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Cheese Curds, 4/14: Christian McCaffrey contract sets high bar for Aaron Jones

The Green Bay Packers’ chances of retaining Aaron Jones for 2021 may have just taken a hit.

Carolina Panthers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Aaron Jones is an excellent running back. That much is not in doubt. Jones tied for the NFL lead in rushing and total touchdowns in 2019, cracked 1,500 total yards from scrimmage, and generally was a stellar playmaker for the Green Bay Packers all year long.

In case you missed it, he is a running back, which means that he plays a position with a short shelf life and one that the Packers traditionally do not pay for. And with a new contract coming in for a top player at the position, Jones and his camp may now look for an even bigger paycheck when free agency rolls around in 2021.

That new deal came out of Carolina, where the Panthers just signed Christian McCaffrey to a massive contract extension. McCaffrey, who is entering his fourth year like Jones, could have received a fifth-year option for 2021 instead, but the team elected to lock him up through 2024 on this deal.

The contract will surely fan the flames of the running back value debate, but it is clear that the Panthers blew the top off the market for the position with this deal. Whether Jones can cash in on that market will remain to be seen, but if he does, odds are it will not be in Green Bay.

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey to sign 4-year, $64M extension - Cat Scratch Reader
The Panthers just gave out a massive deal to McCaffrey, setting a new record for running back money. Sure, he puts up big counting stats as a receiver, but he has never averaged more than nine yards per reception. By contrast, Aaron Jones averaged 9.7 last year.

(Oh and don’t forget: the Packers, who couldn’t stop the run last year, stuffed McCaffrey on the one-yard line with no time left to win in week nine.)

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Finally, we at APC hope you’re finding a way to have as much fun in quarantine as these two did: