The Green Bay Packers parted ways with QB Aaron Rodgers last offseason and wide receiver Davante Adams before that, and the team could make it three in a row next spring with running back Aaron Jones’ future in question.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano predicted on Friday, November 3, that the Packers will hand Jones his walking papers before the 2024 season given his recent injury history and the amount of cap savings he has generated.
The Packers are in the middle of the pack for projected 2024 caps, but Jones turns 29 in December and is having trouble staying on the field this season because of a hamstring injury. He only has 29 carries over to four games. We know the Packers also sniffed around Jonathan Taylor when he made his offseason trade demand.
Jones has one year left after this season on a contract he had to rework last offseason to avoid being cut. The Packers would save $11.45 million next year in cap space if they cut it after June 1st.
David Bakhtiari is the most obvious move for Green Bay, but his circumstances are different and widely publicized. Moving Jones would be a forward-thinking decision and further proof that things are tough for a running back in these salary cap streets.
Aaron Jones is not part of the youth movement taking place in Green Bay
All signs point to Jones being a surplus talent in an offense that is harder and faster than any other franchise in the NFL.
General manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to the media on Wednesday and explained the thought process behind building the youngest offense in the NFL and said he wanted the players’ skills to “grow” with first-year quarterback Jordan Love. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
“We didn’t get the results we wanted, you know? We want the results to be there quickly, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, the things they’re going through are important, and they’re going through them.” said Gutekunst. “It remains to be seen how we come out the other side, but I have great confidence in the group and the guys they coach. I think we’re all excited to see where we can go in the last ten games.”
Jones figures to be a big part of any success Green Bay can achieve in the future if he’s reasonably healthy, but these games could also serve as his farewell tour. At 28, Jones has achieved elder statesman status in the locker room. But with a salary cap hit of almost 18 million dollars in 2024, he will be a luxury the franchise probably simply can’t afford.
AJ Dillon might not be in Green Bay next year either
Jones’ health issues opened a door for backup running back AJ Dillon Contract yearbut he stumbled over it.
Dillon’s 3.1 yards per carry is a full yard worse than his career low since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2020. He has accumulated 266 total yards and 1 touchdown on the ground in seven games Pro Football Reference. At this rate, Dillon will be running the football more often than ever before this season, while posting career lows in yards and touchdowns, excluding his rookie season.
A breakout season might have paved the way for Dillon to succeed Jones, earn a new and more lucrative contract and enter 2024 as the presumptive starter. Instead, Green Bay could look to go younger and cheaper at the running back position unless Dillon is willing to play at a discount.
Max Dible covers the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors for Heavy.com. He covered local and national news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for BigIslandNow.com and Pacific Media Group’s family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible
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