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Contract shows Aaron Jones really has a two-year run left with Packers

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Why the Packers re-signed Aaron Jones (1:07)

Rob Demovsky explains how the Packers' faith in Aaron Jones led to his long-term deal with the team. (1:07)

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Without using the franchise tag, the Green Bay Packers essentially paid running back Aaron Jones the same as if they had used the tag on him this year and again in 2022.

The four-year, $48 million deal that Jones signed with the Packers on Sunday just before he would have hit the free-agent market is essentially a two-year, $20 million contract that almost certainly would have to be blown up before March 2023.

That's when the Packers would have to pay Jones a roster bonus of $7 million and followed by a base salary for that season of $8.1 million. After reasonable salary-cap charges the first two years ($4.475 million this season and $9 million in 2022), Jones' cap charge would jump to $19.25 million for the 2023 season.

If the Packers moved on after two years, they would have to count $6.5 million in dead money, but they would ultimately save $12.75 million on their 2023 cap (or $16 million if they made it a post-June 1 cut).

At that point, AJ Dillon would be entering the final year of his rookie contract and could be poised to take over for Jones as the Packers' RB1.

Jones' signing came on the heels of several restructured contracts and/or pay cuts. Preston Smith's pay cut created 7.25 million in cap space. They also restructured the contracts of Za'Darius Smith, who saved the Packers $7.38 million in cap space, along with Billy Turner and Adrian Amos.

Here's the year-by-year breakdown of Jones' contract:

2021

  • Signing bonus: $13 million

  • Base salary: $1 million

  • Weekly roster bonus: Up to $200,000 ($12,500 per game active)

  • Workout bonus: $50,000

  • Salary-cap charge: $4.475 million

  • Total cash: $14.25 million

  • Notes: Weekly roster bonuses for salary cap purposes are calculated based on the numbers of games played the previous year. Jones played in 14 of the 16 games in 2020. … $250,000 Pro Bowl salary escalator.

2022

  • Base salary: $1.1 million

  • Roster bonus: $3.75 million due on the third day of the league year

  • Weekly roster bonus: Up to $400,000 ($25,000 per game active)

  • Workout bonus: $500,000

  • Salary-cap charge $9 million

  • Total cash: $5.75 million

  • Notes: $250,000 Pro Bowl salary escalator.

2023

  • Base salary: $8.1 million

  • Roster bonus: $7 million due on the third day of the league year.

  • Weekly roster bonus: Up to $400,000 ($25,000 per game active)

  • Workout bonus: $500,000

  • Salary-cap charge: $19.25 million

  • Total cash: $16 million

  • Notes: $250,000 Pro Bowl salary escalator.

  • 2024

  • Base salary: $11.1 million

  • Weekly roster bonus: Up to $400,000 ($25,000 per game active)

  • Workout bonus: $500,000

  • Salary-cap charge: $15.25 million

  • Total cash: $12 million