The Green Bay Packers have a decision to make on running back Aaron Jones. They can franchise tag him, before Tuesday’s deadline, or become one of his suitors on the open market. Teams with a need and money to spend, like the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, can easily price the Packers out of the Jones market.
Seth Galina of Pro Football Focus outlined one perfect free agent match for all 32 teams. He tabbed Chris Carson as a perfect fit for the Packers.
In a world where the Packers lose Aaron Jones to free agency, Carson would step in and be a more than worthwhile replacement for him.
Hidden away in Seattle, Carson has been one of the best runners in the league over the past few seasons, grading among the top 10 running backs in each of the previous three seasons and ranking third among running backs in yards after contact per attempt (3.4) over those years. He’s a perfect replacement as a two-down running back who will need to cede his place for Jamaal Williams on third down.
Carson is hitting free agency off a down year for the Seahawks (681 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games). But in 2018 (1,151 yards) and 2019 (1,230 yards), he was top-5 in the league in rushing. In three fewer games last season, Carson matched his catch total from 2019 (37) with four receiving touchdowns.
Replacing Jones, to put it too simply and mildly, won’t be easy for the Packers. Despite the perception, Carson is not dead-weight in the passing game. Suggesting he’s a “two-down running back” who will need to “cede his place for Jamaal Williams on third down” isn’t a fair assessment. Williams is a free agent himself, and hardly guaranteed to be back with the Packers. But that’s just the surface level attempt to pigeonhole Carson.
Carson may have a solid market for his services. The Seahawks seem ready to let him go without an offer. The Packers look like a fit, if things break that way. Maybe Carson would take a discount on a one-year deal, coming off a down year. In Green Bay he could re-establish his value, and keep playing with a top-end quarterback.