Aaron Jones, one of the NFL's most productive running backs over the past two seasons, will not be franchise tagged by the Packers as Tuesday's deadline has passed. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Packers will continue to try to sign Jones to a multiyear deal. Green Bay has less than two weeks to make that happen before Jones would become a free agent on March 17.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst recently told reporters that, while the team could apply the tag on Jones, they would prefer to sign him to a long-term contract. Now, it appears Jones will either sign a long-term deal with the Packers, or will do so with another franchise.
"It's not an organizational philosophy to not use [the franchise tag]," Gutekunst said. "I think every situation is different. It is a tool that is out there for us to use if it makes sense for the football team ... It's always something we'll look at if that's the best situation for us, (and) we'll go ahead and use that if we need to."
Jones' market value is currently estimated at four years for $14.6 million per year, according to Spotrac. This year's reduced salary cap, however, will likely limit how many teams can offer Jones his market value. The cap is projected to be somewhere between $180 million to $185 million.
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.
Jones is not the only Packers running back who is slated to enter free agency. Jamaal Williams, drafted one round ahead of Jones in 2017, is also slated to become a free agent. The Packers' second-leading rusher last season, 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."