First of all, Aaron Jones is not a problem for the Green Bay Packers. Matter of fact, in many ways, he is the solution. Against the Carolina Panthers, with so many offensive weapons not playing, Aaron Jones stepped in in a big way. He had 127 rushing yards on 21 attempts. This gave him an average of six yards per carry. Jones was electric and without him, the Packers offense would not have been as explosive against Carolina.
I fully expect this productivity to continue against the Vikings (may have already happened by the time you are reading this) and the Bears. But what about next year? The off-season is coming up quick for the Packers and they have a lot of decisions ahead of them. Jones’ performance last Sunday reminded me of a huge one that needs to be recognized. What are the Packers going to do at running back?
The Packers have a young and talented offensive core but the running back position is a huge question mark heading into the 2024 off-season.
As of right now, AJ Dillon is not under contract for next season and Aaron Jones’ cap number sky rockets to an unacceptable $17 million according to Over The Cap. Other than Aaron Jones, there are no other running backs on the roster. This is why I wrote a pre-draft article in the spring how I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Packers would have drafted Bijan Robinson. Now, they didn’t have the opportunity to draft Robinson, but still. The time is coming due.
Could Aaron Jones Return?
So, what are the Green Bay Packers going to do?
I do not think there is a world where the Packers can keep both AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones on this roster. AJ Dillon could be re-signed affordably but if Dillon is brought back, I don’t see the Packers paying Aaron Jones. I can also see the Packers working with Aaron Jones again on his contract to keep him in Green Bay. Last off-season, Aaron Jones took a pay cut and the Packers restructured his contract. But if the Packers do this again, I don’t see them paying AJ Dillon.
This team is all about the youth movement right now too. Aaron Jones is 29 and by the end of next season, he will be 30 years old. AJ Dillon will be 26 at the start of the next season.
Something is going to change at the running back position for the Packers. Personally, I believe the Packers are going to draft a running back high in the 2024 NFL Draft. Someone like Blake Corum out of Michigan could be just the pick.
Times Are A-Changin’
So, with this season coming to an end (who knows, the Packers could go on a run, but unlikely) it is important to understand that this could be some of the last times we will see Aaron Jones and/or AJ Dillon in a Packers uniform.
Enjoy it while it lasts. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are going to be key to winning against the Vikings and the Bears. If the Packers make the playoffs, then they’ll also be key in those games too.
I’m thankful for these guys over the past several years and how they carry the “G.”
I don’t want to see these two in another uniform and because of that, I hope I’m wrong. Either way, enjoy these last two games of the regular season.
Go Pack Go!——————
Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.