Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is one of the top players set to hit the NFL free agent market later in March. Of course, that’s dependent on Green Bay opting not to place the dreaded franchise tag on its star ball-carrier.

There’s been a lot of talk about behind-the-scenes of contract issues between Jones and the Packers. He wants to be a top-five paid running back in the NFL.

Having put up 3,017 total yards with 30 touchdowns at a clip of 5.7 yards per touch over the past two seasons, Jones has more than earned that. However, the Packers could view him as more of a product of the system with reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers leading the charge on offense.

In talking about his impending free agent, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst seemed to break some news on Tuesday.

This seems to be a clear indication that Green Bay has no interest in utilizing the franchise tag on Aaron Jones ahead of the deadline later in March. Said tag would guarantee the 26-year-old running back roughly $11.1 million, the average of the five highest-paid backs in the NFL right now.

For their part, the Packers currently find themselves $11.1 million over the estimated 2021 NFL salary cap with free agency set to begin. Restructuring Aaron Rodgers’ contract will save a ton against said cap. Even then, a strict $11.1 million cap hit in 2021 for a running back might not make sense for Green Bay.

With hopes dwindling that the two sides will come to terms on an extension ahead of the March 9 NFL franchise tag deadline, Jones is now likely to hit the open market.