Packers news: The Green Bay Packers dedicated their 2020 NFL Draft class to preparing for their future, a future that is unlikely to include running back Aaron Jones.
While Jones has missed time with a calf injury this season, he is an integral part of Green Bay’s offense. Unfortunately for many fans, it seems that Jones’ tenure with the Packers will end after the 2020 NFL season.
Packers news: Aaron Jones likely gone after 2020 season
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the expectation is the Packers will let Jones walk in free agency this offseason. Green Bay anticipates moving on from several key starters next offseason with the NFL salary cap set to drop due to billions of dollars in lost revenue.
The Packers are currently projected to have $200 million in cap liabilities next season, per Over the Cap. With the NFL salary cap expected to be set around $175-185 million, Green Bay will be forced to make cuts.
Even if the Packers cut edge rusher Preston Smith ($8 million savings), safety Adrian Amos ($4.3 million), offensive tackle Ricky Wagner ($4.25 million), defensive end Dean Lowry ($3.3 million) and kicker Mason Crosby ($2.5 million), it won’t give the organization much room to operate.
Keep in mind, Green Bay also needs to re-sign center Corey Linsley (PFF’s top-graded center), receiver Allen Lazard and its 2021 draft class. With that in mind, tough decisions will have to be made.
Unfortunately, that means Jones will likely be gone. He exploded for 1,558 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns in 2019. He’s also been incredible this season, with 493 rushing yards, 231 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns. Entering Week 11, he is on pace for nearly 1,300 scrimmage yards.
Recent contract extensions for running backs have certainly pushed Jones to a price range that Green Bay seemingly isn’t willing to pay. While he wouldn’t approach Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara’s huge contracts, Jones will likely want $13-plus million annually.
Green Bay might also have to let backup running back Jamaal Williams depart in free agency. If that happens, A.J. Dillon would be poised to become the team’s featured running back in 2021. It could be a rough offseason of Packers news for fans hoping to see many familiar and talented staying with the team.