Aaron Jones stays with Packers on reduced salary deal
The Green Bay Packers and running back Aaron Jones have agreed to a new deal that will keep the 28-year-old player with the team for at least the next two years. According to sources, Jones has agreed to reduce his salary for the 2023 season by $5 million, from $16 million to $11 million, in exchange for an $8.52 million signing bonus. The move will also help the Packers reduce Jones’ salary-cap figure.
Jones was under contract for $20.013 million, which included a $7 million roster bonus due next month and an $8.1 million base salary. With this new deal, the roster bonus will be replaced with the signing bonus, and the base salary will be lowered. The new contract also means that Jones will have made $31 million since 2021, making him the second-highest-paid running back in the league, behind Christian McCaffrey.
The four-year, $48 million contract that Jones signed in 2021 was always expected to be restructured after two years if the Packers did not release him. However, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst confirmed last month that he expected to have Jones back next season.
Gutekunst praised Jones’ leadership and consistency, calling him a vital part of the team’s offense. He also noted the importance of having a “one-two punch” at the running back position, with Jones and AJ Dillon, who emerged as a reliable backup last season.
Jones has been a productive player for the Packers since he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons and has proven to be a valuable receiver out of the backfield as well, with 59 receptions for 430 yards and five touchdowns last season.
The Packers will likely look to restructure other contracts in the coming weeks as they attempt to free up salary-cap space. Left tackle David Bakhtiari is owed a $9.5 million bonus if he is on the roster on the third day of the league year, which begins on March 15. Gutekunst has suggested that the team may try to restructure or cut Bakhtiari’s pay.
Overall, the new deal for Aaron Jones is a win-win for both the player and the team. Jones gets to continue playing for a team that values his contributions, and the Packers get to keep a talented and reliable running back at a reduced cost. It’s a smart move for a team that is trying to build a championship contender while also managing its salary cap. With Jones and Dillon in the backfield, the Packers should have a formidable running game for the next few seasons.