Aaron Jones and the Packers have come to terms on a four-year, $48 million that includes a $13 million signing bonus, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The two sides reached an agreement three days before Jones would have entered free agency.
"Aaron would have signed for more in free agency but wanted to stay in Green Bay," Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said of his client. The Packers declined to franchise tag Jones but were able to sign him to a new deal before the start of free agency.
Jones' market value was estimated at four years for $14.6 million per year, according to Spotrac. The 2021 reduced salary cap would have likely impacted Jones' offers on the open market. This year's salary cap is $182.5 million, about a $15 million drop from what it was expected to be pre-COVID.
A fifth-round pick in the 2017 draft, Jones has rushed for 3,364 yards and 37 touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Jones earned his first Pro Bowl selection last season after amassing 1,459 all-purpose yards. His play helped the Packers reach the NFC title game for a second consecutive year.
The 5-foot-9, 208-pound Jones led the NFL with a 5.5 yards per carry average in 2018. In 2019 (his first season as a full-time starter), Jones led the NFL with 16 rushing touchdowns. In 14 regular season games last season, Jones earned his first Pro Bowl selection after rushing for 1,104 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Jones' play over the past two seasons contributed to the Packers' consecutive NFC title game appearances.
While Jones will remain in Green Bay, Jamaal Williams, the Packers' second-leading rusher last season, is expected to enter the market on March 17. Drafted one round ahead of Jones in the 2017 draft, Williams recently expressed his desire to remain with the Packers.
"I love Green Bay," Williams told NFL Network. "It's just a great place to be. But you know, things happen. If things don't happen, then I'm just ready to take my shot into the free agency and show my skills to any team that's willing to take that chance on me. I'm just ready to go, man. I'm just ready to play, have fun, be myself, just bring my spark to any team willing to give me that shot."
Given the Packers' investment in Jones, along with Williams' possible departure, CBS Sports NFL Fantasy Football writer Chris Towers believes that Jones should be considered an "elite" player in fantasy football for the 2021 season. Instead of sharing the workload with Williams, Jones will likely be spelled during the season by AJ Dillon, who had 46 carries and two receptions during his rookie season. And while Dillon is expected to have a bigger workload in 2021, don't expect him to mimic Williams' usage rate of the past several seasons.