Packers Coach Has Odd Remark about Vikings Player

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Aaron Jones sounds like the one who got away.

Packers Coach Has Odd Remark about Vikings Player

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will have a new backfield in 2024, headlined by Josh Jacobs, formerly of the Las Vegas Raiders, after longtime tailback Aaron Jones bolted for the Minnesota Vikings in March.

Packers coach
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And LaFleur didn’t sound too thrilled last week about Jones’ departure. “It kind of caught me off guard, to be honest with you. There were some other things in play, obviously with Aaron Jones, and I didn’t quite know how everything was going to go. It just happened really fast on that Monday,” the Packers skipper told Wisconsin State Journal.

Green Bay reportedly asked Jones to accept a paycut right before free agency. He refused and became a Viking on a one-year deal worth up to $7 million.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks about defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley during a press conference Thursday, February 22, 2024, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

LaFleur added, “It happened really fast, so I don’t know all the details of that I’m not involved in those types of conversations. But we were super excited to get Jacobs.”

Jones battled injury for much of the 2023 season, but when he returned to health in December and January, he turned white hot, helping the Packers clinch a playoff berth and later knock off the Dallas Cowboys in Texas during the NFC’s Wildcard Round.

Minnesota saved $3.35 million by releasing RB1 Alexander Mattison in February, flipping that cash into Jones for a one-year experiment. Jones has played against Minnesota 11 times in his career, and now, with any luck, he’ll suit up for 17 games with his former foe, including two games versus the Packers. He’s tallied 847 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns as a Packer against the Vikings since joining the NFL in 2017 as a 5th-Round Pick.

Different Story
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Jones banked 889 yards from scrimmage in 2023 while playing 11 games. He scored 3 touchdowns and turned on the gas down the stretch of 2023 once he became fully healthy. The ex-Packer will partner with third-year RB Ty Chandler for a decent RB1-RB2 duo next season and perhaps end the Vikings’ recent rushing woes once and for all.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said last month that Jones’ addition shocked existing players, especially Justin Jefferson.

“I do think it’s gone a little too far because they are still a really, really impactful position. I mean, when you talk to Justin Jefferson, and you tell him, ‘We brought Aaron Jones aboard,’ his first reaction is he’s shocked because he didn’t think it would even be possible for us to bring a guy like that who we play two times a year and have flat out felt his impact on a lot of football games. It’s gone to a place where it’s probably gone a little bit too far, and I know we benefitted from the opportunity to add a player like Aaron,” O’Connell mentioned in Orlando one week ago.

Packers Week Hits
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At least one former Packer has joined the Vikings’ roster in four consecutive offseasons: Bashaud Breeland in 2021, Za’Darius Smith and Chandon Sullivan in 2022, Dean Lowry last year — and now Jones.

Ex-Vikings kicker Greg Joseph signed in Green Bay last week and will compete for the primary job against Anders Carlson and Jack Podlesny.

Jones will turn 30 in December.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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