After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Aaron Jones agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract. What does Aaron Jones’ contract look like, what is the impact of his deal on the Green Bay Packers’ salary cap, and how has Jones performed in his career?
Aaron Jones’ contract details
News broke on March 14 that running back Aaron Jones and the Green Bay Packers have agreed to a new contract. Jones’ deal is valued at $48 million, with a reported $13 million signing bonus.
Per NFL Network, there is not expected to be any further guaranteed money in the deal. Therefore, releasing Jones in the future would likely only cost the remaining prorated signing bonus remaining. With a $13 million signing bonus, it prorates at $3.25 million per year. Thus, releasing Jones is expected to cost $9.75 million, $6.5 million, and $3.25 million in 2022, 2023, and 2024, respectively.
At $12 million per year average annual value, Aaron Jones’ contract makes him the sixth highest-paid running back in the NFL. He is tied for that mark with Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals.
What is Aaron Jones’ salary cap number for the Packers?
The cost of Aaron Jones’ contract against the Packers’ salary cap will depend on his salary and bonuses in 2021. If the Packers have given Jones a base salary at the veteran minimum in 2021, he will cost just $4.25 million against the cap this season.
Realistically, that is unlikely. A more realistic number would be around $5 million in salary and bonuses. That would leave the cap number around $8.25 million.
How has Jones performed in his career?
Throughout his rookie contract, Aaron Jones did what everyone looks for — he grew in ability through the deal. In his rookie season, he had just 81 carries for 448 yards but scored 4 touchdowns. The 2018 season saw him have 133 carries for 728 yards and 8 touchdowns.
In his third season, he led the league in rushing touchdowns with 16. He added 1,084 rushing yards on 236 carries. In 2020, Jones saw his touchdown production decrease back to single digits (9). However, he managed 1,104 rushing yards on just 201 carries.
Therefore, while playing on his rookie contract, Aaron Jones scored 37 rushing touchdowns with 3,364 rushing yards. During those four seasons, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry. That included three seasons averaging an impressive 5.5 yards per carry.
Aaron Jones developed into a receiving threat during his rookie deal
After seeing just 53 targets with 35 receptions for 228 receiving yards, Jones stepped it up a gear in his final two years. In those final two seasons, Jones saw 131 targets and pulled in 96 receptions for 829 yards. In his final three seasons, Jones had a catch percentage over 72 percent in each of the three seasons.
Jones has been a reliable player for the Packers
In his four seasons in Green Bay, Jones has missed just 10 games. Of the 64 games he could have played, he has suited up for 54 of them. That data set includes suiting up for 30 of his last 32 games for the Packers. His reliability will have been a big part of why the Packers were willing to offer a long-term deal to their franchise RB.
However, perhaps even more importantly, Jones has scored an incredible 30 total touchdowns for the Packers in the last two seasons.
What was Aaron Jones’ previous deal?
Aaron Jones’ rookie contract saw him sign a four-year deal worth $2.6 million. Jones received a $201,937 signing bonus, which was all of the guaranteed money in the deal. Aaron Jones’ salary did not rise over the $1 million mark until the final year of his rookie deal in 2020.
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