Jordan Love Gets Honest About Vikings RB Aaron Jones’ Exit From Packers

Aaron Jones, Jordan Love, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Jones #33 of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings re-tooled several parts of their roster this offseason.

Quarterback got the most attention with Kirk Cousins’ exit, Sam Darnold’s signing, and using the No. 10 overall pick in the 2024 draft on J.J. McCarthy. And their losses along the defensive line, specifically at EDGE, were the most numerous.

But the Vikings also brought in a new lead running back, Aaron Jones, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Green Bay Packers.

His former teammate, quarterback Jordan Love, addressed the loss after Packers OTAs.

“It was very tough,” Love told reporters on May 21 of Jones’ exit. “Aaron Jones is such a special player, and he was a special guy in this locker room since I’ve been here, so. Everybody loved Aaron, and it’s very tough. But it’s one of those things that you can’t control.”

The Packers signed former Las Vegas Raiders runner Josh Jacobs to a four-year, $48 million contract in free agency.

They cut Jones shortly after.

“Gutted to see the news @Showtyme_33,” Former teammate and ex-Packer David Bakhtiari said in a post on X on March 11. “Keep your head up. You are a savage and consummate pro. Did it the right way. You’ll land on your feet.”

Vikings Need Aaron Jones to Revitalize Run Game

Aaron Jones, Minnesota Vikings

GettyAaron Jones #33 of the Minnesota Vikings.

A one-time Pro Bowler, Jones signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Vikings. He rushed 142 times for 656 yards and two touchdowns after dealing with injuries early during the 2023 season.

The 29-year-old former fifth-round pick (2017) is one year removed from his third career 1,000-yard season and has a 16-touchdown campaign to this credit.

He joins a maligned backfield in Minnesota.

The Vikings ranked 29th in rushing yards as a team last season. Incumbent back Ty Chandler’s 100-yard performance in Week 15 this past season was the Vikings’ first since Week 10 of the 2022 slate.

Jones encouragingly rushed for 358 yards at 5.7 yards per carry over the final three weeks of the regular season.

He also logged back-to-back 100-plus-yard performances in the playoffs.

While Jones’ deal was for $7 million, he is only on the Vikings’ books for $3.5 million this season. His $7 million is fully guaranteed, so the Vikings are on the hook for Jones even if he does not pan out as expected.

However, they pushed $3.2 million into future seasons in the form of void years.

Jones will be on the Vikings’ books through the 2028 season with the final year coming in at $800,000, per Over The Cap.

Vikings Owe Aaron Jones Through 2028

Aaron Jones, Minnesota Vikings

GettyAaron Jones #33 of the Minnesota Vikings.

Adding void or “ghost” years is a common practice around the NFL. But it has impacted the Vikings before and will again this coming season. Cousins signed a four-year, $108 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.

But he will still count for $28.5 million against the Vikings’ cap due to void years in his last deal.

The Vikings set themselves up to have plenty of cap space next offseason. However, much of their projected $79 million cap space could go to wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

He is expected to command a record-setting contract. The Vikings might also want to earmark money for Jordan Addison, though that decision is down the line. But offensive linemen Christian Darrisaw, Garrett Bradbury, and Ed Ingram are all up for new money after 2025.