Josh Jacobs Signing With Packers: Impact on Aaron Jones, Zamir White

Josh Jacobs Signing With Packers: Impact on Aaron Jones, Zamir White article feature image

Ian Maule/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Jacobs.

The first real stunner of free agency came when Josh Jacobs reportedly agreed to terms with the Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay was expected to be active in free agency, specifically at safety to give new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley some help in the secondary. Few thought the first big splash would come in the backfield.

It makes sense that Green Bay would want to add to the backfield. A.J. Dillon is a free agent, and the team did try to trade for Jonathan Taylor before last season. Also, Aaron Jones is about to play his age-30 season and was very limited in 11 games last year. Jacobs, though, only played 13.

Jacobs missed the final four games of the Raiders’ season, which was a down one for him. His 805 rushing yards and 3.5 yards per carry were career lows.

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Packers Impact: Aaron Jones

Note: Shortly after signing Jacobs, Adam Schefter broke that Aaron Jones is being released. 

After reaching agreement today with free-agent RB Josh Jacobs, the Packers informed RB Aaron Jones that he is being released, per source. Jones now will be a free agent.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2024

It’s going to be interesting how the Packers backfield shakes out with Jacobs in the fold, especially because it sounds like Aaron Jones isn’t going anywhere.

It was clear when Jones was healthy last season that he had a huge impact on the Packers offense. Green Bay was at its best when its best playmaker (Jones) was on the field.

Getting two workhorses is clearly something that the Packers have been thinking about for a bit now. Jones thrives in the passing game, as well, so maybe that’s where he becomes a focal point in the Green Bay offense.

Raiders Impact: Zamir White

The big winner here is White, who will presumably take over as the Raiders’ lead running back.

The second-year running back was the workhorse for Las Vegas in the last four games of the season and thrived. He ran for 397 yards as he averaged 21 carries per game and 4.73 yards per carry.

White helped many fantasy managers win championships late in 2023. Expect him to be a hot name for drafts in August.

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Expert Take

By Brandon Anderson

This one is a stunner and a bit of a head scratcher.

The Packers have leaned heavily on two backs in recent years with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Both are now gone with Jacobs in their place after Jones was released this afternoon.

That all sounds great a couple decades ago, and Matt LaFleur's offense is annually one of the slowest in the NFL as it likes to feature the run game.

But is it a formula for success in 2024? I'm not so sure, especially with how great Jordan Love looked down the stretch for the Packers. Love was one of my early favorite MVP sleepers and played like it over the back half of the season. This dampens that hype some as Green Bay will almost certainly feature the run and now has two good goal line backs to steal touchdowns too.

Jacobs ranked 50th of 59 running backs by PFF Grade this season, though he led all backs a year ago in that grade and ranked second as a rookie. He also finished at 4.0 yards per carry or worse in three of the last four seasons. That doesn't read to me like a back worth signing to a big contract to open free agency and build a team identity around.

I'd rather push my chips in on my budding MVP quarterback — the guy I need to give a big extension to, with all that presumed Jacobs money.

This is a puzzling move for Green Bay.

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