Packers’ RB Decision: Josh Jacobs Over Aaron Jones – What Went Behind It?

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Explore the Packers’ recent running back decision as we delve into the factors that led to choosing Josh Jacobs over Aaron Jones. 

The Green Bay Packers initially had not intended to pursue a high-profile running back. 

However, when negotiations with Aaron Jones regarding a salary reduction faltered late last week, the team promptly altered its course over the weekend and turned its attention to free agent Josh Jacobs.

The Packers had requested a significant reduction in these figures from Jones, following his acceptance of a $5 million pay cut from $16 million to $11 million the previous year. 

Initially, there was optimism within the Packers organization that Jones might be amenable to a revised agreement.

Packers Promptly Address Jones’ Contract Situation

Packers'-RB-Decision:-Josh-Jacobs-Over-Aaron-Jones-What-Went-Behind-It?
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 20: Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers looks on before an NFC divisional round playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on January 20, 2024 in Santa Clara, California.

The Packers ensured Jones was not left hanging over the weekend by informing him that they would need to shift their focus elsewhere.

They could have kept Jones until Wednesday, when the new league year starts and contracts can be officially signed. 

However, they were hesitant to place Jones in a situation where, if he decided against a pay cut, the Packers would have to retract the offer.

Considering his extensive track record of dedication to the organization and the admiration he commands from both the organization and the fans, Jones was released on Monday to facilitate his discussions with other teams. 

He reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday morning for a one-year contract worth $7 million, which was approximately $1 million higher than the Packers’ last proposal.

Taking the Jacobs deal into consideration, there is a possibility that it may not be finalized until Wednesday at 4 pm ET, when free agents are allowed to officially sign with new teams.

Packers Eye Running Back Options Beyond Jacobs

Although Jacobs may not be utilized in the same way as Jones, the Packers see his dual threat ability as a valuable asset. 

When it comes to play style, the Packers view him as reminiscent of Eddie Lacy during his peak – a strong back that defenders are hesitant to tackle in the open field.

The Packers may need to consider adding another running back through free agency or the draft, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a costly or high draft pick. 

AJ Dillon, who supported Jones for the last four seasons, is now a free agent and is expected to sign with another team. 

Emanuel Wilson remains on the team after receiving a qualifying tender offer as an exclusive rights free agent on Monday.

Along with Jacobs, they have reached an agreement with former Giants safety Xavier McKinney on a four-year, $68 million contract. Similar to the Raiders, the Giants made an attempt to keep McKinney on their team, but the Packers offered a higher bid. 

McKinney emerged as their primary focus once the Buccaneers applied the franchise tag to Antoine Winfield Jr.

To accommodate Jacobs and McKinney under the salary cap, the Packers have decided to part ways with left tackle David Bakhtiari on Monday as well as linebacker De’Vondre Campbell on Wednesday.

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