The Green Bay Packers had the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense in 2020.
Now, there’s a good chance the Packers won’t miss a beat in 2021.
The Packers signed running back Aaron Jones to a four-year, $48 million contract Sunday. Jones was set to become a free agent on Wednesday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was first to report the signing.
“He’s just a guy that just continues to get better and better as the season goes along,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of Jones last year. “And it’s not always in the production either. It’s just everything he does, the way he approached the daily grind, the preparation, what he does when he’s not getting the ball is the epitome of a team player. And we sure are lucky to have a guy as dynamic as he is.”
When the Packers chose not to use the franchise tag on Jones last week, many anticipated he’d be in a different uniform next year. On Sunday, though, Jones tweeted: “Let’s run it back.”
With Jones back in the fold, the Packers figure to return 10 of 11 starters on offense. Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley is expected to depart in free agency.
Jones ran for 1,104 yards, nine touchdowns and averaged 5.5 yards per carry last year. He also helped the Packers finish eighth in the league in rushing, their best finish since 2013 (seventh).
In 2019, Jones rushed for 1,084 yards and finished the regular season with 16 rushing touchdowns, which tied for the league lead with Tennessee’s Derrick Henry. He also had 19 total touchdowns that year, which tied Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey for the NFL lead.
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Jones is tied for second in the NFL the last two seasons with 30 total touchdowns. Jones, Henry and Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook are the only three players with more 2,000 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns the last two years.
Jones has a whopping career average of 5.17 yards per carry, which ranks No. 5 in league history among backs with at least 600 carries. Jones and the great Jim Brown are the only two players in NFL history to post 3,000-plus rushing yards, 35-plus rushing touchdowns and average more than 5.0 yards per carry in their first four seasons.
Jones has more rushing touchdowns (37) in his first four years than any player in team history. And including the playoffs, Jones set a team record with 23 total touchdowns in 2019.
“He’s just been really, really special to watch,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of Jones. “There are some guys who you can’t help but pull for, umm, because they do things the right way and Jonesy is one of those guys.
“He is one of the greatest teammates that I’ve had in 16 years. He is the most respectful teammate, possibly, that I’ve ever had…he’s just such a great kid.”