Since being drafted with the No. 62 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon has been a major fan favorite. From his play on the field to his personality away from the gridiron, fans have loved him. He has also become a very vital piece of the Green Bay offense, especially this season with Aaron Jones dealing with many different injuries.
However, despite his role as a fan favorite and a key piece of the offense, Dillon’s time with the Packers may be coming to an end.
Matt Schneidman of the Athletic recently wrote an article that made it seem like the Packers may be preparing to move on from Dillon. The move would make sense, as Dillon is set to become a free agent after the 2023 NFL season and re-signing him may not be worthwhile for the price.
“Dillon has proven to be a solid No. 2 running back, but he’s not quite your prototypical feature back. The Packers can find a new No. 2 for cheaper through the draft and potentially have that guy sit behind Jones on the depth chart for a year before taking over lead-back duties in 2025.”
What Does The Future Hold For The Packers At Running Back?
Over the last few years, the running back market in the NFL has completely declined. There have been many superstar running backs who have been traded, cut, or nearly traded due to money-related issues.
For the Packers, Dillon is going to command a much larger contract than a rookie would. The team may opt to keep him due to his fit within Matt LaFleur’s offense, but it seems much more likely that they would draft a young player on a rookie contract. That would leave Dillon on his way out of town.
Speaking of Jones, he has also been rumored as a potential cap casualty. Some believe the Packers could look to trade Jones this offseason if the price is right.
As Schneidman mentioned, the Packers could look to add a running back early in the 2024 NFL Draft. That running back would be the No. 2 behind Jones next season and then Green Bay would let Jones walk in free agency in 2025.
Let’s not forget, the Packers were heavily involved in trade rumors surrounding Indianapolis Colts’ star back Jonathan Taylor earlier this year. It was clear that they were thinking about the idea of a major shakeup at the running back position. Dillon has played decently, but not great this season and Jones has missed a ton of time due to injury, which could spur the Packers to consider this option even more seriously.
All of that being said, the Packers are going to be an intriguing team to keep an eye on. They are rebuilding around Jordan Love and know they need to get it right. Unfortunately for players like Dillon, this new era could lead to a split.