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Aaron Jones is off the board. On Sunday, the Packers agreed to a four-year, $48MM deal with their star running back (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The deal ties Jones to Green Bay through the 2024 season and comes with a $13MM signing bonus.
Jones could have gone into free agency without any restrictions and cashed in big. However, the current climate left a lot of uncertainty. With this deal, Jones and agent Drew Rosenhaus have opted for security over upside, though Jones has plenty of dollars coming his way.
The franchise tag would have given Jones around $9MM. Instead, he’s getting an average of $12MM/year with more guaranteed money than he was offered in last year’s round of talks. It took a little longer, but Jones got his big pay day just like 2017 running back draftees Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, and Joe Mixon. Before the deal, the Dolphins were heavily connected to Jones. Now, they’ll have to look elsewhere for help.
Jones has averaged over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 15 TDs over the past two seasons, positioning him as one of the best running backs in the NFL. Historically, teams have been reluctant to shell out big bucks and guaranteed years to RBs, but Jones has proven his value multiple times over.
In three of his four NFL campaigns, Jones has averaged 5.5 yards per carry. While he missed the Pro Bowl in 2019, he led the NFL with 19 touchdowns. There was no oversight last year as Jones turned in his second straight 1,000-yard season. He averaged a career-high 78.4 yards per game in 2020 and the Packers will be counting on more of the same in 2021, especially with Jamaal Williams on track for the open market.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.