Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is coming off another productive season. He set a career-high with 1,121 rushing yards, producing at a high level despite some underwhelming performances from the rest of the offense.
Finding that kind of running room despite the passing game not being as dynamic in recent seasons was quite impressive.
Aaron Jones did only have two rushing touchdowns on the season, but he did score five times as a pass catcher. He caught a career-high 59 passes for 395 yards, showcasing once again that he remains one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league.
Despite that level of production, there is a chance that Aaron Jones will be playing elsewhere in 2023. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Packers right now with Aaron Rodgers’ decision looming.
If Rodgers opts to move on, Aaron Jones becomes a logical candidate to be cut this offseason. The Packers can save a lot of money by cutting him, which could be needed given how far over the salary cap they are.
Green Bay is currently more than $16 million over the cap, but by cutting Jones, they could save $10.44 million. Aaron Jones signed a four-year, $48 million deal during free agency in 2021. After struggling the season after signing that deal, he bounced back in a big way during the 2022 season.
Alas, things outside of his control could lead to a change being made. The Packers have to get under the salary cap and releasing him would provide them with a large chunk of money toward attaining that goal.
Also, they have A.J. Dillon behind him on the depth chart who could be ready to handle a larger role in the offense.
While Dillon doesn’t have the explosiveness or pass-catching ability that Jones does, he is the cheaper option and the team seems to like him a lot. Unless Aaron Jones agrees to restructure his contract and take a pay cut, the chances of him having to find a new home this offseason are high.
The free agent running back class is stacked this season, so there is certainly a chance that he would prefer sticking with the Packers instead of testing things on a crowded market.