The Buffalo Bills may not have much cap space for splashy moves in the coming offseason, but one insider believes they can still shake things up by trading for one of the league’s top dual-threat running backs.
In a preview of the team’s offseason needs and potential player targets, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox wrote that the Bills could target Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones in what would amount to a blockbuster trade. The Bills struggled at times to establish a run game, and the addition of Jones would take pressure off of quarterback Josh Allen while adding a component the offense has been sorely missing.
Bills Beef Up Run Game in Trade Proposal
Knox noted that the Bills will likely stick to the same approach they have taken over the past two seasons, prioritizing keeping their own players and then looking at “budget options” to fill roster holes in the second and third waves of free agency.
He added that the Bills could also look to a trade to boost their running game, especially if free agent running back Devin Singletary finds a new team.
“One name to consider is Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers. Singletary could depart, and the Bills did monitor Christian McCaffrey before he was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers,” Knox wrote.
Knox added that Jones might be an ideal fit as he is a dual threat like McCaffrey. Jones has topped 1,000 yards rushing in three of the last four seasons and averaged more than 400 receiving yards a year during that stretch.
The Packers could also be willing to deal Jones for the cap relief it would bring, Knox wrote.
“The Packers are set to be $14.5 million over the cap and could save $10.4 million by moving Jones,” he wrote. “Naturally, this is a deal that would only make sense if the Bills restructure Jones’ contract and reduce his $8.1 million base salary.”
Packers Value Jones
If the Bills do have their sights on Jones this offseason, it could take a significant offer to convince the Packers to part with him. Jones plays an important role on offense, and general manager Brian Gutekunst said at his season-ending news conference that he expects the running back to return for his seventh season.
Gutekunst also shared some praise for Jones’s work ethic and ability to keep getting better with age.
“Obviously, he’s a dynamic player,” Gutekunst said. “For a guy his size, to bring it every day, he rarely misses a practice, rarely misses a rep. The way he leads that football team, his consistency is amazing.
“When we first got here, you’re thinking, ‘Hey, this probably won’t last long because the way he’s built and his size,’ and he just keeps on defying the odds.”
The Bills will likely be looking to make additions to the running back room, especially with Singletary a free agent and Zack Moss being traded away at last season’s deadline. Rookie James Cook took on a larger role as the season went on, but the team has employed a running-back-by-committee approach in each of the last three seasons.