Aaron Jones 'Certainly Could' Get Franchise Tag Ahead of FA, Packers GM Says

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 2, 2021

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers aren't ruling out the possibility of using the franchise tag on Aaron Jones

Per Olivia Reiner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, general manager Brian Gutekunst said the team "certainly could" peg the running back as their first franchise-tagged player since 2010

The deadline for using the designation is next Tuesday. 

The UTEP product, who was drafted by the Packers in the fifth round in 2017, had a Pro Bowl season in 2020, the final year of his rookie deal. He ran for 1,104 yards with nine touchdowns on 201 carries, a year after he posted his first 1,000-yard season and scored a league-high 16 touchdowns.

According to Zach Kruse of Packers Wire, the team has "offered Jones competitive contract extensions" but don't have the money to complete a deal.

That means the opportunity to tag him at what Over the Cap is projecting will be an $8 million hit is their best bet to keep him around. But before the Packers can do anything, they'll still need to work on reducing their payroll, since they're $11.5 million over the salary cap as it is.

If it comes down to letting Jones walk, the Packers would have to look elsewhere to beef up their running game.

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Behind Jones, Jamaal Williams ran for 505 yards and two scores, but he's also entering free agency. AJ Dillon, their second-round pick last year out of Boston College, collected 242 yards and two scores through 11 games.