As has been the case for several years, the main offseason storyline in Green Bay revolves around the status of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The 18-year veteran is still evaluating his future, and his Pro Bowl teammate Aaron Jones would like him back, but the running back also has confidence in Rodgers’ heir apparent, Jordan Love.
“Us guys in the locker room, we know we control what we can control,” Jones said Friday on the Around the NFL podcast. “Just focus on yourself, get the offseason started and going, and control what you can control. If he’s here, great, we love it. If he’s not, we’ll be sad. We’d lose one of our leaders, one of our great locker room guys. It’s hard to replace somebody like that. But I think if that was to happen, Jordan is definitely ready.”
If Love was to be elevated to QB1 in 2023, he’d become just the third quarterback to start a Week 1 game for the Packers since 1993. He would also be tasked with replacing a future Hall of Famer that is the franchise record-holder in touchdown passes (475) and second in yards (59,055) and wins (147).
Love did flash potential in a Week 12 loss against the Eagles after Rodgers left with a rib injury. He threw for 113 yards and a TD with a 146.8 passer rating. The book on Love is still largely unwritten, however, and the Packers are not only awaiting Rodgers’ decision on his future but also facing a May 1 deadline to exercise Love’s fifth-year option.
While that position remains murky, Jones believes the status of the backfield is crystal clear.
“I feel good where I’m at with the team,” Jones said. “I talked to (general manager Brian Gutekunst), he came out and said they want me back. Maybe a restructure or whatever, maybe, but they want me back there. To be wanted is a great feeling.”
Jones is coming off his third 1,000-yard rushing season in the last four seasons, but he enters 2023 with a $20 million cap hit, just under $3.3 million more than Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, who has the league’s second largest cap number at the position.
If the Packers do bring Jones back with a restructured contract, the 28-year-old has his eyes on the Packers’ all-time rushing record after moving into the No. 3 spot with 5,284 yards in 2022.
He now sits 3,038 rushing yards behind Ahman Green.
“That would be a blessing,” Jones said about someday capturing the franchise record. “I made it up to three this year. I think the top two are like 8,000. So, I still got a little bit to go, but like you said, that is definitely one of my goals. If I’m there long enough I feel like I can definitely hit that.”