Packers Running Back Situation Up in the Air Heading into 2021

The Green Bay Packers had one of the deepest and most talented group of running backs in the league in 2020 and all three contributed to the team’s offensive success. With Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams an A.J. Dillon leading the way, the Packers could throw three different backs at opposing defenses with three different skill sets. If you stopped one, one of the other two could step in and find a way to beat you.

Unfortunately, with both Jones and Williams scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this offseason, the depth chart at running back will likely look quite different in 2021. At best, the Packers may be able to re-sign one of the two potential free agents who both joined the club in 2017.

Jones was the top back again this season and gained a career-high 1,104 yards and rushing for nine touchdowns. The former UTEP star also caught 47 passes for 355 yards and two more scores. Jones earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career and this was well deserved after gaining 5.5-yards per carry.

Jones’ speed and vision make him a threat to score any time he gets the ball. His ability to break off long runs made a big difference in the Packers win in Week 2 over Detroit and in their playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

When he came up as a rookie in 2017, pass protection and receiving were the big question marks on his resume but Jones worked hard to improve in those areas and the results showed on the field in recent seasons.

The Packers engaged in negotiations with Jones’ agent during the 2020 season about an extension, but they couldn’t reach an agreement and the running back eventually switched agents. Apparently, Jones was looking for more guaranteed money than the Packers were willing to spend. It will be a big challenge to bring Jones back in 2021.

Williams may not be as explosive as Jones, but he’s the perfect complimentary back in the Packers offense. He gained 505 yards on the ground in 14 games this season and caught 31 passes for another 236 yards.

The former BYU star is a tough inside runner who excels on slow fields. He has toughness, determination and a contagious enthusiasm for the game.

Williams is the Packers most reliable route runner and pass blocker and he is a student of the game. The Packers may lose him if he thinks he can get a chance to start elsewhere. If Jones doesn’t stay, the Packers could try to re-sign Williams and have him split time with Dillon.

Dillon had a challenging rookie season for the Packers but started to show his promise late in the season. At 6’0” and 247-pounds, the former Boston College star is a load to try to tackle. He has unusual speed and agility for a man of his size and Packers fans were eager to see what he could do.

After a stint on the Covid-19 reserve list midseason, Dillon had his coming out party against the Titans in Week 16. He carried 21 times for 124 yards and scored two touchdowns, outplaying the league’s leading rusher, Derrick Henry, in this game.

Dillon gained 242 yards and averaged 5.3-yards per carry while rushing for two touchdowns in 11 games this season.

As of now, the big back is the only one of the big three runners who is nearly certain to be back with the Packers in 2021. The key to him getting an expanded role in the offense next season is his ability to catch passes and pass protect. He showed some promise as a receiver, catching a 13-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game. He obviously needs to be more consistent in these two key areas if he is going to take over as the team’s primary back because Matt LaFleur’s offense relies on being able to run or pass out of identical formations and personnel groups.

Look for Dillon to assume a larger role in the offense in his second season with the Packers regardless of who else the team signs.

If one of the two potential unrestricted free agents leave, the Packers will almost certainly draft a running back on day three of this year’s draft or add another moderately-priced back in free agency. Keeping Jones would be the ideal situation for the offense as he is a great fit in this system, but it may not be a good value for a team that is so stressed under the cap.

If both Jones and Williams leave, the need to add depth at this position goes up dramatically. Injuries are always a factor at running back and the Packers cannot afford to go from three potential starters to one in the span of one offseason.

Regardless of how things shake out, one thing is likely: the Packers will have a different depth chart at the running back position in 2021.

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

NFL Categories: 
9 points

Comments (87)

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

January 30, 2021 at 12:42 pm

A big factor in their decisions is how much MLF is going to commit to the running game. If he is going to abandon it during games they shouldn't have to devote a lot of resources to it.

+ REPLY
7 points
8
1
GilMartin's picture

January 30, 2021 at 12:42 pm

There is no doubt they have to commit to the run if they want to maximize the potential of the offense. They got away from that when they fell behind in the NFC Championship Game. I hope MLF learns from that mistake. Thanks for commenting, Lare .

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
flackcatcher's picture

January 30, 2021 at 12:41 pm

The Packers have drafted the position in anticipation of this situation. Depending on what Cap hit the Packers take, both Jones and Williams could be gone. Like all things football this year, the only things known, are the unknowns.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
GilMartin's picture

January 30, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I hope they can keep at least one of them but the odds both are back are not great. Yes, they drafted Dillon in anticipation of losing either Jones or Williams (or both) in free agency. We'll see what happens this offseason. Thanks for commenting, flackcatcher.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Leatherhead's picture

January 30, 2021 at 12:43 pm

I think the plan is to win with bargains at the skill positions so that the money can be spent on blockers, and I don’t anticipate Jones or Williams returning. Dillon will be the guy and they’ll get him some help in the draft. Ervin and Dexter Williams will be in the mix. No disrespect intended to any RB, but if the big eaters up front are getting it done, a lot of different RBs could be successful. It’s not as though defenses can focus on the run without giving up big chunks in the air.

Offense will be good again next year.

+ REPLY
8 points
12
4
GilMartin's picture

January 30, 2021 at 12:45 pm

I think there's truth to that Leatherhead, although I think they'll pay Adams when his deal is up. I'm not sure what role Ervin and Dexter Williams have next year, but we'll see. I would like to see one of the two potential FAs return, but I wouldn't be surprised if they both walk. Thanks for commenting, Leatherhead.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Leatherhead's picture

January 30, 2021 at 03:25 pm

You could let Adams go and draft a super duper WR.

+ REPLY
-7 points
1
8
PeteK's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:37 pm

Yes, they will come cheap and provide some depth along with a rookie.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
dobber's picture

January 30, 2021 at 04:13 pm

Seriously doubt that they would've left Dexter Williams on the PS all year if they had that belief--now--that he was a key future piece to the puzzle.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:35 pm

They kept Dexter on the PS to continue his development. No doubt he has plenty of that to do, but they didn't keep him around just so he could have a job. If he develops he'll have a role as a backup and potential #2 for Dillon.

That could be Jones if he accepts the Packers offer. If not he'll Probably fade into oblivion. The Packers OL and Rodgers allowed him to be as successful as he was. The Packers won't give an oft-injured RB alit of guaranteed money.

Irvin has a distinct role in the offense and ST.

+ REPLY
-1 points
2
3
Rebecca's picture

January 31, 2021 at 11:06 am

Irvin has never fulfilled that role. He's been largely unavailable. I wouldn't waste anymore roster space on him.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:34 pm

Dexter is unproven. The scheme seems to require the back to pick up rushers and to have RBs who can catch and run routes. I have to think that they will draft one or retain J Williams and then bring in late picks and others to compete for the third spot and PS.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
Rebecca's picture

January 31, 2021 at 11:09 am

Keep Williams as the starter next year if they can get the same kind of enthusiastic effort after a second contract.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 02:30 pm

Dillon is the bell cow.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:26 pm

Your making that up. Of course the Packers would like that but its not an absolute requirement. Dillon looked good as a blocker, better than Jones for sure and he's a capable receiver. But its likely Jones and Williams are gone. So an unproven player will have to step in and they make due. RB do not have to run routes. Just be capable of being an option in the flat as a checkdown.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:55 pm

The plan is to pay the premium positions who tilt the field. The other positions are mostly interchangeable. Like RB! If you find a special talent you can pay him, a la Adams.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 02:28 pm

Dexter will be lucky to make the P squad, Jamal would be a good #2 back and there is a bevy of very good RBs coming out in this draft. They should take two minimum from this draft. Ervin ?? Brittle.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:17 pm

No, the RB situation is not really "up in the air." That writing has been on the wall since April: Jones and Williams will leave and Dillon and a draft pick will be the new 1a/1b in 2021 unless Jones or Williams decides to take a substantial hometown discount to stay (unlikely).

Dillon looks really promising. We'll be fine at RB. And OG/C. And OT. And WR. And TE. The O will be fine. We can still use some more talent of course if it comes at a value.

The defense though? Yeah. There, we'll need a DT, and ILB, perhaps an OLB if P Smith is cut (quite possible), and at least one, if not 2-3 CBs who can play in 2021.

Lots to do.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
GilMartin's picture

January 30, 2021 at 01:08 pm

I agree CB will be our top need this offseason, Bearmeat. I think you're right about the RBs, although I am hoping they can sign one of the two potential UFAs. You can't overpay RBs in the modern NFL but Jones and Williams are such good fits in this offense. Thanks as always for the comment.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Bearmeat's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:18 pm

I agree that we'd be a better team with Jones especially back in the fold. But hard-cap league and lots of bad teams with plenty of money to throw around means it's just not likely. Happy for both of them that they'll be cashing in though.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:40 pm

With the weird cap situation, it’s quite possible that after the first tier go, there will be a lot of guys available who could help but are available due to cap management elsewhere.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Bearmeat's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:48 pm

That is possible, but there are plenty of teams out there who have a ton of money available. I wish we were one of them: this would be a great time to buy in a depressed market.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:45 pm

Jones will cash in and fade into oblivion without a great OL and Rodgers as his QB. The hope is he'll realize it and accept the Packers offer. He could then assume a role in the backfield with Dillon. If Jones leaves this will be his only Pro Bowl season.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Bearmeat's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:47 pm

You're as bad as LH. Dude. You DO NOT know this will be the case. I personally think Jones will be successful wherever he goes for a few more years.

+ REPLY
4 points
6
2
TarynsEyes's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:56 pm

It's an opinion as like yours. My opinion is he won't earn the money he gets elsewhere. His deserves are based on the offense in GB, and that's what makes signing these players a big risk for other teams. They usually don't get the hoped for reward, and then look to move them in a year or two because of the drop off via, play, scheme or other talent.

+ REPLY
3 points
5
2
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:50 pm

That's foolish to say the least. Jones is really good but another team will overuse him and he'll get injured. Teams plan far more for Rodgers than Jones. Take away Rodgers and a great OL and he'll be far less effective! These are proven truths in the NFL.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Leatherhead's picture

January 30, 2021 at 10:17 pm

You had to drag me into this? I think Jones has been a good player and a good bargain. He’ll still be a good player next year.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
PhantomII's picture

January 30, 2021 at 01:14 pm

Unfortunately Dillon was underutilized by ML most of the season, including the NFCC game. It took him most of the year to even spot play. Even after the Titans game, barely used. If ML uses this slow strategy with a draftee how is that going to work? I think they sign Williams if this past year is any indicator. They played Dexter a handful of plays in 2 yrs. They draft another RB RD 2-4 more like A. Jones.

+ REPLY
3 points
5
2
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:38 pm

Imo they were using up as much as they could of Jones and Williams and saving this years wear on Dillon, on the assumption they lose both.

+ REPLY
5 points
6
1
PhantomII's picture

January 31, 2021 at 12:08 pm

We were trying to go to the super bowl. After the titans game Dillon should have been used more, not less.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
TarynsEyes's picture

January 30, 2021 at 01:42 pm

Whatever changes are made, a new DC, the loss of talent walking out the door, and with what seems a below average depth, and likely over expected play of a few to perform to the same or higher levels, will likely have this team stepping back from another 13-3 record, regardless of how dubious the recent two were/ are in my eyes, the Packers will be hard-pressed to find a playoff spot, I'd imagine the over/under on total wins to be 10.5 for GB, and I'll be all over the under. Some players will achieve personal accolades, but it won't be enough as a whole to keep GB as an SB favorite, 8/1 at the moment because of where they finished, but not based on player loss and new DC, who can implode what is there easier than making it better with what they have or don't get.

+ REPLY
-4 points
3
7
CheesyTex's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:42 pm

Agree, but yet it does feel like deja vu.

So many unique factors this year due to Covid, especially as to where will the cap be set for 2021. All teams face the issue, and of course those with the most cap space now stand to gain the most if it is reduced. Seems to me to be sheer idiocy that owners can't agree to leave the cap level for 2021-- difference would cost each franchise about $20 million vs. the presumed lower cap.

The $20 million is a drop in the bucket compared to franchise values. I know last year was a loss year, and 2021 season is an unknown, but lowering the cap creates chaos. One would think the owners and thePA recognize this and should be willing to come to the table.

Now (finally) to my primary point:

I have been very impressed with what MLF has brought to the table, including his willingness to continue with Pettine. IMO success the last 2 years resulted first and foremost from updating the offensive scheme. Perhaps now he feels Pettine is a bit of a fossil (ala Nolan in Dallas), and wants a new generation leader for the defense. The change worked for him on offense in year one, why not on defense too? Thinking about the unconscionable gaffe on the last play of the NFCCG, it seems clear that change was necessary. Hope the new one is good at chess.

Looking at the tougher schedule for 2021, 13-3 does indeed seem daunting. But virtually all of those teams face the same salary cap issues as the Packers. As a result, 2021 will likely put an even greater premium on quality coaching -- wherever the cap ends up.

Go Pack!!

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
Oppy's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:27 pm

Which NFC North team is going to make the Packers "hard pressed to find a playoff spot" though?

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
TarynsEyes's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:10 pm

The Bears, if they get one of the QBs being moved, and the Vikings because they aren't that far away from being in on the Division.
Let me add, there are other teams that can make it hard for the Packers to make the playoffs where losing two division games can make a difference with outside division w/L The Bears with a better QB can certainly go 5-1 and 7-3 outside. That would force GB to repeat a 13-3 and that isn't looking likely, at the moment.

+ REPLY
-3 points
3
6
Oppy's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:24 pm

If you're painting a scenario where the Bears go 5-1 in the division and the Vikings "aren't that far away", you're saying the Bears go 3-1 vs. the Packers and a supposedly competitive Vikings team?

That math doesn't add up in the scenario you've painted.

The Bears will be the Bears in 2021. The Packers still rule the roost in the NFC North.

+ REPLY
6 points
8
2
Guam's picture

January 31, 2021 at 08:20 am

A SB favorite - no, but definitely will be a playoff team. The Rams just got better, SF will be back from all their injuries and Tampa Bay will be good, so there will be tough competition for the SB spot. However Detroit just got worse and the Bears still have Trubisky, leaving the Vikings as the only real competition for the NFC North.

The Packers should have ten (10) draft choices this year including three comp picks for Bulaga, Martinez and Fackrell. This should help them acquire roster depth and special teams help around a core of pretty good players. As long as they get a decent DC, I think the Pack should be an 11 win or better team next year.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
MTmind's picture

January 31, 2021 at 10:34 am

Here we go again. Cut and paste from the previous year(s). I think you forgot the requisite criticism of not taking a WR in the draft and how Rodgers should walk and find a team that will actually value him. Eye roll.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Swisch's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:30 pm

A great running back is like a dazzling sports car that get battered like a pickup truck.
Sad to say, it seems by the time most are ready to sign their second contracts, they are at or near their decline.
Just a little drop off in quickness and agility generally means that they go from elite status to about average.
There was a good article here at CHTV recently about top backs in the NFL who fell off considerably after signing expensive deals.
It'd be interesting to repost that article, or perhaps to take a look at the last ten or twenty big contracts for running backs, and see what happened a year or two later.
I would be so sorry for Jones and Williams to go as players and persons, but I don't know what can realistically be done for the good of the team.
It seems like the Packers offered Jones a deal that was genuinely fair, perhaps even generous, and he turned it down.
Consider also that Jones was drafted in the 5th round; in other words, like so many other running backs, it seems he can be readily replaced by someone at least close in ability and effectiveness.
After the first four years, it's hard to justify the signing of even the best of running backs to a second contract for more than one or two years.
It is truly a sad plight for running backs in the NFL, if this assessment of the situation is about right.
Maybe something can be done by the NFL to compensate them for their short shelf life -- in terms of giving guys who succeed at that position more money per year on their rookie contracts, perhaps with set bonuses for things like yards and receptions and carries.

+ REPLY
6 points
7
1
Johnblood27's picture

January 31, 2021 at 04:37 am

Yeah, because all NFL players are underpaid.

There is a LOT of money to go around.

We are talking set for the rest of your life money for even a short RB length career even at rookie deal numbers.

Lets not get too crazy with the "poor lil RB" stories.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
MTmind's picture

January 31, 2021 at 10:49 am

It can be difficult, whatever a player’s ethnicity, to manage wealth when you come from nothing. Those large contracts also have a large amount taken out for various state and federal taxes before they make it to the player. Some of these players carry the extra burden of feeling responsible for the financial stability of an entire extended family back home. And young men have a difficult time coming to the realization that they won’t be young forever as life outside the NFL may seem a lifetime away, when all it takes is an injury to potentially never see the field again.
I agree that they make a huge amount of money, but the context isn’t the same as a married couple making $100K/year all of a sudden having 3 million dollars dropped in their laps. For people with financial stability, it’s enough to invest and live a comfortable life. That clearly hasn’t been the case with many who leave the NFL to find themselves broke within a few years. I don’t think the answer is larger contracts, but to keep hammering the importance of money management.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
TarynsEyes's picture

January 31, 2021 at 05:22 pm

Perhaps college needs to adapt a rule that those who come on sports scholarships need to take and actually pass a money management class each year, or they can't be drafted.
Perhaps we can just let them do what they wish and have no sympathy when they're broke. They had a talent to make millions and get no sympathy for throwing it away on lavish lifestyles that don't last. The everyday person gets none.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
TheBigCheeze's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:35 pm

Packers will be near the bottom of the division next year....goofynutz is an idiot (will probably trade up for another QB in the 1st rd), and MLF is a skinny version of McFathead....offense will always be boring and predictable...Pettine should not have been let go...he was not the reason they lost the NFCCG....defense gave offense numerous opportunities to win...boring and predictable offense is the reason they lost...no play action = no victory....THE BIG CHEEZE HAS SPOKEN....

+ REPLY
-24 points
1
25
PeteK's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:45 pm

You just cut a very large piece of cheese. LOL

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
madtowndan's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:31 pm

Sounds suspiciously like a Minny troll from PFT.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
dekan51's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:41 pm

You're probably one of the many whiners who said the Pack would suck the last 2 seasons, only to find us in the NFCC game both years. You probably bashed TT when he drafted AR. So keep preaching how we're gonna suck. One day you can say "I was right..."

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
MTmind's picture

January 31, 2021 at 10:52 am

If only you could be in charge, everything would turn around. Literally. Probably a 3 - 13 season, if lucky.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
packerbackerjim's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:39 pm

I can’t imagine Gute and MLF are comfortable having a second year man and rookies at a critical position. The ugliness of the business side of sports will pit Jones vs Williams as to who will sign the least costly contract. The other possibility is they sign a veteran RB ala Frank Gore.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:37 pm

Jones is going to have to fail to get a big offer from a team with cap galore if we are to have a hope of retaining him unfortunately.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:09 pm

The critical positions are QB, LT, CB and Pass Rushers. Packers have those positions locked up and in good hands. Any other position is mostly comprised of role players who are to varying degrees interchangeable. A special player like Adams is an exception and he doesn't play a high abuse position either.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:09 pm

The critical positions are QB, LT, CB and Pass Rushers. Packers have those positions locked up and in good hands. Any other position is mostly comprised of role players who are to varying degrees interchangeable. A special player like Adams is an exception and he doesn't play a high abuse position either.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:09 pm

The critical positions are QB, LT, CB and Pass Rushers. Packers have those positions locked up and in good hands. Any other position is mostly comprised of role players who are to varying degrees interchangeable. A special player like Adams is an exception and he doesn't play a high abuse position either.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

January 30, 2021 at 02:52 pm

I like Hawkins , Louisville or Carter, North Carolina in the 3rd round. Perhaps Bell on a prove it contract.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
CoachDino's picture

January 30, 2021 at 03:51 pm

I've had my eye on hawkins as well. true change of pace back, has gadget player skills, though only 5'9" he's over 200 lbs. PR/KR. Atwell and Daerden were other gadget guys but they are so small, not ideal fits as receivers in this offense, so the combo of RB and gadget in Hawkins is a plus to me.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 08:03 pm

So Hawkins is the same size as Jones?! Sounds like a nice compliment to Dillon.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Archie's picture

January 30, 2021 at 04:42 pm

I like Carter in R3 too. Not big but smooth and tough as nails. Would complement Dillon well. Good chance Jamal re-ups in GB. Also a couple of FAs from Pack's injury list and practice squad that could replace Williams.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:04 pm

Chubba Hubbard, Patterson from Buffalo. Etienne would be a late first round guy, but he probably goes higher. He matches Jones skills as a receiver. The kid from Oregon is a high 4.3-4.4 guy good in space.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
canadapacker's picture

January 30, 2021 at 03:10 pm

As I said before Jones being back was negatively settled when he hired Drew. He needs to go get paid. I think Williams will be back and maybe on a shorter deal. Dillon can't be a featured back or at least not a scat back type so maybe Ervin might be a short term fit if they look at a later round guy. Time to focus on the linebackers and Dline

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Coldworld's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:43 pm

I think Dillon will be the featured back.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:37 pm

Dillon is absolutely a feature RB, much moreso than Jones. He does the heavy lifting to allow a Jones type of RB, to take fewer hits snd prolong his effectiveness.

Dillon isn't meant to be used like a scat back, he allows a scatback to remain effective.

JWill is a lesser version of Dillon. He's a JAG. Agood backup, nothing more.

If Jones leaves they draft his replacement.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
splitpea1's picture

January 30, 2021 at 03:31 pm

If we can't sign Jones or Williams, any thoughts about possibly signing James White? We need a reliable receiving threat out of the backfield. I know we're all excited about Dillon's potential, but he only caught two passes last season in obviously very limited action. And like you said, we're going to need to draft somebody on Day 3 probably, because those first two picks are needed at CB, and hopefully, DL this time. And no trading up!

+ REPLY
7 points
7
0
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:39 pm

White would be a very good replacement for Jones and a very nice compliment to Dillon. So possible for sure.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 02:56 pm

Put Groshek in the mix, they keep overlooking Badger Fullbacks.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
Stroh's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:35 pm

Groshek should have stayed at UW. He's not NFL material.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CoachDino's picture

January 30, 2021 at 04:09 pm

1) Dillon had a great year as far as performance while on the field. It looks like a fantastic pick at this point
2) I like Jones, player, teammate, human being but he's not Kamura and the other big $ RB signings haven't really panned out. You could argue Henry as he had a great year, my point there is you're not going far in the playoffs nowadays behind the run game being your biggest offensive strength. Ravens, Pitts, Tenn, for starters.
3) Ajones surprising scored very low in pass protection this year, I thought he was better but week after week he graded out low to very low.
4) Wouldn't call Ajones a speedster - He and Dillon are comparable. In college AJ was 4.50-4.52 - Most backs lose speed each year due to pounding but mostly age. - - Dillon ran a 4.53. Jones was often caught from behind. Don't get me wrong he wasn't slow, his speed often showed it bouncinging it outside and being able to turn the corner. That's something I'm not confident in Dillon doing.
5) Unfortunately I can see a team with cap money paying AJones more than the Packers can even if its not top dollar. Same for Williams, If a team is flush with cash he's a great 2nd back and might get 5-6 million/yr
6) Getting that Oline back to Elite is the biggest concern and will have the most impact on the run game. Both in opening holes and setting up playaction.

+ REPLY
11 points
11
0
dobber's picture

January 30, 2021 at 04:16 pm

"With Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams an A.J. Dillon leading the way, the Packers could throw three different backs at opposing defenses with three different skill sets. If you stopped one, one of the other two could step in and find a way to beat you."

I would argue that this kind of flexible, in-game adjustment was not on display this season in how the Packers used their RBs.

+ REPLY
10 points
10
0
packerbackerjim's picture

January 30, 2021 at 04:53 pm

I agree. The 4th quarter was exactly why you draft Dillon. For him to be invisible was maddening.

+ REPLY
5 points
5
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:01 pm

Dankeschoen.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bear's picture

January 30, 2021 at 04:44 pm

Gil, I was thinking by the title of your article you were going to go deeper in your research. Would have enjoyed your viewpoint on the other RBs on the roster. Patrick Taylor, Dexter Williams and Weber.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:03 pm

If Taylor can recoverer from injuries, he could be a contributor.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
NickPerry's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:37 pm

I really like Dillon, especially the ONE time he was able to really get involved. With Williams and Jones he just never had the opportunities. He was able to sit and learn, really learn the position from 2 Pros, get a feel for the speed, and when he did get more than 5 carries he showed what he's capable of. A RB like Dillon is a classic gets stronger as the game wears on RB. Can't wait to see him as a starter next year getting 20 plus carries a game.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:07 pm

It was obvious he was a better back than Williams, bigger, stronger,smarter.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Lphill's picture

January 30, 2021 at 05:41 pm

I think it will be Williams and Dillon next year, great players come up big in big games , Jones did not , he came up small , goodbye

+ REPLY
2 points
5
3
Oppy's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:29 pm

This feels just like when a guy knows his "best thing in my life" girlfriend is about to leave him, so he invents some ridiculous 'flaws' about their relationship and uses it as an excuse to break up with her before she gets the chance to dump him.. all just so he doesn't look/feel pathetic when she walks out the door.

It's not likely the Packers and Jones come to terms, but make no mistake, the Packers would be a far better team with him than without him.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:55 pm

They would be better with Dillon and Jones complimenting one another. But if Jones leaves his replacement will be drafted and the Packers won't realky miss a beat.

Jones will not be as effective on another team, where he'll probably be overused and get injured. He might not make it past year 2 on another team.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
Oppy's picture

January 31, 2021 at 07:36 pm

Aaron Jones is the best back the Packers have had since Ahman Green.
Ahman Green and the Packers parted ways in 2007. Jones was drafted in 2017.

It took the Packers a decade to find a RB like Jones in the draft. It sure would be great if the Packers got lucky and found another Aaron Jones in the draft in the next year or two, but it's not likely.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:01 pm

Air ? - It's like picking names out of a hat now. The RB takes a beating. Lombardi knew it . Don't just plan on one. Over draft this position.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 03:08 pm

Great year for RBs.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
wildbill's picture

January 30, 2021 at 06:55 pm

Sadly I feel Jones is gone. Reportedly he turned down “top 5 rb” money because of the guaranteed portion but I don’t see the Packers raising their ante up with Jone’s injury history. Love him and wish him well, will always be part of the Packers family. I think with the drop in cap that Williams won’t get any crazy offers as there will be plenty of quality rbs on the market. Bring him back on a team friendly deal, pick up an inexpensive vet, and use some draft capitol in the later rounds on rb

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
Ernesto's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:01 pm

Jones wants the big payday and ironically may not get it. teams don't spend capital on good rb's, only great ones like delvin cook, camera etc.
Jones is so so. ya he breaks a nice run once in a while but defenses arent stacked to stop him. he doesn't put the fear if God in defenses?
I say Williams stays and Jones goes but not with a great deal, just a deal better then the pack want to spend.
Rodgers contract is crippling this team.

+ REPLY
-2 points
3
5
Wilment's picture

January 30, 2021 at 07:15 pm

GO PACK, BRING AJ BACK!!! SAY IT WITH ME NOW!

+ REPLY
-4 points
1
5
Stroh's picture

January 30, 2021 at 08:14 pm

AJ... Dillon will absolutely be back! Aaron Jones? Not unless he wises up!

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 31, 2021 at 01:29 am

Nice job on the article, Gil.
I think a lot of us will be surprised to find out that we may have a good chance to resign Jones. It appears that the salary cap is going to drop with only a small percentage of fans being in the stands this year. Thus, not only the Packers will have fewer dollars to spend, but the impact will be league wide. A great many of the teams will be struggling to stay under the cap and the large contracts that we would normally see each year will be far fewer.
Sure hope we can keep Jones in Green and Gold. He not only is a great running back, but a great citizen as well.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
joejetson's picture

January 31, 2021 at 08:20 am

They supposedly drafted Dillon to be the big back to pound the ball in December and January. Then they get their home game in January and Pepe Lefleur decides to pass 50 times. The fumble against the Rams raised some concerns, but I sure would have thought the big guy would have seen at least a couple Red Zone blasts. How Pepe used (or didn't use) Dillon all year was a head scratcher.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
PatrickGB's picture

January 31, 2021 at 01:37 pm

“Pepe”? What is this, 4th grade? But I admit that I chuckled over it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Irish_Cheesehead's picture

January 31, 2021 at 04:41 pm

I could take your post more seriously if you didn't use juvenile name calling.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
tommynak's picture

January 31, 2021 at 02:39 pm

It's rather obvious but only 1 of either Jones or Williams will be back next year. As much as I like Jones and his ability to go to the house at any given time I think it is unrealistic to think he will be back considering the $ he is going to want against the salary cap restrictions that are very real. A 2nd contract deal with him at that position is not gonna be worth the hit especially if it allows you to bring Williams back on a much friendlier contract and obviously Dillon on his rookie deal. If not signing Jones meant your backfield started with Dillon & Williams with another potential draft add, I can live with that. A big bonus would be if it meant potentially retaining Linsley was possible would make it a no brainer. The Packers have something real special in Dillon and I expected as much the moment the drafted him. If I could have some revisionist history in the NFC title game after both of the 4th quarter interceptions it was AJ Dillon time, he was the only back that their outstanding LB's weren't excited to see pounding the ball. In limited use he had already pounded out 6 yards per on his 3 carries. While I will greatly miss Jones the Packers can survive this decision with rarely a skip in the beat.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Ernesto's picture

January 31, 2021 at 10:26 pm

Hey unless your talking a game changing back like Delvin Cook or Kamara or Hill, Rb's are a dime a dozen.
I remember McCarthy gushing over Lacy. Lacy once in a while broke open and got a nice gain but didnt score touchdowns, and put points on the board. There's a million guys just like him out there that can serve a goal of moving the ball but they dont put the fear of god into defenses because they dont break away all that often and never for a long gain or td.
We can easily find a couple of guys in the draft to fill that need. Goodbye Jones, and possibly Williams.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.