Packers Signing Named Most Head Scratching Of Offseason

Josh Jacobs, Packers, NFL
Oct 30, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (8) celebrates after running for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers made several big moves during the 2024 offseason to take that next step once the regular season rolls around. For the third consecutive offseason, they said goodbye to a stalwart player, as the team released left tackle David Bakhtiari.

It was a move that needed to be done, as releasing Bakhtiari saved the team $20 million on the salary cap. He is the most recent in a list of long-time Packers who have departed in recent years, including Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers and Mason Crosby.

Green Bay wasted no time in putting that cap space to use. They upgraded their secondary in a big way, signing safety Xavier McKinney away from the New York Giants. The two sides agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal, making McKinney one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL.

On the offensive side of the ball, the big splash came at the running back position. The Packers agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with Josh Jacobs, formerly of the Las Vegas Raiders, to take over as their new lead back.

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To make that move possible, the Packers said goodbye to another long-time producer, as they released running back Aaron Jones. The money given to Jacobs, and having to move on from Jones, played a part in Stephania Bell, a fantasy football expert at ESPN, saying the Jacobs signing was the most head-scratching move of the offseason.

“Running back Josh Jacobs to the Packers. It’s true, last season was an off year for Aaron Jones. He suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1, and it limited his availability throughout the season. But the oft-repeated mantra was that Jones was the heart of the team, a critical presence in the locker room and the key to its run game. The argument against Jones is he’s an aging running back who was going to cost too much to re-sign. Yet the Packers brought in a back on a more expensive multiyear deal (four years, $48 million) who has fewer years of play in the league but has accrued mileage at a faster rate. This is not about Jacobs’ undeniable talent, it’s about the rationale,” wrote Bell.

To make matters worse, they are going to see Jones twice in the 2024 season. He signed a one-year deal with the rival Minnesota Vikings, as releasing him could come back to haunt Green Bay rather quickly.

Like many contracts in the NFL, Jacobs’ deal isn’t a straightforward four-year, $48 million pact. There will be opportunities for the Packers to get out of the deal if they want, but it was certainly a risk. All in all, Green Bay will be paying more for the running back position in 2024 than they would have by just keeping Jones and finding a cheaper alternative than Jacobs.

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