Aaron Jones has his best season as a pro in 2019 under a new offense. Jones rushed for over 1,000 yards and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns. However, some say he’s not worth the new contract, and the Packers should just draft his replacement. Let’s take a look at why that would be a bad idea.
The saying has always been that running backs are a dime a dozen. However, good running backs don’t come and go that easily. Jones has, by far, outplayed his late round draft position. He was one of the best running backs in the entire league in 2019, and has only been in the league for three seasons. He’s already shown that he can work in Matt LaFleur’s offense. Given all of this, why draft a new guy to replace him in a year or two when he’s just now entering his prime? With a guy like Jones already in place the strategy should be to build with him, not start from scratch at an important position.
Perhaps the biggest reason to keep Jones is the way the NFL is moving. Every good offense has “their guy,” then some compliments at the running back position. Aaron Jones is an elite player at his position and is without a doubt the best running back the Packers have. It would be absolutely foolish to let a playmaker like that go to another team who might only be needing that elite runner in their running back room. The Packers saw first hand an elite runner paired with other pieces run through them in San Francisco. To win in the NFL now, a guy like Jones is necessary to lead the backfield. Look at New Orleans, one of the best offenses in the league. They have “their guy” in Kamara and paired him a guy like Latavious Murray. The offense can work without Murray, but what if Kamara was gone?
Money and Window
To get an idea of how much Jones will cost, a blueprint would be Austin Ekeler’s new contract. This was Jones’ first season as the undoubted feature back. In McCarthy’s offense he was always limited in touches trying to create an even split between him and Williams. However, similar to Ekeler, Jones was a highlight of the offense for the first time in 2019. Ekeler signed a four-year 24.5 million dollar extension. This gives the young back an average salary of six and a half million over the next four years.
Taking this into account, Jones would probably end up making seven and a half to eight million dollars a year with his extension. This would make him the seventh highest paid back in the NFL. This makes it a relatively cheap deal when you take the production into account. Additionally, the Packers are in a position to make title runs over the next four to five seasons. Why do that without a young running back that’s already proven to be a star? This is why the Packers should re-sign Aaron Jones.
Let Me know if you think Jones should get a new contract or not. If not who should the Packers bring in to be the new RB1. Make sure to read yesterday’s piece by @MrAdams88 make sure to read it here.
Follow me on Twitter for more great NFL content @Aaliyan525 and follow us @OTHeroics1 for more great content! Discuss this and everything to do with sports at the Overtime Heroics forums! View more Packers related content here!