Packers' Aaron Jones Says He Wants to Be with GB for Life amid Contract Talks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones expressed his desire to remain with the organization for his entire career Wednesday.

Jones told reporters"I'm focused on myself. I feel like I can play at an elite level for a long time. Hopefully that leads to me being a Packer for life, that's my goal."

His contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season. ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported in February that Jones and his representatives were interested in negotiating an extension with the Packers.

A fifth-round draft pick out of UTEP in 2017, Jones has developed into a force for the Green Bay offense.

The 25-year-old took a big step forward in 2018, but he truly broke out last season with career highs across the board. He rushed for 1,084 yards and an NFL-leading 16 touchdowns while catching 49 passes for 474 yards and three scores.

Aside from No. 1 wideout Davante Adams, Jones was quarterback Aaron Rodgers' most reliable weapon offensively. While the Packers largely lacked threats at wide receiver and tight end, Jones' versatility helped them advance to the NFC Championship Game.

He suggested Wednesday that he wants the team to take the next step in 2020: "I want to win the Super Bowl. We were one game short. It's not all about me; it's about the team goal."

As good as Jones was last season, the Packers may not be eager to sign him to a long-term, big-money contract extension.

Significant running back contracts have come back to bite many teams in recent years, including the Los Angeles Rams with Todd Gurley, the Arizona Cardinals with David Johnson, the San Francisco 49ers with Jerick McKinnon and the New York Jets with Le'Veon Bell.

The Packers are seemingly prepared to move on from Jones if they are unable to sign him to a deal that makes sense for both sides.

Running back Jamaal Williams is also signed through 2020, but he would likely cost less to retain than Jones. Although Williams has yet to put up a huge statistical season, the 2017 fourth-round pick was productive last season with 713 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns in support of Jones.

As well, the Packers selected Boston College running back A.J. Dillon in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. Dillon is a bruiser who could be a quality complement to Jones, but he may have potential as a workhorse if the Packers let Jones walk.

Jones is a great fit in Green Bay's offense and a versatile player who would be difficult to replace, but he may need to put up big numbers once again in 2020 before the Packers truly consider locking him up.