Three Reasons The Packers Should Cut Ties With Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones seems like a great guy. He’s a good football player, too. But that doesn't mean it makes sense to keep him on the team.

The Packers have a lot of roster moves to make this offseason after pushing their salary cap hits forward in a vain effort to go "all in" the last couple years.

Now, it's time for hard decisions... and one of them could be the player who should have been the centerpiece of the offense for the last two years: Aaron Jones. 

Why on earth would the Packers get rid of Aaron Jones? A premier running threat who averaged 5.3 yards per carry this season and has proven to be a great receiver?

There's a few reasons...

 

1. Contract

The Packers are hurting financially, but that's no reason to simply cut stars. However, there's a value proposition that comes in to play. Right now, Aaron Jones has the largest running back cap hit in the NFL... ever... by a long way.

In 2022, Ezekiel Elliott had a cap hit of $18.2M. That's the only time in NFL history that a running back had a cap hit over $15M.

Aaron Jones's cap his for next year is $20.02M.

It's the De'Andre Hopkins deal of running back contracts.

Three backs (Ezekiel Elliott at $16.72M, Derrick Henry at $16.37M, and Alvin Kamara at $16.09M) are clustered close together in second, third, and fourth place for 2023 scheduled cap hits, which shows just how far above the market Jones's figure is, even as salaries increase.

Aaron Jones would be the 14th highest cap hit among quarterbacks for next season!

As good as he is, there's just no way to justify that cap hit... especially on a team with negative $13M in cap space for next year (per Spotrac).

Cutting Jones would save the team about $10M.

Trading him would save the same amount and give the team who receives him a much more manageable contract.

A cut or trade are the only ways to move forward with out simply prolonging the pain.

 

2. Position

Running backs simply aren’t the big deal they used to be. They take a beating, they burn out earlier in their career than almost any other position, and they aren’t featured players.

Packers fans have screamed for years for the Packers to give him the ball more.

For whatever reason, they didn't.

There is no reason to expect that they will next year, either.

So why bother keeping him around at an astronomically high contract when he won't be maximized?

Running backs in this league have become a bit of a fungible good. They are, in many ways, the product of their environment. They need blocking to open holes and they need a passing game to take the pressure off them. The league is making it easier than ever to pass, which has led to a lower premium on runners and almost forces teams into a committee approach in order to compete on the field and keep up with their cap. As good as Aaron Jones is, he can't carry this team.

The Titans are the only team that has tried to build around a running back in a long time and the results have been pretty underwhelming.

Running backs are not a premium position.

 

3. Age

This is the most obvious of the three.

Aaron Jones turns 29 this year. He’s at the age where running backs just fall off.

Look at Dallas. They signed Ezekiel Elliott to a monster deal like Aaron Jones and his wheels are already falling off. He's only 27.

Running backs just don't last in this league.

It's the nature of the game. Backs rely on quick twitch and reflexes - some of the first things to diminish as football players age. Plus, they take a harder beating than any other position in the game. They get a head of steam and plow into mammoth defensive linemen while linebackers bigger than them get a head start to explode into them.

That takes a toll. Running backs don't last long... Jones is no exception.

 

The Packers structured a great contract to keep Aaron Jones around a little longer to try to run it back the last couple of years.

It didn't work and now it's time to pay the piper. It was clear this decision point was coming as soon as the contract was signed.

The Packers need to eat his dead money and get him off the team. If they can get a mid-round pick for him, great. If not, he's a cut candidate. 

He had a fantastic run here and seems to be like one of the nicest people we've seen in the locker room.

But, as happens with all great players, his time is up.

 

 

Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Best-selling author of books such as A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan's Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan's Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.

Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.

 

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Comments (110)

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SinceLombardi's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:12 am

I have to agree.. Aaron Jones may be one of the best people on the team, or in the league for that matter but it’s time to part ways.
I doubt a trade will happen either.
Why is the person(s) responsible for the TWO Aaron contracts not on more of a hot seat. Why is the brain trust allowed to escape scrutiny and continue to make bad financial as well as bad personnel decisions?
So let’s say we cut Aaron’s.. we let the same guys that made the bad investments continue to invest?
We need front office changes as urgently as we need roster changes. If not we are certainly perpetuating the poor cap management and personnel decisions.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:38 am

SL, I question exactly who is making these decisions at this point. Is it truly a team effort? Is it lafleur not wanting to move on from vets? Or is murphy coming in and overuling gute and mlf to appease 12? Gute has twice now insinuated hes not truly on board with the direction this team is headed. He said it after they traded for Cobb that it was something he never wouldve done. Then, the other day he mentioned how the constant restructuring and pushing money down the road is a deviation from normal operating procedure which I think was basically a cry for help. He knows this team is going down the road to hell and theres absolutely nothing he can do it about it except draft players and sign cheap free agents off the scrap heap. Hes a thompson disciple. He knows that protecting the salary cap is paramount to having a stable on-field product year in and year out. No way he would ever consider any of this a good idea. This stinks of Murphy. He doesnt care about the fallout cuz he wont be around to deal with it. How hes allowed to bend this team to his and/or Rodgers' career timetables should be a criminal offense.

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:38 am

"As good as he is, there's just no way to justify that cap hit..."

I could've easily justified the cap hit if we didn't have Rodgers' massive contract weighing us down and leaving close to zero wiggle room for the rest of the team. Who'd have thunk that would end up biting us in the ass?

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:42 am

"Who'd have thunk that would end up biting us in the ass?"

Many of us, posting on this page...

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:46 am

I was being sarcastic

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:25 am

That's not allowed on the internet.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:16 am

I recognize, but that was stronger than me ;-)

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:43 am

Heres the kicker, if they didnt have Rodgers' contract on the books, they wouldnt have had to restructure Jones' or Kenny Clark's contracts which means neither of them would be $20 million dollar cap hits this year. Moves Ted Thompson or Ron Wolf never wouldve made. Moves i dont think even Gute makes if not for Murphy breathing down his neck.

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mnbadger's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:41 pm

I've been trying to figure why so many cheeseheads want mm out, thank you for adding one more obvious blunder to the list.
the acr contract has haunted the last two teams and will also haunt the next three.
(I know the contract has only been in place one year, but I added the year before because that lame duck year led to the current contract which may go down as one of the worst ever, depending on Deshaun watson's progress in clevelnd)
GPG!

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:41 am

I'm certainly in favor of releasing or trading Aaron Jones. Not because of his person, level of playing or capabilities, but I believe ACR will come back for another season and is huge sin to have another player with huge contract to be underutilized.

And, he is not ACR guy. He is threat to ACR "greatness", and he will do all to minimize threat from any player except from those (read Bakh, Lewis, Tonyan) who are his darlings. We were witnessing that last 2 seasons as he avoids to use his team mates for their strength (read Jones, Dillon, Lazard).

So, I believe that letting Jones to another garden will help Aaron Jones finally shows how excellent he is.

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wildbill's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:43 am

Ah yes, the dime store shrink.

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NickPerry's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:46 am

I love me some Aaron Jones. He's been EVERYTHING you could ask one of your players to be and even more. He deserved the contract he got IMO, and it wasn't his fault the "We're Not Idiots" IDIOTS of the Packers FO pushed money back to the future. BUT, like all good things, they come to an end.

IMO the Packers aren't a couple players away. It's also my opinion Jordon Love could win as many or MORE games next season as the Packers starter. It's time to RIP off the bandages on this team. Aaron Rodgers MUST go. Aaron Jones MUST go. David Bakhtiari I'm more wishy washy about , but he's close to a must go too. With the way Zack Tom played, and Walker and Jones perhaps a year closer, AND the draft pick we all thought was a steal in Sean Rhyan, maybe the Packers can get rid of that contract too.

But no one would bum me out more than Aaron Jones playing elsewhere. The kid LOVES the Packers and their fans. He's been the epitome of what it is to be a Green Bay Packer. He's a player I'd hoped would finish his career in GB but because of the IDIOT Club in the Front Office that probably won't happen.

Just another thing to thank Mark Murphy for... NOT!!!

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:04 am

My thoughts exactly, from Jones to the band-aid. You always communicate the points very well.

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NickPerry's picture

January 20, 2023 at 04:24 pm

Thank you PC500

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:48 am

Add Kenny "disappear for half of a season" Clark's $20+ million dollar cap hit to the "MUST GO" pile. Im not seeing many others talking about this but Ive been calling ever since they restructured his deal last year that he would like be cut/traded this offseason. Drafting Wyatt only furthered my thinking on this. Love Clark, but his cap hit is nowhere near justified by his play. Hes dominant at times (rarely and usually against backup centers for the vikings or bears) but not nearly enough. This all couldve been avoided if they werent forced into restructuring his and Jones' deals due to borderline criminal cap mismanagement. And yet here we are. Lord help this team.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:29 am

He is another trade candidate, but we have to consider how Barry uses his D-line. Montgomery wants a fast , stunting front. The Yes man is holding the defensive scheme back. I like Keeanu Benton by the third round.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:41 am

Yeah theres something to be said for Barry's schematic approach, but Barry likely isnt going anywhere which means our dline will continue being hung out to dry by constant double teams cuz were always playing nickel and 10 yards off the ball. So why pay a guy $20 mil just to suck up double teams? You could bring in Ndomakong Suh for 1/3 the price to do that.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:55 am

You have Benton and Wyatt. Retain Reed and Slaton earned his snaps. Chris Slayton should be given reps. Some of the five techs/DEs in this draft fit the profile. Clark was probably playing with injury, but constant Dbl teams wear down on a guy. Can Ford play the NT?

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:23 am

It would be bold to get rid of your best offensive weapon 2 seasons in a row.

As far as the reasons go.

1 - Contract.
I don't really concern myself with contracts. They can manipulate them to make it work out. I'm not worried about is contract.

2 - Position.
I disagree about this take. If Jones was purely a RB, ok sure, we could make the argument that he isn't worth the contract. But Jones is more then just a RB. The way they use him all over the field. His impact is felt whether he gets the ball or doesn't. This year he Had 213 carries for 1121 yards (5.3 average). But he also added 59 catches for 395 yards (6.7 average). He is an offensive weapon.

3 - Age.
Sure he is getting older. But he hasn't slowed down and he hasn't taken a beating in his career. In his 6 year career he has a total of 1277 touches in the run game and passing game. Compare that to some other RB's in the league. Henry has 1750 carries alone in 7 years. Nick Chubb has 1210 carries and 119 receptions for 1329 touches in 5 years. Saquan Barkley has 1201 touches in basically 4 years. Dalvin Cook has 1282 carries and 221 receptions for 1503 touches in 6 years.

I could keep going, but the amount that Jones has been used is considerably less then most of these other RB's. I'm not concerned about Jones age right now.

I get the saying get rid of a player a year too early then too late. That works in some players cases. I just don't believe now is the time to get rid of Jones.

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Rossonero's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:12 am

Excellent counterpoints, RC. Without Jones in 2022, we probably would've gone 6-11. Whenever he was on, the offense was clicking. And like you said, he's not used like an old school back where he's getting 20+ carries a game. If anything, one could argue the Packers have extended his career because they don't ground and pound him every game.

Dillon took a step backward this season. Yes, the stupid shotgun handoffs are annoying, but the difference between Jones and Dillon was plain for all to see.

Jones is Alvin Kamara Lite. He's not as big, but he's a do-it-all back that I'm afraid without him, this team is going to tank hard in 2023. I'd rather trade Rodgers and find a way to restructure Jones' contract.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:33 am

While RB is an easier position to replace compared to others, there are certain things you just can't replace. Jones ability all over the field is not easily replaceable. He makes an impact whether he gets the ball or doesn't. His ability to play RB and WR makes him harder to replace.

Dillon did take a step back. Part of it was being in shotgun (I don't get why they can't put him in the pistol), part of it was the OL issues early on. But he just wasn't breaking any tackles and just was too easy to tackle. He improved that later in the year, which is probably contributed to less shotgun snaps and improved OL play.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:38 am

"While RB is an easier position to replace compared to others,..."

Because it tends to be very blocking and scheme dependent...moreso than other positions. Take care of the OL first. There's a reason why the backups to most top RBs in Fantasy FB are highly coveted--and that's because they're playing behind good OLs and in offenses schemed to feature the position.

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:17 am

A power back like Dillon needs room to get rolling and many times early in the season he was slowed down behind the line of scrimmage. So I don't blame shotgun hand offs as much as poor blocking.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:00 am

Shotgun snaps require the rb to come to a nearly complete stop at the handoff. Making a 250 pounder slow down and have to make a cut into the grain of the defense is certainly not the most efficient use of his talents. You said it yourself he needs a runway. Exactoy why he should be getting outside zone, counter, and power runs from under center where he meets the point of impact with momentum. Quick twitch rb's like Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones are good out of the shotgun. Dillon is just not that kind of athlete. Hes comparable to Derrick Henry and you rarely see him getting handoffs out shotgun. Packers should use Dillon similar to how the Titans use Henry. All power. They keep trying to get cute with Dillon and its a dereliction of duty by all involved.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:02 pm

When they went power-I with Deguara as lead dog, or Pro Set, Dillon had a chance. The RPO bullshit is a college offense for running QBs. In the NFL, these QBs are targets. Philly better hope Hurts can be 100% for the Playoffs.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:14 am

After accepting NP's take on this I'm starting to lean toward yours This team is not going to be fun to watch at all unless the Oline is drastically improved no matter who the Quarterback is, and especially if it's Rodgers And getting rid of him especially just isn't right. He is a real Packer

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:56 am

I think the OL drastically improved this year after they made the switch. After the moved Jenkins back to LG, moved Runyan to RG and Yosh to RT. I thought the OL improved each week. That being said their final game the OL played poorly.

Next year Bakhtiari should be better and hopefully can play a full season. Jenkins should be improved. Which means our left side is set. Myers I like but he needs to take a step. Runyan like Myers I like but needs to take a step. RT will be an open competition spot I believe. Yosh, Tom, Jones, Walker all could be in the mix. I think Tom wins the RT spot. I could see competition at OC, RG and RT.

They have some very intriguing young guys. Yosh, Jones, Tenuta, Walker, Rhyan are all guys to see if they take a step in the offseason. Newman is a guy to keep an eye on too if he can focus on one position. He could be someone that could surprise next year with a good offseason.
We know they will be adding to the position in the draft too.

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T7Steve's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:09 am

Spot on RCP! Though Newman would have to take a BIG step to get on my good side.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:20 am

me too lol.

I will give him credit though. When he came in later in the year, he played pretty well in a pinch. I don't view him as an OT, but he could be a backup swing OG. But he will be going into year 3. He could take a step. Sometimes players have sophomore slumps. I'm not saying he will be a pro bowl caliber player or anything. Just saying he could be a guy that surprises next year. Or he could be cut. Could go either way. lol

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:30 am

"After the moved Jenkins back to LG,... "

Welcome, and thank you for accelerating your schedule and coming back early from your knee injury, Mr. Jenkins. We need you on your not-100% knee to play the opposite side of the OL---oh, and at T not G--and we need you to do it with only a couple weeks of active practice time playing next to a sub-par RG.

IMO, he cost himself some money by coming back early to help the team.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:04 am

He definitely could have cost himself some money. But I do believe he has a clause in his contract that if he plays OT and some other provisions his contract goes up a lot higher. I can't remember exactly what it is, but I remember something like that.

Either way I'm happy they resigned him. Jenkins is the type of player you do anything possibly to not let get away.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:02 am

He got tackle money. There were no discounts. Jenkins got PAID for a guard.

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:29 am

I also like our lg group of young linemen. Last season even with all the injuries and Newman at G, the O line played very well. It just shows how some shuffling and missing a solid C like Patrick can throw an O line into disarray.

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Handsback's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:26 am

Since there are no replacements on the team...I would restructure his contract and sign him.
Dillon is a complementary rb not a true replacement.
As mentioned above, if Rodgers comes back the Packers won't be running MLF offense and not having Jones available will be minimized.
Having said all of that...if they cut Jones, maybe Robinson becomes their 1st round pick.
Again just MHO.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:17 am

The smart play is to restructure.
And your point of grabbing Robinson was mine too.
But if they can't get Robinson.
Porter CB PS might be the next solution.
The Lions and Vikings have CB as their #1priority.
Taking Porter keeps him away from them.
It also moves Douglass to Safety.
Point- Take the player that hurts your opponent!

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:04 am

And owe him $20 mil next year? The smart play is to cut him and move on. The smartest play was to not resign him 2 years ago.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:25 am

Move Jones, grab a guy like Tucker or Charbonnet, a Levens clone, with a two pick. Porter and Gonzalez are in demand. If they are gone go BPA round one from OT, Edge,QB, TE. Uzomah is probably into round one. He fits the edge profile. The key is getting more selections in the second round for the TE, RB, or WR. Eric Gray from OKL; Kenny McIntosh from Georgia, Chase Brown from Illinois have burst and can go 3rd to 4th rd. Pack fans are "winsome." Who moved the ball into the endzone on 1st, 2nd 3rd and Goal ?

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:42 am

They can get Robinson @15.
Miami Dolphins are the only ones who want/need a RB.
Bet they could get their #51 for him.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:59 am

Cannot pay RBs 1st rd coin. They carry too much risk. Is he any better than Kendre Miller or Ibrahim between the tackles?

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:41 pm

They could trade up in the 2nd for Uzomah or trade down to the very bottom of the first. He’s a bit raw.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:18 pm

I like him. He terrorized TCU in the Big 12 CH. He reminds me of KGB. I believe he is in the first round after the senior bowl.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:23 pm

He is ranked by most sites in the 40s, and perhaps the low 30s. GB may want to trade up if they really like him, but they could get him at #45. They could also trade down from the first and pick him at the bottom of that round if they really, really like him.

Personally, my favorite OLB prospect is Iowa State's Will McDonald IV. He is a true speedster who racked up like 27 sacks during his time with the Cyclones. What is even more impressive is that he was playing 3-4 DE at 235-240 lbs and still doing work! I think he could wreak havoc as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He is fast, but has a surprisingly strong, wiry frame.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:23 am

Well they had Tyler Goodson. He is, also, very elusive and with ok pass abilities. His problem is blocking, but he had 1 season to train blocking.

Who knows...

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:27 am

Agreed! Dillon is always someone who will need a Warrick Dunn to his Mike Alstott.

He's not Derrick Henry.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:48 am

Dillion is not a back we should extend.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:41 am

Taylor should have been the one pick in 2020. The drafting has put this team behind the eight ball, not a QB's contract. The Stokes selection is still a head scratcher.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:08 am

Because he isnt used like Henry. They try making Dillon do all the things Jones can do i.e. run shotgun inside zone rpo's to death and catch passes. Two things Derrick Henry is rarely asked to do. A majority of Henry's touches come from run formations like I-form and singleback. If Dillon got a ton of carries in similar formations he would be putting up similar numbers. Dillon has special talent and its being absolutely wasted. The entire 2020 draft class is being wasted except for Jon Runyan.

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:54 pm

This seems more like a Return to Insanity take to me. Dillon does not have Henry's feet. His longest run in 3 years is 36 yards. Don't try to tell me the Titans have had a better line in that time.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:30 am

I came to this solution a month ago. And Nobody liked it.
Then I pointed to size, Drops, and moving the pile.
Then it was pointed out MLF wasn't using him right anyway.
The motive to trade Jones was his age. Not production.
I stated cherry picking was the reason for his success.
And now I'm seeing we only need to trade him;
is because it will get Rodgers out of GB.
IMO, There is No job appreciation if you don't win.
Even if you trade him. It will still take a draft pick to
replace him. His stats. His chemistry. His smile.
I'm still suggesting it might be best to trade Jones.
My point is the momentum switch after he fumbles.
Hopefully his cap numbers will be negotiated.
But I'd still draft his replacement for the red Zone.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:30 am

"The motive to trade Jones was his age. Not production".

You must mixed two Aarons and than pick wrong family name to put with the name. Because, talking about age A. Jones is 10 years younger than A. whatever, your life love. You are so hurting ACR will never hug you and gently kiss you.

D. Henry has more fumbles that Aaron Jones, even ACR has more fumbles than AJ. So, start with the most expensive, wasted, old and arrogant egomaniac first to save SC.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:46 am

Do you even read the article?
3. Age
This is the most obvious of the three.
Aaron Jones turns 29 this year.
He’s at the age where running backs just fall -----
I get you just want to trash my comment.
But I mentioned age before.
Can't imagine why you think a guy with more Fumbles.
Is a good reason;
against a momentum fumble in the red zone.
I stated he must fix it like Ahmad Green.
( Per other comment)
But then you bring up Rodgers.
Because you can't prove Love would be the better QB.
Your assumptions are one of confusion and not fact.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:21 pm

Do you follow NFL? ACR is already 40 for next season, at age when 99.9% of QB run over the cliff, faster than 29 yo RBs.

Ah! I'm stupid. I try to talk with monkey. Sorry. Forget.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:50 am

Belichick would have moved him after the NFC CH game turnovers. It came back again vs. Detroit. The LBs and DBs know they can strip the ball from him and his fundamentals are still in question.

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Packerpasty's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:33 pm

well he does go down at first contact, theres that to go with the game killing fumbles...he's not that strong..

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mrtundra's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:12 am

IMO, Aaron Jones was our offense, not Aaron Rodgers. If Jones goes, our offense will be Rodgers/Love? Watson? Dillon? We have the best complementary RB duo in the league. Throw in Patrick Taylor, when Jones needs a breather, and we don't skip a beat. Take Jones away and we had better draft a RB to replace him. As good as Dillon and Taylor are, neither could hold up to being the starting RB, every-down-played guy, for the Packers. We need Dillon to be fresh, late in the games, when we can pound the ball and take opposing teams' D Line players out of the game. I feel we need to find a way to keep Jones, via restructuring his contract, or some other way, but one thing we should not do is to let him go.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:54 am

We need to get younger. No matter what we do, we won’t be authentic super bowl contenders in 2023. There is no point, then, in keeping a 29 year old RB who has a 10 million cap hit. We need to get younger and find a different engine of our offense.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:28 am

Imo, the only chance they have at a super bowl this year is if they go younger. Some new blood steps up, builds some chemistry, and gets hot at the end of the year. We know thats not happening with this team as currently constructed. But whos to say how good the young bucks can be? They have an excellent core to continue with after all these old vets are gone. Ask any GM out there, if they had to build with a team consisting of Jordan Love, AJ Dillon, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Josiah Deguara, Zack Tom, Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Rashan Gary, Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Darnell Savage, Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, and TJ Slaton, they would take it in a heartbeat. I want to see those guys be the core of this team starting this offseason. More than enough to build a serious super bowl contender quickly. Dont just rip the bandaid off, sever the festered limb. Basically all the expensive contracts minus Jaire/Campbell/Rasul needs to come off the books. Rodgers, Jones, Bakh, Clark, Amos, Lowry, Lazard, Tonyan, Lewis, Cobb, Crosby, etc all need to go. That way come next year, when the salary cap is set to explode, their cap will be healthy and they'll be in a position to buy good players to quickly fill in the gaps. Thats the only plan that makes sense to me at this point but it doesnt seem like this team has a plan beyond status quo.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:23 pm

They will need Four picks in the top 100. Get Playmakers. OT, Edge, TE, WR/RB. I still want Bhak onboard.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:19 pm

Replace OT with Safety and you have my agreement. Bakh staying isn't practical, we need the cap relief that a post-june release would provide (nearly 17.2m)

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:14 am

The author raises two very good points (contract and age) about Jones, but I am not as concerned about the wear and tear issue. Jones has had fewer touches than most RBs his age.

I really think this is a Rodgers versus Jones issue as the Packers will be financially very hard pressed to keep both. If Rodgers stays, Jones is gone and if Rodgers goes, the Packers should have the financial room to redo Jones contract and spread the hit. I have read estimates that the Packers are between $15 million and $21 million over the projected 2023 cap. Moving Rodgers saves the Packers around $19 million. Moving Jones saves the Packers around $10 million. Personally I would prefer to see the Packers move Rodgers as I believe there is more tread left on Jones tires than on Rodgers and the Packers have already drafted a potential Rodgers replacement (Love) but would have to draft a Jones replacement.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:22 am

The savings to cut/trade Jones is almost the same as what the Packers could get out of a restructure, so the option exists if Jones is willing to buy in. It gets him a bolus of fresh cash when, if he hits the open market, he might find himself moving more toward a series of one-year contracts until he retires. Most teams--Packers included--are not going to want to make a commitment that carries too far into the future.

That said, the Packers still will need to find another back either through the draft, UDFA, or FA. They let Hill go. Taylor doesn't seem to excite them very much. They have Goodson on the PS, but he's more one-trick pony at this stage than feature back. This takes the pressure off finding a guy who can pick up NFL blocking schemes or run as many routes as Jones does from day 1...that means it takes the pressure off the first two days of the draft. There's only so much draft capital.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:52 am

"Most teams - Packers included - are not going to want to make a commitment that carries too far into the future."

The future years are the problem. If the Packers keep Rodgers for 2023, his cap hit just continues to grow in 2024 and 2025. I don't think they can restructure Jones enough to keep both Rodgers and Jones beyond 2023 and I don't think Jones will take a pay cut for 2023 with no future year security.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:54 am

The Packers actually will have less cap space if we trade Rodgers. Still think it is worth it, though

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:29 am

I'd like to have TGR weigh in on that. What research I have been able to do shows that Rodgers will cost the Packers around $59 million this year if they keep him and $40 million dead money if the trade/cut him. Hence the savings of around $19 million.

The bigger problem is if they keep Rodgers for 2023, the dead money hit in 2024 goes up to around $68 million which is more than his 2024 cap hit (great contract design....) and the Packers would lose money trading/cutting him in 2024.

TGR, do have that approximately right?

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:45 am

AR has 150 mill guarantee, which still has 90 mill due if we release him. A trade has a 40 mill dead money hit because a new team has to pay the 2 yrs remaining, unless a team can also take some of the 2023 burden.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:36 pm

If ACR retires or be traded, he would cost Packers 40.3 mill $ and that it is all. No more dead money. If he stay he will cost Packers ~31 mill $ for 2023 (cap money) and if he retires or be traded after 2023 season Packers will owe him ~90 mill $. That 90 mill $ can be split through 2024 and 2025. If Packers cut him after June 1st dead money will be ~63 to 68 mill $.

That is how contract is structured.

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T7Steve's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:17 am

I'm afraid the only trade that would garner a draft pick would be within the division. I would HATE that! Bad enough losing free agents to other teams in the division, but it's not worth it for a pick. Them knowing Gute, it would probably be a 3rd rounder.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:55 am

No, do 4th round r!

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T7Steve's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:13 am

I figure they'd give him a 3rd because he can't get a 3rd rounder to work for the team.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 08:29 am

Somewhat off topic, but I did a little research on contract value for Rodgers. An article by an NFL analyst placed Rodgers as the 14th best QB in the league for the 2022 regular season. This placed him between Justin Fields (13th) and Brock Purdy (15th) in the rankings. Fields and Purdy are on rookie contracts and will make small money in 2023. ESPN's QBR rating system placed Rodgers as the 26th best QB in the league for the 2022 regular season, between Matt Ryan at 25th and Russ Wilson at 27th. Ryan is slated to make $29 million in 2023 and Wilson has an AAV of $49 million per year for his contract but his cap hit for 2023 is supposedly only $22 million.

Compare Rodgers $59 million cap hit in 2023 versus Ryan ($29 million), Wilson ($22 million) and the rookies (less than $5 million) with the understanding that these players were comparable performers in 2022 and you quickly understand why the Packers are in trouble. Unless Rodgers, at age 40, make a miraculous recovery in 2023, the Packers will have the highest paid mediocre QB in the league.

Thank you, Mark "We are not idiots." Murphy.

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T7Steve's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:18 am

I kept waiting for him to hit another gear or start playing with that famous "chip on his shoulder" and it never happened. I wouldn't put it past him to be able to do it next year (depending on the O-line however). Still would like to be able to just have a game manager for a QB. That would mean the O-line was fixed and the offensive coordinator's plan worked.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:42 am

I don't think Rodgers is washed up as a QB, but his contract is significantly disproportionate to the level of play I think he can deliver at age 40. Too bad he didn't do what Brady did when he joined the Bucs - take a reasonable contract which allowed TB to build a quality team around him.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

January 20, 2023 at 11:36 am

Well, even if Rodgers took half, so lets say $25 mil AAV, that wouldve only afforded them to not have to restructure some contracts but they still wouldve been up against it. Wouldnt have had much room to add any other players unless they still restructured those contracts which means money still gets pushed into the future and theyre still in cap hell. Rodgers' contract hasnt been the only bad move. Theres been a series of bad moves and it started in 2019 when they handed out $200+ million in free agency dollars. Thats when the restructuring madness really went into overdrive and they've been kicking the can down the road ever since.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:46 pm

"but they still would have been up against it."

Don't disagree RTS, but a team with a veteran QB rarely has a lot of cap room. At $25 mil AAV the Packers would have had another $34 million to work with. Less the $20 million they are currently over, that would have freed up $14 million for other players. The Packers could also extend Jones (which I think was the intent of the $20 mil balloon at the end of his contract) to keep him and free up another $10 million to cover the draft class. While not in great shape, there would be some room to "play it again" if the Packer FO so chose. What they have now is untenable and unworkable.

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fangirl's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:15 am

Green Bay is in trouble in many ways. Rodgers contract is a symptom.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:37 am

Totally agree fangirl, which is why I "thanked" Mark Murphy in the last sentence. Murphy has screwed up the corporate governance of the Packers by becoming the de facto GM of the football side as well as President of the business side. His decision making on the football side has been execrable and accountability has been lost throughout the football side of the organization. The on-field product isn't likely to get better until this gets fixed.

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Oppy's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:10 am

1) Trade Rodgers
2) Now you have cap space to Sign Jones
2a) His contract numbers were designed to require a re-work in this season anyways.
3) Without Rodgers, you instantly start using Jones more often and more appropriately
2a) wonder boy complains about pushing the pile.. Jones doesn't have to push the pile. That's what Dillon is for
4) Age / "Tread Left" - The Packers have, since day one, used Jones in tandem with another RB. As others have noted, he's been under-utilized. This isn't your normal 27 year old back who has been pounded between the tackles every other down. He's got plenty of tread left.
5) Trade Rodgers. If you can't... Cut him. or bench him. Or humiliate him daily. He's a cancer and shouldn't be in green and gold.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:25 am

"His contract numbers were designed to require a re-work in this season anyways."

^^THIS^^

This deal was never intended to be in place in 2023 as signed.

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Packerpasty's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:36 pm

Dillon can't pick the hole to run through even if its as wide as a truck..for a guy who's nickname is "Quadzilla" he sure isn't D. Henry...and Jones goes down at first contact plus the big game fumbles..

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Oppy's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:42 pm

Dillon gets misused out of the shotgun. Run him out of a power formation and he's fine.

Jones does have a ball security issue, but so did Ahman Green. Jones doesn't go down with first contact, that's you thinking he's undersized, but that's not how he plays on the field. Jones is a legitimate threat to score any time he touches the ball. He's a top 5 threat out of the backfield in the NFL.

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fangirl's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:15 am

My guess is GB will keep him but restructure again.

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BirdDogUni's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:31 am

OFF TOPIC: Joe Namath has come out and said, "If AR12 is traded to the Jets, he will "unretire" his #12 jersey so AR12 can wear it..."

I hope the perfect storm is brewing!

Hell Yeah!

Go Joe Go!

(Joe Barry - Just Go Away!) Joe Namath is da man!

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fangirl's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:18 am

@BDU-I just don't see Rodgers leaving his friends--

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crayzpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:07 pm

If AR goes to the Jets, Fangirl will no longer be here. She'll be on a Jets fan site. Hmmmm?

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beautiful_mystery's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:42 am

I really like A Jones. Seems like a humble and accountable guy. He is talented, which some have mentioned his ability to run and catch are important for Coach LaF's offense. I am not concerned, but rather aware of #33 putting the ball on the grass in cold games, playoff games. He will work on the fumbles.

We need some stand up guys and he certainly is one. (Love Crosby, but he may be not on the roster...we will see.)

Yes, it will play itself out. Interesting to see how it plays out with #12 and how/if it affects #33.

It would be awesome if #12 is traded to a team/region he truly wants to go to and we can start working on getting back to the version of Coach LaF's offense. #12 can end his career the way he wants and I can get back to loving me some Packer football!!!!

*curious what got #33 to do the "Lynch celebration" on that one TD?

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:02 am

I think this article is correct. While I love Aaron Jones, i do not think the Packers have significant justification for keeping him when they could get 10.4m in cap relief (and even more in 2024) by cutting him.

No matter what we do, whether we trade Rodgers and start all over or restructure everyone to go all in one more time, we will not be serious contenders for a Super Bowl in 2023. We will be keeping our 8-9 2023 roster largely intact, and how can we expect much improvement?

I think it is time to move on. Aaron Jones is great, but injuries have already started to hamper him a bit, and relying on a 29 year old RB to carry your offense isn’t a great idea. We need to get younger and cheaper, be more cap friendly, and turn the page

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Lphill's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:13 am

I don't understand this , there were other articles here recently making a case how important it is having Jones back as well as all season the majority of fans here pleading with MLF to run the damn ball, now Jones is expendable?

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:55 am

Your right!! They are Yo-Yos who want a rebuild.
And the Bitching will never stop when it comes!

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Bitternotsour's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:47 pm

I can help you understand. There is a finite amount of money. Jones takes too much of it. Also, he's 29 years old. The team is in cap hell. There is only one way out, younger, faster, cheaper.

jones was a 5th rounder. he's really good. you can't keep them all.

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TXCHEESE's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:17 am

I'll give you three reasons to keep Aaron Jones:

HE'S THE BEST PLAYER ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL!

HE'S THE BEST PLAYER ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL!

HE'S THE BEST PLAYER ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL!

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Packerpasty's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:34 pm

Running backs rarely win games..but they sure can help lose them..

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beautiful_mystery's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:43 am

Just me, but I would rather break bread than cut ties.

(hey, a new country song?)

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:43 pm

I like it!

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:43 pm

double

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beautiful_mystery's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:24 pm

CroatPack, thanks for being such a stellar Pack fan! Distance is nothing, you have proven that.👌👍

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jhtobias's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:17 pm

Very Valid reasons but Im gonna add one in favor of Jones:

If Lafluer is moronic enough to keep Berry then this organization has no buisness cutting Jones . He is a consumate pro , fantastic human being, and player.

Lafluer by keeping Berry is already setting the packers up for 2022 repeat in 2023. So since we will be 8 and 9 again with the might joe berry leading the defense why cut anyone ir add anyone makes no sense .

Clown Show At 1265 Lombardi Avenue continues

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:01 pm

:

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:12 pm

:

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:12 pm

:

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:15 pm

Packers fan: Looks at salary cap website with a tenuous understanding of math
Packers fan: Oh no, 20 million is way too much for the best player on our offense
Scrolls down to see Darnell Savage, one of the worst players on the defense, will be 8 million
Packers fan: This is fine

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Racingdad's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:19 pm

It’s time for a rod to go

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PackfanNY's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:59 pm

I don’t agree. I think we should stick with Aaron Jones but work on a restructure that works for both sides. That takes care of the contract issue.

The Age and importance of position are both WEAK arguments. Turning 29 get the wheelchair ready. Ridiculous. Plenty of good years ahead.

Position not worth the value? Nonsense. Every guy was screaming “run the ball” all…season…long. Now who do you think is going to RUN the damn ball. You guys crack me up.

Aaron Jones is a Packer and I want him to remain a Packer. We have some problems. He ain’t it.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:17 pm

What about the cap? Retaining Jones is just another example of irresponsible cap management. There is no reason for us to go all-in another year, as we'd likely be at best a fringe playoff team.

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:56 pm

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cdoemel's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:37 pm

Get rid of 12, keep 33. NFCCG in 2023 Because 10 WILL come to OTA’s and learn who his receivers are. No one’s gonna cry when 12 leaves. He’s too much. In the last 6 years with 12 we are 3-3 for winning seasons!!! That’s not cool! Cause, I don’t know what more Gute can do to motivate him than drafting 10 did!

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barutanseijin's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:52 pm

If they don’t dump Rodgers, nothing else matters.

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ItzDaShooz's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:05 pm

You think it was feasible to keep a depleted aaron rodgers? Pathetic stats the past 2 seasons! Rodgers had mirrored favre & not in a positive manner. His selfishess on the field, worrying abt his own stats & not giving a rats a$$ abt others or the end result of the season as a team..just the most selfish award of the year.. MVP!
Jones & Dillons talent has been wasted in green bay with rodgers under center. Many targets should & could have been utilized had #12 not lost his football IQ! Or thrown a temper tantrum when GB drafted a qb to develop
as they did with buttercup Rodgers! The same thing happened with favres attitude when rodgers was drafted! Snowflake needs to suck it up! His DEPLETED athleticism is a big part of why he ONLY has ONE ring in EIGHTEEN SEASONS unlike #TB!
Packers will get paid when 12 is gone n a cpl of months!
PAY JONES & the other worthy players what they deserve!
Tom Brady is worth that kinda money.. not Buttercup Rodgers!

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ForeverGB's picture

January 21, 2023 at 08:51 am

That’s simply a bullshit take to get clicks. These teams pull all kinds of accounting moves to change cap hits. People like you put shit out here that a player sees, as AARON DID and puss them off. Sometimes it’s better to shut up and be a non inflammatory fan.

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Demario Pratt's picture

January 22, 2023 at 03:12 pm

Straight trash opinion

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Swisch's picture

January 22, 2023 at 04:05 pm

Just in case Aaron Jones checks back in on this article -- which reportedly caused him some real hurt -- I wanted to leave my recent reply from a different article in which I advocated keeping Jones and Mason Crosby.
https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/corys-corner-pay-cut-or-no-pay-cut-128#com...
I left at least one other related comment in this thread, just in case Aaron or anyone else is interested, in which I suggested extending his contract for another year to help ease the immediate cap hit.
***
It has seemed to me quite possible that Packers players read the articles and fan comments at CHTV -- especially as I know of no other site that has a good volume of ideas and opinions from fans.
When certain guys come through over the years for the Packers and us as fans, I'm much more likely to stick with them when it's a tough call due to age or other circumstances.
Football is not just a business. Our Packers aren't only players but also persons.
It's only human that players respond to how they're treated by us as fans, just as we care about how the players act toward us.
***
I do think that good fans can disagree about whether or not to keep Aaron Jones, but all players are risks to not live up to their contracts.
Even based simply on football considerations, Jones is still young enough and dynamic enough to give us a couple more seasons of exceptional play as a runner and receiver. He is likely to continue to be elite.
Add in the kind of guy Jones appears to be as far as excellent character, and it makes a huge amount of sense to try to keep him around.
With players like Jones and Crosby still productive, give them the benefit of the doubt for future performance, let them know they are treasured, and find a way to keep them as Packers going forward.

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