- Packers running back Aaron Jones is heading for free agency
- Jones is one of the most intriguing 2021 NFL free agents
- There will be no shortage of landing spots for the Packers star
Aaron Jones had another fantastic game against the number one Rams defense, putting up ninety-nine yards and a TD plus fourteen yards on one catch.
Solid numbers considering a game in which A.J. Dillon and Jamal Williams also saw work. That’s just the tip of what has been another fantastic season for Jones as he’s about to head into free agency. With the cap likely to be lower this coming year due to revenue lost because of Covid-19 restrictions, and the Packers’ acquisition of Dillon, despite his fumble, it’s likely Jones will be kitting up in a different uniform this coming year.
Jones is an electric runner with power and vision, and with exceptionally good hands. There have been games over the past few years where Jones has carried that team to wins alone, and the market will be hot for him.
So, if Jones doesn’t end up staying with the Pack, which bears considering due to his relationship with Rodgers, where is he most likely to end up? It’s an interesting topic especially for those that own him in fantasy dynasty leagues.
Wherever he does end up, you can be sure he will get the work, and a bumper contract to boot.
The Jets are one of the front-runners for me – Gase is gone, and so will have his undying commitment to Frank Gore, who whilst awesome isn’t the piece you need when you’re trying to rebuild a perennially disappointing franchise.
He’d walk straight into that offense with absolutely no competition as an immediate upgrade to every back they already have on the roster, and he will be a phenomenal crutch for Sam Darnold who has lacked a running game to lean on since being drafted.
There’s also the draw of just living and being in New York – it’s been said many times, but the New York sports stardom is unlike any other on Earth. If you make it in New York, you’re the guy. Jones has the ability to prop that franchise up and be a massive success there. I think it’s a natural fit for them to acquire a talented running back and address everything else with their multitude of draft picks.
With around $35 million in cap space, it would also make sense for the Dolphins to take a run at Jones in free agency.
With a young and talented QB like Tua Tagovailoa in the building, they really could do with adding some excellent weaponry.
If the Dolphins could load up on offense they could really push on to the next level. I expect them to make offers for both Allen Robinson and Aaron Jones in free agency to line up alongside Mike Gesicki and Devante Parker. Having someone in the backfield as flexible as Jones really opens up the playbook for them.
Wait, am I just naming the entire AFC East at this point? Probably. Nah, the Bills won’t be on this list, I promise. I checked!
New England has the busiest running back room in the league, but it’s about to potentially lose a couple of faces as James White and Rex Burkhead are set to hit free agency. Other than that, Sony Michel seems semi-permanently injured as well as consistently in Bill Belichick’s bad books, and Bolden isn’t a lead rusher, which leaves a very talented Damien Harris to tend the backfield alone.
Harris has been fantastic – one of the biggest producers at the running back position in the league, so why would the Patriots go out and get Jones? This is all about the quarterback position.
Let’s just say I doubt the fact that the tightest organisation in the league is going to make any massive money moves to bring in a proven star quarterback.
It just isn’t their way. So that leaves Stidham or a rookie. Whoever that person is thrust into the role of running the offense is going to need weapons, and one running back doesn’t really help. Jones adds incredible versatility, and with both, the rookie slinger will at least have a secure backfield whom he can build trust with and lean on in difficult situations.
And, it isn’t like the Patriots are hurting for cap space.
This doesn’t really need any over analysing. It’s as simple as this – The Chargers are a blossoming organisation under the rookie quarterbacking of Justin Herbert, and last year they rightfully passed on keeping Melvin Gordon.
Instead, they gave Austin Ekeler a bumper deal which led to him only suiting up for five games. If they want to make a serious play-off push next year, adding a guaranteed playmaking weapon like Jones to their quiver is seriously something they should consider. If you can get him for Herbert and line up with him, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Hunter Henry, you’re going to be a force to reckoned with, especially if you can spell him with Ekeler.
I know, I know; the Jags are ecstatic with the performances of their undrafted rookie running back James Robinson, but so were Denver when Phillip Lindsay torched the league for a season and it didn’t stop them from going out and bringing in Melvin Gordon.
Put it this way – Aaron Jones certainly isn’t Melvin Gordon. He’s a couple of tiers above that, so why wouldn’t the Jags who have an unreal amount of cap space take advantage of him being available? It wouldn’t even make a significant dent.
Aaron Jones free agency: Summary
In truth, any of these teams should make real moves to get him, because he’s immensely talented.
But, if you’re one of those AFC East teams he fits your needs and you’ll potentially have to face him twice a season on a divisional rival. For the others, he’s just a piece too good to pass up. He’s a big step to becoming competitive at the higher end of the game. If you want to compete with the big dogs you need big dog pieces, and he fits that estimation easily.
Where would you like to see him? Let us know in the comments!