The legal tampering period begin Monday and the new league year begins Wednesday, but the Packers got a jump on things by locking up running back Aaron Jones to a new four-year contract. The deal is worth $48 million and includes a $13 million signing bonus.
For the Packers, who’ve been in the NFC Championship Game two years in a row, this is a big piece of the offensive puzzle returning. Jones was excited, too, Tweeting Let’s run it back after the deal was announced.
Jones has played four years for the Packers, developing into an elite weapon the last two seasons. In 2019, Jones was a top tier fantasy back thanks in part to 19 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,084 yards and 16 TDs, adding 49 receptions for 474 yards and three TDs. That was good enough to make him RB2 in fantasy. The question was how far back to the pack he’d come in 2020 as another 19-touchdown output seemed unsustainable.
In 2020, Jones thrived again, going for a career high 1,104 yards and adding nine TDs, catching 47 passes for 355 yards and two TDs. So, he finished with a strong 11 total TDs in 2020 and was RB5 in fantasy. Jones figured to be a top option in the free agent market, but Green Bay locked him up before he could hit the open market.
For fantasy, Jones is a Top 10 option, but his re-signing dampens the enthusiasm for second-year back A.J. Dillon, a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In 11 games, Dillon ran for 242 yards and two TDs, catching two passes for 21 yards. With Jamaal Williams a free agent, Dillon could still be in line for a bigger workload and figures to have RB3 value.
NFL News & Notes
- Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, officially announced his retirement. Brees played 20 years in the NFL, including 15 for the New Orleans Saints. He finished with 80,358 yards and 571 TDs. He owns a number of NFL records and figures to be a first ballot Hall of Fame selection. The Saints still have Taysom Hill under contract and figure to add a quarterback to the roster, possibly Jameis Winston.
- Cam Newton signed a one-year deal worth up to $14 million to return to the New England Patriots. Newton’s signing is another domino in the off-season quarterback carousel, coming as a mild surprise. The Patriots struggled to a 7-9 record, with Newton throwing for 2,657 yards, eight TDs and 10 INTs. He added 592 yards rushing and 12 TDs.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.