Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones wants to finish his career with the organization but doesn’t know if that will be possible.
The fourth-year tailback, who tied for the NFL lead with 19 touchdowns last season, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Despite his production, the Packers selected a running back — A.J. Dillon out of Boston College — in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft.
“Whether it’s my first year or my last year on a deal, I’m going to be just as motivated,” Jones told reporters Wednesday. “It doesn’t change just because a contract is on the line for me. I’m going to continue to work and do everything in my power. I trust my agency and the Packers. With that, I would love to be a lifelong Packer. That’s my take on that.”
The Packers selected Jones in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of UTEP. He had his breakout season in 2019, when he racked up 1,558 yards from scrimmage and tied Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey for the NFL’s touchdown lead.
Earlier this off-season, McCaffrey reset the running back market with his four-year, $64 million contract extension. The deal, with an average annual value of $16 million, made him the league’s highest-paid tailback.
The Packers haven’t given a second contract to a running back they drafted since James Starks. Green Bay picked him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft.
More recently, the franchise allowed former 1,000-yard rusher Eddie Lacy to leave in free agency after the conclusion of the 2016 campaign.
“I’m really not looking at the market. I’m just focused on myself,” Jones said. “I feel like I can play at a really high level and elite level for a very long time, so I’m just going to do what I can, and hopefully that leads to me being a Packer for life. That’s my goal.”
Jones is scheduled to earn about $2.13 million this season, according to Spotrac. He is one of five Packers starters set to become free agents next off-season. The others are defensive tackle Kenny Clark, left tackle David Bakhtiari, center Corey Linsley and cornerback Kevin King.