Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and has now hired a new agent to represent him. This could be a sign that Jones is ready to cash-in on a big payday somewhere else or is hoping to find common ground on a new deal to stay in Green Bay.
Green Bay Packers‘ Aaron Jones is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the works for an extension between the Packers and Jones have stalled. The failure to reach an extension with both sides has resulted in Jones firing his former agent and hiring Drew Rosenhaus, who will also be representing Jones’ brother, Alvin.
— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) December 15, 2020
Jones, a 2017 fifth-round draft selection, is coming off a phenomenal 2019 season where he totaled 19 touchdowns and 1,558 all-purpose yards. This year the 26-year old isn’t putting up the stats the season before but has been productive in the Packers’ offense with 1,108 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns.
Jones is one of the elite running backs in the NFL and has blossomed in Matt LaFleur’s system, but is one of the running backs in the 2017 draft class that hasn’t signed an extension. Before the 2020 season started, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, and Joe Mixon all signed long-term contracts with the teams that drafted them.
The hiring of Rosenhaus has Packers fans worried that Jones will not be joining the list of the 2017 draft class running backs to stay with their original team. Rosenhaus is one of those agents that will always get his clients the big-money contract. He’s the NFL’s version of MLB agent Scott Boras and NBA agent Rich Paul.
Notable clients Rosenhaus has represented are Antonio Brown, Chad Johnson (Ochocinco), Frank Gore, Rex Grossman, Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, Jimmy Smith, Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens, Tyreek Hill, and Warren Sapp. Hill is one of Rosenhaus’s recent massive contract extensions with three years, $54 million.
However, even though Rosenhaus has a history of getting big contracts for his clients, Jones could still want to stay in Green Bay. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, “the new sides have been in ongoing negotiations but were unable to reach a deal, and now it appears they’re starting over.”
It seems like Jones wants to be in Green Bay for the foreseeable future, but will the Packers allowed that to happen? They’ve given contract extensions to left tackle David Bakhtiari and defensive tackle Kenny Clark, but still, have to decide on cornerback Kevin King, center Corey Linsley and running back Jamaal Williams.
It’s tricky for any team when it comes to paying their running back. The stats could be amazing, but the position puts a beating on players. You can make an argument that running back is the easiest position to replace, but it’s hard to find that dynamic playmaker. Todd Gurley’s contract with the Los Angeles Rams is the perfect cautionary tale, and he isn’t the only one.
In terms of the overall contract value, most of the top-10 highest-paid running backs have been struggling this year. Six of those running backs have missed significant time due to injury (McCaffrey, Mixon, David Johnson, Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler, Tarik Cohen), one has been struggling to produce (Ezekiel Elliot). Only three have been worth the investment this season (Cook, Kamara, Derrick Henry).
The Packers have been preparing to lose Jones or Williams in free agency. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Packers chose AJ Dillon in the second round. Even though Dillon hasn’t seen much playing time this season, he is in the Green Bay Packers’ plans for future backfield snaps. The other running backs the Packers have under contract for next season is Dexter Williams and Patrick Taylor.
Also, this doesn’t throw out the possibility that the Packers let both Jones and Williams walk in free agency, then draft another running back. No one knows what the Green Bay Packers will do regarding their roster. The 2020 offseason, specifically the draft, made that abundantly clear. In the meantime, just focus on the present, because it’s looking good for the NFC North champs.