Packers Predicted to Retain $48 Million Star Despite Injury Issues - Sport News

Packers Predicted to Retain $48 Million Star Despite Injury Issues

Star Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones hasn’t had many opportunities to shine this season due to multiple injuries, which has further clouded his future with the team.

Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur

However, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic wrote on Thursday, December 7, that he doesn’t envision the Packers cutting ties with Jones over the offseason simply because of his recent health issues.

“Would I keep Jones for one more year and, knowing how effective he can be when healthy, bank on him staying on the field? Yes,” Schneidman wrote. “Through 12 games this season, he’s been fully healthy for about two after playing in 62 of a possible 66 regular-season games over the prior four seasons. I’m not sure you just move on from a guy like Jones, an integral part of the organization both on and off the field, because of one injury-riddled season.”

Jones missed three games early in the year with a hamstring strain. He also sat the last two contests with a knee injury and is questionable for Green Bay’s Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants.

Aaron Jones’ Contract Could Complicate Return to Green Bay

Aaron Jones, Packers

Schneidman also noted the money the Packers can save by moving on from Jones, which is the more likely catalyst for cutting the former Pro Bowler than his history of moderate injuries — most of which he has accumulated this year.

Jones turned 29 years old in early December and is playing in the third season of his four-year, $48 million contract. He is set to count $17.7 million against the team’s salary cap in 2024.

Green Bay can save around $5 million if it cuts or trades Jones ahead of June 1. While that amount of savings is meaningful, it might not matter enough to cut ties with one of the best playmakers on the roster who is also a leader in the locker room. After all, the Packers were willing to pay big to trade for and extend Indianapolis Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor earlier this season.

However, the Green Bay can save nearly $11.5 million by cutting or trading Jones after June 1. That kind of cap space demands serious consideration on the part of the franchise, regardless of Jones’ status. The decision will ultimately come down to a value judgment, contrasting what the team can expect from Jones at his salary against what the offense can get from backup AJ Dillion and/or a rookie RB it drafts in the mid- to late-rounds next year.

Dillon is producing a career-worst 3.5 yards per carry and has scored just once all season despite playing in all 12 games and getting five starts.

David Bakhtiari Possible Cap Casualty Candidate for Packers

David Bakhtiari of the Packers

While Jones’ injury issues and 2024 salary combine to make him a potential cap casualty, the same problems render left tackle David Bakhtiari highly likely to depart the organization during the offseason.

Bakhtiari has played only one game this season and will miss the remainder of the year with a knee injury. The same knee issues cost the left tackle all but one game in the 2021 campaign and played a role in Bakhtiari missing six contests last season.

Bakhtiari will cost the Packers nearly $40.5 million against the cap in 2024 if he remains on the team, while Green Bay can save $21.5 million by cutting or trading the left tackle at any point in the offseason.

 

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