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Report: Packers could release RB Aaron Jones

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By: Justis Mosqueda

Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

“If the two can’t reach agreement in the next two weeks, the Packers would release him and then hope whatever they are offering isn’t matched on the open market.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein, running back Aaron Jones’ agent Drew Rosenhaus and the Green Bay Packers have discussed a possible adjustment to the ball-carrier’s contract — but a deal has yet to be reached. This is significant, as Jones currently commands a $17.6 million cap hit in 2024, the second-highest mark of any running back in the league, and is heading into the final season of his contract.

At the moment, Jones is due $12 million in cash for the 2024 season with $11.1 million of that coming in the form of his salary. Last year, the Packers worked down Jones’ contract to $10.6 million in cash flow going toward Jones in 2023.

How did that turn out for Green Bay? Well, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Jones dealt with hamstring injuries and a knee issue during the regular season, but he ended the year with five straight 100-yard rushing games, the longest stretch of such games in his career.

So what is Jones worth, considering that he played well but was injured? That’s likely the crux of the non-deal between the two sides. Silverstein speculated that “the Packers probably want to cut that number in half,” referencing Jones’ 2024 salary. That would mean that the running back would be paid somewhere in the range of $5.5 million to $6 million next year. That’s a pretty steep pay cut for a player who was still playing some of the best ball in his career at the end of his 2023 campaign.

Here’s what Silverstein says will happen if their demands cannot be met:

If the two can’t reach agreement in the next two weeks, the Packers would release him and then hope whatever they are offering isn’t matched on the open market. If it wasn’t, they’d have a chance at re-signing him at their price.

So general manager Brian Gutekunst is put in this odd position of having to guess what Jones might be able to make on the open market. If he goes too low, Jones ends up walking. If he goes too high, Jones ends up taking up more than his needed share of the precious salary cap.

The combine is known to be a giant collision event for the industry, with front office members rubbing elbows with upcoming representation for free agents frequently throughout the week. Hopefully, backchanneling what Jones’ market would look like can lead to some clarity on a reasonable number that the Packers would need to pay to keep Jones so that he remains in green and gold.

Originally posted on ACME Packing Company