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Cheese Curds, 9/21: Aaron Jones’ huge game puts contract talk front and center again

Will the Packers break with their own tendencies and give Jones the long-term deal he’s hoping for? After games like Sunday’s, it might be easier to swallow.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Sunday was another tremendous chapter in the young career of Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones. The fourth-year back from UTEP became a star last season and thanks to a 168-yard rushing performance, he is now the NFL’s leader in rushing yards through the first two weeks of the season. He also leads the league in total yards from scrimmage and touchdowns after Sunday’s explosive performance.

Jones’ 75-yard scamper to start the third quarter on Sunday against the Detroit Lions was a career-long carry and is now the second-longest run in the NFL through two games behind Raheem Mostert, who broke an 80-yarder on the first play of the 49ers’ game on Sunday.

All of this puts Jones, a former fifth-round draft pick, squarely in the spotlight when it comes to his contract negotiations. With Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, and Dalvin Cook all signing new deals recently, Jones would seem to be next, even though the Packers have not given a substantial long-term contract to a running back in recent memory. Are Jones’ abilities as a receiver enough to warrant a big new deal, or should the realities of the running back position continue to give the Packers pause?

Packers' offensive attack has been impressive, adaptable | Packersnews.com (subscription)
Matt LaFleur's offense looked like it had a different focus in week two, taking advantage of more advantageous matchups in the middle of the field and in the run game against the Lions instead of attacking the boundary like he did against the Vikings.

Aaron Jones’ personal-best day sets tone for Packers’ offense | Packers.com
Jones was of course the biggest beneficiary of that approach, averaging nearly 10 yards per carry, setting a career high with 236 total yards of offense, and breaking off the Packers' longest rush in over 15 years.

Aaron Jones' big day means easy win for Packers. Big payday to follow? - ESPN
The question about Jones now reverts back to his contract situation. He's one of the last star running backs in the 2017 draft class without a new deal and games like Sunday show that he's not just a running back - he is a major factor in the passing game as well. Does that make him worth $10 million per year or more?

Good, bad and ugly from Packers’ 42-21 win over Lions in Week 2 | Packers Wire
The ugly is simple: drops. There were bad drops by several receivers on Sunday, and if those players can get that issue cleaned up, there's no telling what this offense could do.

New Orleans Saints star WR Michael Thomas to be examined by Packers doctor Robert Anderson | ESPN
Hey Dr. Anderson: we think Thomas needs one more week to recover.

Cheddar Caves to close indefinitely as pandemic shuts 300 million-year-old gorge | London Evening Standard
This tourist attraction in the UK is shutting down for now. Thankfully, the Mars Cheese Castle off I-94 near Kenosha is still operating.