB has even halfway lived up to his contract?

  6. 10yardfight

    I would not pay him anything. Look back at the contracts others have signed in recent history that didn’t turn out so well Arian Foster, Demarco Murray, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot. All signed for big money and none have done well by year 3. Save the dough use a RB by committee and invest in o-line and receivers or perhaps the defense. Good to great starting caliber running backs can be found in rounds 3-6 of the draft

  7. Albany Foster

    There is no way shape form or fashion we should be taking away from offense and aaron deserves to get top money,we need to add a receiver and focus completely on defense bc we are to slow up front and the inside middle Lb so therefore I hope the people up top did listen to the commander in chief who run the offense!!!!! Start by chasing after jj wyatt he wants to win not all about money

  8. Albany Foster 2

    There is no way shape form or fashion we should be taking away from offense and aaron deserves to get top money,we need to add a receiver and focus completely on defense bc we are to slow up front and the inside middle Lb so therefore I hope the people up top did listen to the commander in chief who run the offense!!!!! Start by chasing after jj wyatt he wants to win not all about money

  9. jay13

    Aaron Jones is a very talented combo back. He deserves to get a nice pay raise but Green Bay should not be the team to give it to him. As a lions fan, I hope they do pay him. AJ Dillon is a tank and needs more play. Resign Williams or look for 2 guys in FA/Draft.

    Aaron Jones will end up in New York with the Jets.

  10. BigDaddy59

    I don’t see any way they keep Jones. To me, Kinsley is a bigger priority and may be cheaper to sign. Remember, salary cap is dropping by about 20MM next year. P. Smith probably gone and Kirksey too. No way King is re-signed and they can hopefully restructure Rodger’s contract. There are going to be some painful moves. Might not even be able to keep J. Williams. He could probably start somewhere in this league

  11. roswell6vika

    THE Best Running Back. PERIOD. [Derrick Henry] He earns EVERY YARD he makes.

  12. Wade Herbers

    Love it. Packers can tie up a bunch of $$$ in Jones and deplete the rest of the team….Anything to hurt the Packers is fine by me.

  13. Ak185

    Jones is good, not great. Williams is not very good, and they have a second round draft choice in the wings. I’m not sure that this deal could be any better for Jones as it stands. Jones is a very versatile back who runs much harder than his size and catches very well, but I don’t see him as better in his role as a pass catcher than either Kamala or McCaffery. He’s not as good an inside runner as Henry, Barkley, Elliott. He is pretty good running outside, but I just don’t see him as beating out every back back in a specific category. The Packers found a gem in Jones, but I think that they can save that money and apply it to either an inside linebacker or cornerback (I would say a receiver, but we all know that won’t happen).

    This sounds more critical of Jones than I mean it to be, probably, but I sincerely think that paying him that much is going another in a growing list of poor decisions made by this current regime. I think Jones is tailor-made for San Francisco’s offense, however, and would be a superstar there.

    • trout27

      Jones is one of the best at picking up the blitz which is a very important job for a running back. The Pack would be better served by signing Linsley to an extension. He is the best center in the league and those aren’t easy to come by.

      • Ak185

        I agree with both of those statements. I will certainly give you that.

        Pass protection is an important skill for a back, and Jones has come from nowhere to work very hard at getting where he is. He’s earned every bit of what he’s got. I don’t think that he is completely irreplaceable though, which is what would prioritize him over someone like Linsley. Top ten money? Sure. Top five? It just seems like a lot of money when they might need it elsewhere, as you pointed out.

    • Bigmikesriiii

      We run the same type of offense as san fran he ha’s a star on the packers if u look at the number of touches he gets a game there isn’t a rn in the nfl that produces at a better rate

  14. greenbowlpacker

    The regime that is 26-6.?? Guess u know would be 32-0 under your guide

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