Per his agent, the Green Bay Packers have agreed to a new deal with pending free agent running back Aaron Jones for four years worth as much as $48 million dollars with $13 million guaranteed at signing. There are a couple things to take away here that could play a factor for the Cleveland Browns and Nick Chubb about potential negotiations for him to remain with the team.
The first is brought by Kevin Cole of Pro Football Focus. The Packers could have simply put the franchise tag on Jones and only been responsible for giving him $8.6 million rather than offer a contract that at least nominally averages $12 million per season.
That figure will likely be slightly higher after the 2022 season, but not dramatically. If the Browns want to keep Chubb, they could simply franchise him for a season and while paying for a running back can feel prohibitive, so long as Chubb doesn't get hurt during the 2021 season, it should still be a great value.
Knowing that the Packers could have simply franchised Jones and paid him $8.6 million for the 2021 season, it stands to reason that he's getting less than that in the structure of the contract. In other words, they are saving some money to try to keep this team equipped to make a Super Bowl run with Aaron Rodgers and a ton of talent round him.
The structure of the deal is critical, but as only $13 million is guaranteed to start, it may provide them wiggle room or a means to get out of the deal after a couple seasons. With only 27 percent of the contract guaranteed, this deal could potentially be revisited often.
This is where understanding how to structure a deal effectively becomes critical. That $48 million probably won't mean much. Maybe the second year balloons up, but more than likely, the money won't really kick in until year three and four. Part of that is because they don't know how long Rodgers that talented roster will be there.
It just also shows how ridiculous the current pay structure is for running backs compared to basically any other position in the NFL.
The Browns would like to have this roster sustain for the foreseeable future, so they may not be in a position to simply defer money to the end of deals unless it has outs that won't weigh them down with dead money.
The Jones deal with the Packers might provide some hope for keeping Chubb with the Browns for another season or few.