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Aaron Jones agrees to restructured contract with pay cut to stay with Packers for 2023

The Packers will free up around $11.8 million in salary cap space with the move, while Jones gets to stay in Green Bay but will have his total compensation for 2023 reduced by $5 million.

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LVII - Feb. 9 Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The Green Bay Packers are keeping one of their most explosive offensive players for 2023, regardless of what happens at the quarterback position. Running back Aaron Jones, who was set to make $16 million in 2023 with a salary cap hit of just over $20 million, has agreed to return to Green Bay on a reworked contract that saves the Packers money, both in the salary cap sense and in real, actual dollars.

Reports emerged from NFL insiders like Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport on Friday morning about the restructure, which includes a pay cut of $5 million. If the Packers did not add an extra void year onto Jones’ deal — which ends after the 2023 season and has two void years after that — the new contract will save the team $11.39 million against the salary cap for 2023, making his new cap number $8.623 million.

UPDATE: Additional reporting indicated that the Packers did add an extra void year to Jones’ deal. That makes his new cap number $8.197 million for 2023, which reduces his cap hit by $11.816 million.

That number is slightly higher than the maximum amount of money that the team could have shifted out of the 2023 cap with a simple contract restructure, which APC calculated earlier this offseason to be about $11.2 million.

The implication in the reports is that the Packers were prepared to release Jones if he did not agree to the pay cut. A pre-June 1st release would have saved the Packers just under $10.5 million in cap money while forcing the team to carry about $9.55 million in dead money for 2023. Instead, the team will be able to keep Jones on the roster at a cap number below the potential dead cap value, though it comes at the cost of a higher dead money number if and when Jones eventually departs, either next season or after the 2024 campaign.

Here is a look at the difference between Jones’ 2023 compensation prior to the reworked deal and the now-confirmed breakdown of his new structure for the coming season:

Previous Contract (2023)

  • Base salary: $8.1 million
  • Roster bonus (due March 19): $7 million
  • Per-game roster bonuses: $400,000 total
  • Workout bonus: $500,000
  • Prorated signing bonus cap hit: $4.013 million
  • Total salary cap hit: $20.013 million

Potential New Restructured Contract (2023)

  • Base salary: $1.58 million
  • Per-game roster bonuses: $400,000 total
  • Workout bonus: $500,000
  • New signing bonus: $8.52 million
  • Total prorated signing bonus cap hit: $5.717 million
  • Total salary cap hit: $8.197 million

The savings of roughly $11.8 million against the cap as part of this restructure will help the Packers approach the 2023 cap value of $224.8 million. According to, the Packers sat approximately $16.5 million over the cap number prior to the restructure, indicating that the team will be within about $5 million of the number when the new contract is filed.

Jones remains one of the most efficient running backs in NFL history. Over six seasons, he has averaged 5.1 yards per carry, making him one of just ten running backs ever to average 5.0 or more for a career with at least 750 carries. He also ranks third among all active players in yards per carry, behind only Russell Wilson (5.5) and Nick Chubb (5.2). Additionally, Jones’ 4th-place finish in DVOA in 2023 was his fourth top-ten finish in five seasons and his second top-five finish in the last three.

Furthermore, Jones has been a reliable receiving option throughout Matt LaFleur’s tenure as Packers head coach as well. He has gained at least 350 receiving yards in each of the past four years, ranking in the top ten of running backs in receiving DVOA in 2021.

Additionally, Jones’ off-the-field contributions and presence make him an easy player to cheer for and one of the most beloved players in the locker room. He has been the Packers’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award each of the past two years, an acknowledgment of his extensive work with charities and in the community.