Heading into yet another important offseason, the Green Bay Packers were entertaining the possibility, at least publicly, of seeing both Aaron Jones and Jaire Alexanders depart. The importance of these two veteran cornerstones are exactly what this team needs, so it’s very important to hear that they will be returning.
While both players have experienced their fair share of highs and lows this season, both Alexander and Jones are incredibly integral to the future success of the Packers, even if they are both older than most of their core.
Franchises seem to be allergic to handing out big-money contracts to running backs, but the evidence is there as to why it can be a bad idea. With RBs taking on so much contact and punishment during each game, their shelf lives are limited, making them unlikely choices for big deals after their rookie contracts run out.
Thankfully for Jones, his health has mostly been good enough to justify his seven-year career in green and gold. Having played in at least 11 games every season of his career, Jones looks to extend his stay in Titletown, potentially for the rest of his career.
GM Brian Gutekunst recently went on record about his thoughts on Jones, and with one year left on his current four-year contract, it should be expected that Jones returns in his RB1 role moving forward.
As AJ Dillon hits free agency, look for Jones to remain on the team, likely on a restructured contract that could turn some of his guaranteed salary into incentive-based, potentially even tacking on a year or two to his deal as well.
It was an odd year for Alexander, who only suited up for seven games this year after dealing with injuries and a one-game suspension. While there is a potential out of Alexander’s contract after next season, expect Alexander to remain on this roster barring an unforeseen drop in play.
His back injury lingered for much longer than many expected, leading some ‘fans’ to think maybe he was milking things and truly was healthy. But he did come back after his injury, and while he did record his first season of no interceptions, he was still efficient.
With his peculiar decision to join the Packers at mid-field for the coin toss against the Carolina Panthers, Alexander earned a one-game suspension for his actions. As he wasn’t a capatain for the game, Alexander went out and called the coin toss, much to the surprise of the actual game captains as well as the coaching staff.
The depth in the defensive secondary for Green Bay is so light on talent that moving on from Alexander would truly make this a mistake. With the 26-year-old still having three more years left on his deal, it seems like injuries would be the only reason why he wouldn’t play out the remainder of this deal.
With the amount of youth on this team, a few veteran presences are needed to help keep Green Bay moving forward. Guys like Jones and Alexander, as well as others, will be counted on in leadership roles, and these two players bring a lot to the table still.