Clay Matthews was shocked by Aaron Jones's departure to Vikings

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings signing Aaron Jones was one of the most surprising moves of the offseason. But while Vikings fans were excited to see Jones come over from one of their biggest rivals, the move was shocking even for former Green Bay Packers legend Clay Matthews.

Matthews responded to a quote from Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur, who said that Jones’s release and decision to sign with the Vikings happened “really fast.” After LeFleur went on to say he had no communication with general manager Brian Gutenkunst over the move, Matthews went on X and questioned his former team’s communication.

“With a rookie [quarterback], young receiving corps and [Christian Watson] injured, Jones WAS [Green Bay’s] offense but I digress,” Matthews wrote. “I find the lack of communication between [head coach] and [general manager] to be wild,” Matthews said. “LaFleur has been one of the most successful coaches and doesn’t have a say?”

Aaron Jones signing with the Minnesota Vikings was a surprise

Jones spent the first seven seasons of his career in Green Bay and ranks third in Packers history behind Ahman Green (8,322) and Jim Taylor (8,207) with 5,940 rushing yards. Jones signed a four-year, $48 million contract with $13 million guaranteed in 2021 but took a pay cut for what amounted to a one-year, $11 million contract last season.

Jones suffered a hamstring injury in the opening game against the Chicago Bears but was one of the league’s best running backs over the final month of the season running for 411 yards over his final four games and running for 226 yards and three touchdowns in two playoff games.

The production wasn’t enough to keep the Packers from asking Jones to take another pay cut for 2024, however, and Jones ultimately was released and signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Vikings the following day.

LaFleur’s claim that he didn’t know about the release makes sense considering how quickly it happened but Gutenkunst has other examples of poor communication. Last year, Gutenkunst tried “many times” to communicate with quarterback Aaron Rodgers but the Packers quarterback blamed it on poor cell phone service before he expressed his desire to be traded to the New York Jets.

The head coach and general manager dynamic is also somewhat surprising considering that Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell are in lockstep on most decisions. Then again, communication wasn’t a strong suit toward the end of the previous regime which featured Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman.

Whatever the reason, Vikings fans will be happy to capitalize on Green Bay’s latest loss with hopes that Jones can revitalize an offense that ranked 29th in rushing yards last season.

More Vikings News and Analysis