It doesn’t take much for a person to become a celebrity today. Kim Kardashian, famous for being famous, scored a 10-year run on TV. Kevin Federline turned a whirlwind romance and marriage with Britney Spears into a steady stream of appearances in reality series. And running back Aaron Jones put one 1,000-yard season in the books for the Green Bay Packers and got his own cereal brand.
The 2017 draft was rich with running backs
The 2017 NFL draft may have been the moment to concede that proponents of not paying running backs because they’re relatively easy to replace might have a point. That draft was loaded with backs, beginning with first-rounders Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey. Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon followed in the second round. The rest of the draft included Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, and James Conner.
The implication is that drafting someone new every four years makes more economic sense than paying big on a second contract.
The Green Bay Packers scored twice that year, taking Jamaal Williams in the fourth round and Aaron Jones in the fifth. Williams has been good for an average of 500 rushing yards and 30 catches a season, and Jones has been even more impressive. Jones improved from 448 yards on the ground as a rookie to 728 in 2018 and 1,084 last fall. He also made 84 catches over his first three seasons and led the NFL in rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns last year.
Aaron Jones is in his contract year
The Green Bay Packers are getting more of the same out of running back Aaron Jones through three weeks this season. With 50 carries for 303 yards, Jones is averaging 6.1 yards a pop. The former Texas-El Paso star leads the NFL in the early going with four rushing TDs.
The timing is fortunate. Jones is in the final year of a rookie contract worth $3.9 million over four years. The sentiment in NFL front offices is that spending big on second contracts for running backs usually doesn’t pay off. But the Carolina Panthers have extended Christian McCaffrey, and the New Orleans Saints did likewise for Alvin Kamara despite salary-cap obstacles.
Aside from personal success, Jones could be helping the Packers to a memorable season. Green Bay is off to a 3-0 start with the league’s leading scoring offense. The 13-3 season of a year ago ended in disappointment a game short of the Super Bowl, but hopes are already running high for one of the NFC’s three remaining unbeatens.
There’s now an Aaron Jones brand of cereal
Something new started showing up on the cereal aisle of Wisconsin supermarkets last weekend. According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports & Entertainment is behind the rollout of Aaron Jones Touchdown Squares, which are described as toasty cinnamon squares.
The company is also selling a two-pack of the 12.2-ounce boxes online for $19.99. PLB Sports & Entertainment has previously done similar cereal promotions for Doug Flutie, Rob Gronkowski, and Patrick Mahomes.
Other cereals that have shown up early this season include Jumpin’ JuJu’s Crunch for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Josh’s Jaqs for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
Jordy’s Farm Fresh Flakes, in honor of then-Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson, hit the shelves in 2016. It worked out well; Nelson caught 97 balls for 1,257 yards for a league-high 14 touchdowns.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.