Packers release Aaron Jones after adding Josh Jacobs in 2024 NFL free agency: One of our ‘hardest decisions’

The Green Bay Packers have turned their backfield upside down. Off the heels of Agree to terms with former Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, the team released veteran running back Aaron Jones. In addition to Jacobs' arrival, this severing of ties with Jones comes after contract talks between him and the Packers collapsed. Jones was entering the final year of his contract in 2024 and was due $12 million for this season.

“We want to thank Aaron for his unwavering commitment to the Packers and the community over the past seven seasons,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said in a statement Monday. statement on team website. “It is certainly one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make in my time with the Packers and it has not been taken lightly. Not only has it had a significant impact on the field and in the locker room, but it is one of the “The most beloved players in the community. We wish nothing but the best for Aaron and his entire family in the future.”

The 29-year-old spent his entire career with the Packers. He was selected by the club in the fifth round in 2017. NFL Draft He came out of UTEP and became one of the most versatile running backs in the league. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2020 and was co-leader in rushing touchdowns (16) in 2019.

“Today is a difficult day for the Packers and our community. As good a player as Aaron is on the field, he is an even better person,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Monday in a statement on the team website. “When I first came to Green Bay as head coach, he was instrumental in establishing our winning culture and always served as the best example of what it meant to be a Packer. Aaron will always be one of the best players I ever played. “I had the opportunity to train. “We will miss him, his son Junior, his mother Vurgess and his family.”

In 2023, Jones was hampered by injuries and limited to just 11 games. However, when he was on the field, he was extremely productive, rushing for over 100 yards in Green Bay's final five games of the season, including both playoff games. In his seven years with the franchise, he surpassed 1,000 yards from scrimmage four times and had three seasons with double-digit touchdowns.

Jones finishes his Packers career with the third-most rushing yards in team history with 5,940. His 45 rushing touchdowns rank fourth in franchise history and his 272 receptions rank 19th.

In addition to Jones' departure, Jacobs' arrival also calls into question Green Bay's eagerness to retain fellow running back AJ Dillon, who is also currently a free agent. If Dillon also plays elsewhere in 2024, that would mean 320 total carries from last season are now up for grabs and Jacobs will likely inherit most of it.

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