The Green Bay Packers will have some tough decisions to make this offseason, and while the quarterback position will draw most of the attention, general manager Brian Gutekunst will also have to consider what to do with star running back Aaron Jones.
Jones signed a four-year, $48 million contract prior to the 2021 season that was restructured just one year later in order to clear up some cap space. While the restructure cleared cap space last offseason, there is now speculation that the Packers could move on from Jones in order to clear even more cap space in 2023.
Although he has been one of Green Bay’s top playmakers of the last few seasons, the Packers could clear cap space and kickstart a rebuild by moving on from Jones. Kristopher Knox with Bleacher Report believes an ideal scenario would be for the 28-year-old playmaker to be traded to the Buffalo Bills.
“One name to consider is Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers,” Knox said. “Singletary could depart, and the Bills did monitor Christian McCaffrey before he was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers. Much like McCaffrey, Jones is a tremendous dual-threat running back. The Packers are set to be $14.5 million over the cap and could save $10.4 million by moving Jones.”
Will the Packers Part Ways with Aaron Jones?
There is a real possibility that the Packers could move on from Jones this offseason, but by doing so they would also be getting rid of their most reliable offensive weapon.
Jones was taken was a fifth-round pick back in 2017, and ever since he’s been a legitimate dual-threat weapon for Green Bay. Along with a Pro Bowl appearance in 2020, the 28-year-old has racked up 5,284 rushing yards, 1,843 receiving yards, and 60 total touchdowns over his career. He is now third all-time in franchise history for rushing yards while his 5.1 yards per rushing attempt is one of the best rates in NFL history.
That being said, the Packers could clear over $10 million in cap space by moving on from the star running back, who could see a decline in production in the coming years. However, general manager Brian Gutekunst made it quite clear that the team intends to keep Jones moving forward following the end of the regular season.
“Certainly, we expect to have him back,” Gutekunst said. “Obviously, he’s a dynamic player. It’s amazing. 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.”
The team may save money by parting ways with Jones, but he would be too valuable of a weapon to replace for Green Bay’s offense.
Will Aaron Rodgers Return in 2023?
While it sounds likely that Jones will return to play in Green Bay next season, the future isn’t as clear for future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The 39-year-old hasn’t made a decision yet on whether or not he plans to retire. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed that a trade is very much on the table for Rodgers and the Packers. That report has led to all kinds of speculation, including some controversial trade proposals. Some teams have emerged as potential suitors for the four-time MVP, including the Indianapolis Colts.
However, until Rodgers makes a decision, Packers fans and backup QB Jordan Love will be anxiously waiting to hear what’s next. For Love, the former first-round pick could consider a trade request of his own if Rodgers is the QB again in 2023.
Regardless, Packers fans will have to keep waiting for more information during yet another offseason of quarterback drama in Green Bay.