Packers RB Aaron Jones Has Nothing to Apologize for

Packers RB Aaron Jones doesn't own anyone an apology for how the 2020 season ended. 

If anyone has a reason to be down about how the season ended, it’s Aaron Jones. He exited the NFC Championship game with a chest injury after he was hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead. Jones also fumbled on the play to set up a short field for the Tampa Bay offense. He did not return to the game, as the Green Bay Packers fell into a 28-10 hole that they would not climb out of.

It was a brutal end to the 2020 season and possibly an even worse ending to Jones’ time in Green Bay. This was the final year of Jones’ rookie contract and he is expected to receive a large payday once he hits the open market.

When wide receiver Allen Lazard reached out to Jones to see how he was doing, Lazard was shocked at the response he got. Lazard couldn’t help but chuckle during Monday’s media session, recalling how Jones actually apologized after the game. Lazard quickly told Jones that his apology was gratuitous.

“You gotta realize that, we’re not playing in this game, we’re not in this position, without the efforts that you’ve had all season long,” Lazard said to Jones. “Just because someone’s gotten hurt or maybe didn’t have the best game yesterday, you can’t discredit the 17 other games we played this year and their efforts that helped this team get to where we are today.”

Before the fumble, Jones wasn’t having his best game as a pro, but that doesn’t take away from all he has accomplished in Green Bay. In fact, for him to go out the way he did will forever be unsettling.

In 2020, Jones rushed for a career-high of 1,104 yards and matched his previous career-high of 5.5 yards per carry. This was after a historic season in which he scored an NFL-leading 19 touchdowns and also set a new franchise record. Over the last two years in Matt LaFleur’s offense, Jones totaled over 3,000 yards from scrimmage and 30 touchdowns.

Jones gave this team the dynamic threat out of the backfield that Packers fans have been asking for. Now, unfortunately, it may be over. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the team offered Jones top-five money among NFL running backs, but he declined the offer because it lacked enough guaranteed money. The Packers may not have the capacity to offer much more while operating on a tight salary cap in 2021.

As Rodgers pointed out after Sunday’s loss, the realization has set in that this same team will never take the field again. Among this year’s crop of free agents, Jones sticks out not only for his performance on the field, but his presence in the locker room. There isn’t one player or coach that hasn’t spoken highly of Jones and the way he carries himself on and off the field.

Since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft, Jones has been a pro’s pro and a great player in two different offenses. Just because his tenure in Green Bay may have ended with an uncharacteristic fumble, it doesn’t mean he has anything to be sorry for.  

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (28)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
splitpea1's picture

January 29, 2021 at 03:12 pm

We're going to miss him. Assuming he's not going to be re-signed, he's had a very productive career with the Packers, and towards the end of this season, a few breakaway runs that iced games for us. He's not going to be easily replaced.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 29, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Top 5 money and he turned it down? OK. Like everything about you man except your choice of agent.

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PhantomII's picture

January 29, 2021 at 05:23 pm

I heard it was more about the guaranteed money side of it not the amount.

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Coldworld's picture

January 29, 2021 at 05:32 pm

Makes sense. If he can get guarantees as a RB I don’t blame him. Not sure if that’s a good move for a team despite his talent.

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Stroh's picture

January 29, 2021 at 08:38 pm

It was about guaranteed money, but it doesn't make much sense to give big guaranteed money to an oft-injured RB. In fact it makes no sense whatsoever.

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Guam's picture

January 29, 2021 at 10:42 pm

When he signed with Rosenhaus, you pretty much knew his time in Green Bay was over. I wish him well and hope he signs with an AFC team.

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wimiller's picture

January 29, 2021 at 04:10 pm

we haven't seen the likes of him since ahman green; he gave a 100 percent on every down. a real pleasure to watch, and marvel at his ability and his toughness.

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Lphill's picture

January 29, 2021 at 04:46 pm

Bye Aaron thanks for the memories .

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Bearmeat's picture

January 29, 2021 at 04:49 pm

He's the best all-around Packers RB during my lifetime. Green was better toting the rock, but man Jones was a weapon. I'll miss him and I am glad for him he is going to have the Brinks truck backed up to his driveway.

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Stroh's picture

January 29, 2021 at 08:53 pm

Jones never came close to Ahman Green in any way! Green was a superior runner, had many more receptions and a far better blocker! As a weapon Green was a nuclear bomb, Jones was a scud missike. No comparison whatsoever.

Quite insulting Ahnan!

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PeteK's picture

January 30, 2021 at 09:51 am

Green was a great mix of power and speed, six seasons of 40 and over receptions, 73 one season. Everyone in the stadium knew he was getting the ball on short yardage situations , but still couldn't be stopped. Thanks, Holmgren.

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albert999's picture

January 29, 2021 at 05:30 pm

Pettine gone......had to be done!

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Wilment's picture

January 29, 2021 at 05:38 pm

I cant stress enough that this guy needs to stay in Green Bay, Packers have no legit slot guy, and Jones lining up on the outside or running routes out of the backfield. Him turning down top five money is no surprise , because quite frankly, running backs take a beating. I have no issue with them getting him more upfront money. Kids a stud. GO PACK, BRING AJ BACK!!

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Stroh's picture

January 29, 2021 at 08:34 pm

AJ Dillon will certainly be back! Why would you doubt it?!

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Wilment's picture

January 30, 2021 at 10:50 pm

Dillon was drafted as a stop gap for this very situation, having Williams and Jones playing out their options. Dillon isn't going to be that dynamic back , hes a grinder and a banger, jones is slick and finds holes, and in the open field , forget about it. .....I dont want to see him end up in Detroit or Chicago . We really need to find a way to keep either Jones or Wiliiams in the fold. Dillon is nice, but hes one guy. I dont want to hear any more about bringing Father Time over from the Jets either. We need two experienced backs and need to add that legit slot guy.

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Duneslick's picture

January 29, 2021 at 08:42 pm

They dont have the upfront money.

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Dragon5's picture

January 29, 2021 at 06:29 pm

Said it before, if they opt to pay him, max 3 years before his enemy year arrives in 2024. Musical chairs OL in 2021.

BAHK (GOAT)--ACL just prior enemy year, high odds recovery complications, let him recover on IR, out for 2021
JENKINS--in a personal 7 year where injury is much more likely
LINSLEY (GOAT)--gladly let someone else pay him in his enemy year...GUTE couldn't possibly make the same mistake twice?!?
TURNER (GOAT)--enemy year...poor NFCCG just the tip of the iceberg?
WAGNER (SNAKE)--perhaps lone bright spot for starting unit heading into next season, UFA after next season

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arizonayahoo07@gmail.com's picture

January 29, 2021 at 06:33 pm

It would be dumb to let Jones or Williams go. Work out the deals with Jones and Williams Lawyers..Green bay is so close to getting to the super bowl .. It ain't funny..

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Stroh's picture

January 29, 2021 at 08:31 pm

He had a great year, but in the biggest game of his life he came up very small. Chest injury an excuse. IMO they basically benched him after his 2nd fumble! And had every reason to do it!

So yeah, an apology is in order, he can get in line with LaFleur, Rodgers, King and others. Great season down the tubes.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 30, 2021 at 09:15 am

When will the Fans apologize?

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Tundraboy's picture

January 29, 2021 at 08:39 pm

If he does leave I will sadly remember all the headhunting by the Buccaneers not to mention all the face masks, late hits that were not called or went without any retribution.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Nobody has anything to feel sorry for, least of all Jones. He played his guts out and gave us two great seasons. I’m convinced his injuries were a factor in the fumbles because he’s shown he’s a pretty sure handed guy..

We’ll miss him. Hopefully not too much. I hope he gets paid, he deserves it.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 30, 2021 at 03:51 am

Many of your comments shows me that you do not understand. Playing football in NFL is business, nothing else. If someone can pay you for your job more money, you'll take better option. Everybody would do that, especially if your job description contains danger of injuries that can short your career.

I do not put the blame on AJ or Packers. This is the business decision from both sides. It is the question about possibilities and value.

When you expect from player to take so called hometown discount, that came mostly from the players who are signing 3rd contract and they believe they are already loaded and do not like to change business surrounding.

Doing business (playing at franchise in NFL) with all your heart and efforts just push your price up and it is expected from you to continue doing that business same for another employer (franchise).

Aaron Jones, thank you for your efforts and friendship you invested in Packers, many of us loves and support. I wish you the best for your life, no matter how it will go in the future...

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Crankbait's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:03 am

Great small running back with a big big heart. He was just a dynamo all season long and I loved watching him play.
Stay healthy and Godspeed to you with the rest of your NFL career.

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stockholder's picture

January 30, 2021 at 09:11 am

Jones Transformed into a talented player. He wasn't a "Win Now" prospect. He improved his performance given the opportunity. And we won't get any value in return, for his many accolades. Gute failed Aaron Jones. He should of signed him to an extension while he had the money. And lets put that blame there, and not on Jones. To get to the heart of the matter. Jones loves Green Bay. But Gute still didn't see him as a "Win now" player. Gute preferred to draft his replacement. And this is what just ticks me off about Gute. When a player is so loyal he's blind to it. Jones performance was one less headache for everybody, including Gute. And who can blame Jones for leaving now. But the bottom line here is Gute's Attitude about "Win Now". I'm just not seeing it. It's cast -offs given a chance to further their career. Bargains. Shift the Blame.

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PeteK's picture

January 30, 2021 at 09:59 am

He was often injured in 2 of his 4 seasons, so I don't blame Gute for not extending as Clark and Bak are more important .

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Muel87's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:12 pm

So they have enough non-guaranteed money, but not enough guaranteed money? So do they not enough cap space or are they just not willing to take the risk on him?

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 31, 2021 at 02:08 am

The two best trades made by the Packers:
1. 1st round draft choice for Favre
2. Fred Vinson, a defensive back, for Ahman Green

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