Green Bay Packers star Aaron Jones has been one of the best running back in the league over the past two years. He is going to want to be paid like one. Hometown discounts don’t work in the running back world because their shelf life is so short and they already believe they are underpaid as is.
Green Bay is currently over the projected salary cap and don’t have a lot of salaries to dump. Most likely, the Packers will end up losing Aaron Jones and possibly even their primary backup in Jamaal Williams.
Here are three potential replacements they could take a look at.
Mike Davis went from being cut by the Bears to replacing Christian McCaffrey and doing a heck of a job. Davis earned himself a starting job while filling in for CMC. In his 12 starts, Davis ran for 642 yards while also hauling in 59 receptions.
Davis would most likely come pretty cheap as the running back market has proven to be pretty volatile. He isn’t going to be able to replicate the talent of Jones, but he would be a steady presence in the backfield and would bring a lot of production in the passing game.
The soon to be 28-year-old could give the Packers a productive starter for the next couple of seasons, as he has had limited wear on his tires. Davis would also finally get his shot at a lead role. This would be a win win for both parties.
Philip Lindsay is set to hit the open market as well and could be a good option for the Packers. He is unhappy with how he was used this past season with the Broncos and would seem to welcome a change of scenery.
Lindsay has been a productive back in his career. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards twice and averaged over 4.3 yards a carry in all three of his seasons. Lindsay was put on the back burner this past season as Denver elected to use Melvin Gordon as their lead back.
Considering Denver is already paying Gordon $9 million, it seems unlikely that they are going to dish out much for Lindsay. Green Bay could swoop in and nab Lindsay for a modest deal. This would provide the Packers with a young, talented, and proven running back while also giving Lindsay the lead role he covets.
This seems like the most likely scenario in replacing Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Green Bay sent some shockwaves through the NFL landscape when they selected AJ Dillon in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This seemed to be the move preparing for the loss of Jones.
Dillon played sparingly throughout the season, totaling only 46 carries. However, half of those carries came against the Tennessee Titans in Week 16. Dillon ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries as he proved that he has what it takes to be the lead back in the Packers’ offense.
He would make the most sense as the replacement for Jones, as he is on a cheap rookie deal, has draft investment, and has proven his ability.
In short, you don’t draft a running back in the second round for him to sit on the bench for more than a year. Dillon will get the first crack at the starting job. But if he falters, look for Green Bay to bring in a veteran to compete for the job.