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Jones, Linsley closer to free agency as Packers don't use franchise tag

ESPN reports the Packers are still trying to sign Aaron Jones to a long-term contract before free agency begins next week.
Aaron Jones runs touchdown Packers vs Lions.jpeg
Aaron Jones celebrates touchdown Packers vs Lions.jpeg
Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 18:59:02-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — The Packers have decided not to use the franchise tag, according to a report from ESPN, meaning Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley are one step closer to free agency.

Tagging Aaron Jones would have kept him in Green Bay for the 2021 season at an $8 million dollar cost, a salary many thought was reasonable considering he could command up to $15 million on the open market.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said last week the Packers were considering tagging Aaron Jones.

"We certainly could," Gutekunst said last Tuesday. "I think it's something we're working through.

"There's usually better ways to go about it," he added. "Certainly as we get down the road here over the next week or so if that becomes what is in the best interest of the Packers I think we'll do that but at this point we haven't done that."

The Packers are the only NFL team that has not used the franchise tag in the last decade. The last player they tagged was Ryan Pickett in the 2010 offseason.

ESPN reports the Packers are still looking to sign Jones to a long-term contract before free agency begins. Jones is free to negotiate with other teams starting March 15 and can official sign with other teams on March 17.