The Green Bay Packers have big questions regarding their backfield heading into free agency.
Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, who combined for 1,609 of the Packers’ 2,118 rushing yards in 2020, are set to hit the open market.
Williams joined NFL NOW on Monday and said if it were up to him, he wouldn’t leave Green Bay.
“I’m thinking about free agency, but I’d really love to just be a Packer all my life if I could,” Williams said. “They gave me my first shot. I love Green Bay. It’s just a great place to be. But you know, things happen. If things don’t happen, then I’m just ready to take my shot into the free agency and show my skills to any team that’s willing to take that chance on me. I’m just ready to go, man. I’m just ready to play, have fun, be myself, just bring my spark to any team willing to give me that shot.”
Williams’ comments echo that of Jones, who has likewise said he wants to remain with the Packers. Both likely aren’t going to get that chance, particularly given the salary cap restraints this season. Odds are greater that both move on rather than both re-signing. However, that didn’t stop Williams from dreaming of a scenario where he and Jones could keep playing together in Green Bay.
“Shoot, I’m not sure. I hope it does, but if it doesn’t, I’ll always wish my boy the best,” Williams said. “That’s my boy for life. We’ve been together since we started our career, and it’s nothing but a brotherhood. It’s nothing but us just having fun and wanting the best for each other. I mean, I love him, he loves me, and we know we’ve got each other’s back forever. And we know we came in this together, and we learned from each other by just our grit, how we came here to play, how every time we go the offseason, we try to make each other better for the team. We’re so team-oriented, and we just want to do what’s best for the team. That’s why we connect so well.”
To this point, the Packers have reportedly had more interest in trying to re-sign Jones than bring Williams back. Green Bay drafted A.J. Dillon in the second round last year in part because the team expected to lose one or both of their top running backs this offseason. We expect Dillon to have a larger role in 2021 regardless of what else happens at the position in Green Bay.
A fourth-round pick out of BYU, Williams is a solid runner who can catch the ball out of the backfield. In four seasons in Green Bay, the 25-year-old has generated 1,985 rushing yards with 10 TDs, averaging 4.0 yards per carry, and added 122 catches for 961 yards and eight additional scores.
If a return to Green Bay isn’t in the cards, Williams should find a landing spot on a short-term deal as a runner who works well in a committee, doesn’t have a ton of tread on his tires and could handle a more significant workload if needed.
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