Packers Called Out by Todd Gurley for Offseason Decision

Green Bay Packers

Getty The Packers are drawing heat from Todd Gurley over their Aaron Jones decision.

The Green Bay Packers had to make a tough decision regarding Aaron Jones this offseason, and former star running back Todd Gurley isn’t thrilled with the team’s decision.

Gurley talked about the Packers offseason on “Pocket Presence,” a Sleeper podcast hosted by former Packers QB Kurt Benkert. When discussing Jones, Gurley felt that the team was getting rid of one of their most impactful players.

“If I’m looking at Aaron Jones, obviously besides Jordan Love, he’s literally their best and only offensive option,” Gurley said. “I love Josh Jacobs, but it’s like…you really got rid of Aaron Jones for Josh Jacobs? I really didn’t understand that.”

Gurley is understandably biased towards the treatment of NFL running backs. Still, he seems to be concerned with how Green Bay handled the situation with one of their brightest stars of the last few seasons.

Unpacking the Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs Situation

The start of NFL free agency was a chaotic couple of days for the Packers.

The Packers made one of the biggest surprises of the first day of legal tampering, signing Jacobs to a four-year, $48 million deal. The initial reaction for fans was to be excited about a backfield tandem of Jacobs and Jones.

Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case. Almost immediately after signing Jacobs, the Packers released Jones. The two sides had been working to restructure Jones’ deal, but the Packers reportedly asked him to take a significant pay cut to stay in Green Bay.

Jones decided instead to test free agency. It didn’t take long for him to sign a one-year deal with the rival Minnesota Vikings. Now, Jones will have the opportunity to get revenge on his old team twice in 2024.

Meanwhile, the Packers have a new face of their backfield in Jacobs. The former first-round pick is coming off the worst year of his career, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry for the Las Vegas Raiders. However, he was a first-team All-Pro the year before that, leading the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards.

The Packers are hoping Jacobs can return to his 2022 form in Green Bay.

Todd Gurley Is a Victim of the NFL’s Running Back Treatment

Packers fans might feel like Jones was mistreated, but he’s just another in a long line of modern running backs being replaced after their prime.

Gurley is the prime example of how running backs are treated in today’s NFL. A three-time All-Pro, Rookie of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year, Gurley saw a sharp decline in his efficiency after the 2018 season.

A heavy workload ultimately led to Gurley developing knee arthritis in 2019. He played just two more seasons, including one with the Atlanta Falcons, before retiring from the league.

Outside of rare exceptions like Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey, NFL teams are now much more cautious about leaning heavily on one running back. This is leading to fewer big contracts for star players at the position, with teams preferring to replace solid talent with younger backs on cheaper rookie deals.

Jones was one of Green Bay’s all-time leading rushers. However, with injuries starting to pile up for the 29-year-old back, the Packers decided to go the same route as the rest of the league despite Jones’ off-the-field impact.

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