Aaron Jones

NFC North Rumors: Robinson, Packers, Golladay

The Bears and WR Allen Robinson have resumed extension talks after a tumultuous week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Chicago rebuffed trade inquiries on its star receiver while increasing the contract offer it had on the table. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says negotiations are not likely to last deep into the season.

Per La Canfora, Robinson and the Bears still don’t see eye-to-eye on Robinson’s value, and Robinson may be content to head into the 2021 offseason as arguably the best WR available in free agency. But La Canfora says Robinson will not hit the open market. If the two sides don’t come to terms on a new deal, look for the Bears to slap the 27-year-old with the franchise tag. Obviously, both parties would prefer to avoid that outcome, but it sounds like there is still a wide gap that needs to be bridged in short order.

Now for more from the NFC North:

  • Before the season started, we heard that the Packers and RB Aaron Jones were working on a new deal. Although games are now underway, it sounds as if an extension could still get done. Jones, who is currently earning $2.133MM in the final year of his rookie contract, has seen plenty of other backs get new deals over the past several weeks and hopes he will get his big payday soon. “I’m definitely open to getting something done whenever,” Jones said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “But like I said, that’s not my main focus. Just gonna continue to focus on football and helping this team bring in the wins, as many as possible.”
  • Another key member of the Packers who is set for free agency in 2021 is LT David Bakhtiari. As was the case with Jones, Green Bay was hoping to finalize an extension for Bakhtiari before the season, but it sounds as if the two sides are far apart in negotiations. Demovsky says the All-Pro lineman is looking to match or exceed Laremy Tunsil‘s $22MM AAV, while the Packers’ best offer to date is about $4MM per year less than Bakhtiari’s asking price.
  • Lions WR Kenny Golladay will make his 2020 debut soon. Although the star receiver will miss Detroit’s Week 2 matchup with the Packers this afternoon, head coach Matt Patricia said Golladay is “really close” to a return (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network). A few weeks ago, the Lions and Golladay were said to be nearing an agreement on what will surely be a massive extension, though there were conflicting reports on that front.
  • ICYMI, the Bears and RB Tarik Cohen have come to terms on a three-year extension.

Packers, Aaron Jones Working On New Deal

Running back Aaron Jones says the Packers are “definitely” working on an extension with his camp (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Will Selva). Jones, who is coming off of his best season to date, has one year to go on his rookie deal.

The former fifth-round pick flashed in limited usage in his first two seasons. Last year, he showed that it wasn’t a fluke. In 16 games (all starts), Jones rushed for 1,084 yards and 16 touchdowns, plus 49 catches for 474 yards and three TDs through the air. After leading the league in rushing TDs, and all-purpose TDs, he’s clearly in line for a pay bump.

The Packers don’t want to let Jones get away, though they did protect themselves against the possibility by drafting Boston College standout A.J. Dillon in the second round. Dillon’s presence may give the Packers a bit of extra leverage in talks, though Jones understands his value as a dual-threat RB. A deal in the neighborhood of $10MM/year could be in his future, provided that teams aren’t too skittish about the fiscal uncertainty of 2021. It’s also worth noting that the Packers have other expensive matters on the docket, including a new deal for left tackle David Bakhtiari.

As shown by Joe Mixon‘s recent $12MM/year extension with the Bengals, teams are still willing to pony up the cash necessary to lock down their best offensive talent. With the Packers’ season opener just around the bend, Jones could be on the cusp of his big payday.

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Aaron Jones: “I Would Love To Be A Lifelong Packer”

Following a tremendous 2019 season, Packers RB Aaron Jones is in line for a lucrative extension that would catapult him up the list of the league’s highest-paid running backs. Green Bay met with Jones’ camp at the combine, but it’s currently unclear where the two sides stand in their contract talks.

For his part, Jones would like to stay with the Packers for the long haul. “I would love to be a lifelong Packer,” he said. “I trust my agents, and I trust the Packers. I trust them to get a deal done. If I can control what I can control, I feel like it will be taken care of” (Twitter links via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).

Jones’ agent, Chris Cabott, confirmed Wednesday discussions with the Packers have taken place, Demovsky adds. But the parties have more work to do.

Green Bay selected Boston College RB A.J. Dillon in the second round of this year’s draft, which could suggest that the club is less keen on a long-term deal. On the other hand, Dillon does not presently profile as the type of receiving threat that Jones is, so there may be room for both players over the next couple of years.

But Dillon could end up poaching Jones’ goal-line carries, and head coach Matt LaFleur has repeatedly expressed his preference for a RB-by-committee approach. With Dillon and holdover Jamaal Williams in the picture, Jones may be hard-pressed to replicate his 2019 production.

Jones said he is not disappointed or surprised that the club invested a high draft choice in a running back, but he surely hopes to cash in while his value could be at its peak. As a dual-threat RB, it would not be terribly surprising to seem him command $10MM or so on a yearly basis, but a 2020 decline — along with the league’s general reluctance to give large second contracts to running backs — could depress his market.

The former fifth-round pick ran for 1,084 yards with a league-leading 16 touchdowns and averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year. He also hauled in 49 receptions – one of several new career watermarks – for 474 yards and three scores.

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Packers, Aaron Jones Discuss New Deal

The Packers opened up extension talks with Aaron Jones at the combine earlier this year, ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky hears. As it stands, the running back is set to reach free agency for the first time in his career following the 2020 season. 

Jones, still only 25, made a strong case for himself with a monster 2019. The former fifth-round pick ran for 1,084 yards with a league-leading 16 touchdowns and averaged 4.6 yards per carry as the Packers’ primary back. He also hauled in 49 receptions – one of several new career watermarks – for 474 yards and three scores.

A new deal for Jones wouldn’t approach Christian McCaffrey‘s new record-breaking extension with the Panthers, though CMC’s deal will bolster the market for running backs everywhere. That’s especially true for dual-threat types like Jones. More than ever, the league recognizes the impact of RB1s that also provide WR2/WR3 value.

The Packers don’t have an in-house replacement for Jones and, as Demovsky writes, their approach to the early rounds of the draft may tip their plans. The Packers have bigger fish to fry than running back – wide receivers and run-stuffers are on their to-do list – so drafting an RB inside of the first two rounds would speak volumes. Someone like Florida State’s Cam Akers could serve as a strong complimentary back for Jones in Year One and, potentially, take over as the starter in 2021.

Through injuries, suspensions, and committees, Jones has shined throughout his Packers tenure – albeit in a limited sample size for his first two seasons. Between 2017 and 2018, Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry on a total of 214 attempts. This past season, he held strong with his 4.6 yard average on 236 attempts.

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Packers To Pursue Austin Hooper; Latest On Aaron Jones

An Aaron RodgersAustin Hooper connection is a pretty scary proposition for the Packers’ NFC rivals, and that’s exactly what Green Bay is hoping to create this offseason. Per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, the Packers want to add a receiving weapon in free agency and in the draft, and they plan to pursue Hooper, the best TE available on the free agent market.

Already this morning we heard that the Bears and Redskins are interested in Hooper, but given that they advanced to the NFC Championship Game in 2019 and have a future Hall of Famer under center, the Packers look like a much much more appealing landing spot for Hooper if they can make the money work. The 25-year-old will likely take home a contract paying him at least $12MM per season, and the tight end market as a whole is widely expected to be reset this year after it has stagnated for some time.

Indeed, the Packers’ own Jimmy Graham has long been the TE pacesetter in terms of average annual value ($10MM), but his play has not really merited that status in recent years. He did lead Green Bay tight ends with 38 catches for 447 yards in 2019, but an upgrade is definitely in order.

Hooper would provide just that. In 13 games for Atlanta in 2019, the 25-year-old two-time Pro Bowler set career-highs in receptions (75), yards (787), and touchdowns (six). Green Bay has often asked Rodgers to make hay out of an underwhelming receiving corps, and a combination of Davante Adams, Hooper, and perhaps a rookie WR from a class that is historically deep at the position would undoubtedly make A-Rod a very happy man. Adding Hooper may also allow the team to cut Graham and save about $8MM against the cap, which would help pay for Hooper’s salary.

Of course, the team also hopes RB Aaron Jones will stick around for the foreseeable future after a monster 2019 campaign as a do-it-all playmaker for the Green Bay offense. Jones is now eligible for an extension after having completed three years in the league, and Demovsky says the Packers were scheduled to meet with his reps at the scouting combine. Jones, a 2017 fifth-rounder, is interested in having contract talks.

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Packers Place RB Aaron Jones On IR

Aaron Jones‘ season is over. On Tuesday, the Packers placed the running back on injured reserve, ruling him out of the final two games of the regular season.

[RELATED: Packers Claim RB Kapri Bibbs]

Jones’ season started off with a two-game suspension, but he has made up for lost time in recent months. Through Week 15, Jones led the league in yards-per-carry (5.6) and posted career highs in rushing yards (720), rushing touchdowns (eight) and receptions (26).

The Packers have a number of issues to address this offseason, but their starting running back situation is more or less settled with the 2017 fifth-round pick in the fold. His rookie contract runs through 2020 and it’s one of the league’s better values at his position.

Without Jones, the Packers will turn to Jamaal Williams as their top back. They’ll look to avoid a winless season on the road when they face the Jets on Sunday.

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Knee Injury Could End Aaron Jones’ Season

Packers running back Aaron Jones left Sunday’s game against the Bears on his fourth carry of the afternoon with a knee injury. It appears that tote could be his last of the season, as the running back expects to be sidelined a while, PackersNews.com writes

Though an official word has not been released, the running back said it was “similar” to the torn MCL he suffered last season, which cost him two games. With just two games remaining in the season and the Packers eliminated from playoff contention, it would make sense that the emerging back is done for the season. He would not rule out his return, however.

“I’m hoping that I will be able to play next week,” Jones said. “I’m a competitor and I want to play, and it killed me not to be able to play.”

In a backfield committee, Jones has shined in his second season. Through Week 14, the Packers back led the NFL in yards-per-carry (5.6) and had already posted career highs in rushing yards (720), rushing touchdowns (eight) and receptions (26).

His short time in the NFL has been marred by injuries, however. As a rookie, he suffered a pair of knee injuries — one to each knee — and was limited to just 81 carries in 12 games. The fifth-round selection has shown plenty of promise, though, and figures to feature heavily in the Packers’ plans in 2019. He is signed through the 2020 season.

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Packers Activate RB Aaron Jones

The Packers have activated running back Aaron Jones from the suspended list and waived cornerback Deante Burton, the club announced today.

Jones, 23, was handed a two-game ban for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy after an October 2017 arrest. A fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, Jones was excellent during his rookie campaign, averaging 5.5 yards per carry on 88 attempts. Among running backs with fewer than 100 carries, Jones finished first in DYAR (a representation of his value over a replacement level player) and second in DVOA (meaning he was effective on a per-play basis), per Football Outsiders.

Jones isn’t coming back to Green Bay as a starter despite his production a season ago. After Jones missed the tail end of the 2017 campaign with an MCL injury, fellow rookie Jamaal Williams took over as the Packers’ workhorse. In total, Williams handled 153 carries an averaged 3.6 yard per carry last year, and has shouldered the load through Green Bay’s first two games this season. With Ty Montgomery also in tow, Jones will be eased back into the club’s offensive gameplan.

Burton played receiver at Kansas State but converted to cornerback upon being signed as a Falcons undrafted free agent in 2017. He played in one game for Atlanta this year before being cut.

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Packers Move Roster To 53

The Packers have trimmed their roster to 53 by making the following transactions:

Waived/Injured:

Placed on suspended list:

Cut:

NFL Suspends Packers RB Aaron Jones

The hits just keep on comin’. On Tuesday afternoon, the NFL announced that Packers running back Aaron Jones has been suspended for the first two games of the season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. 

In typical fashion, the NFL has used the cover of the upcoming holiday as a cover for its less-than-positive news. First, a two-game ban was announced for 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster. Then, Rams lineman Jamon Brown was hit with a two-game suspension. Now, Jones has been sidelined for the first two weeks of the regular season.

Jones was slated to start the year as the Packers’ top ball-carrier this year, along with former wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Now, Jones will have to wait until Week 3 to take the field.

It’s likely that Jones’ ban stems from the multiple charges he picked up from a traffic stop in October of last year. Jones, who told authorities that he had smoked marijuana, pleaded not guilty to counts of speeding, driving without a valid license, and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system.

Jones, 23, averaged an eye-popping 5.5 yards per carry in a limited 12-game sample for the Packers last year. This year, he’ll miss the club’s first two games against the Bears and Vikings before returning on Sept. 23 to face the Redskins.

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