GREEN BAY – Vurgess Jones called it from the beginning.
Amidst all the consternation over where her son, Aaron, might land during free agency, Vurgess boldly offered her own opinion on the subject matter earlier this offseason.
And she wasn't afraid to share it with her son.
"My mom was telling me the whole time, 'You're going to end back up in Green Bay. Don't worry about it,'" said Aaron Jones on Friday. "I guess mom always knows."
That she does. Jones officially re-signed with the Packers on Friday, allowing the Pro Bowl running back to finish what he started with the team that drafted him in the fifth round out of the University of Texas-El Paso in 2017.
Over the past four years, the 26-year-old running back has enjoyed a prodigious run as the focal point of the Packers' ground game. He's just one of only two players in NFL history to post 3,000-plus rushing yards (3,364) and 35-plus rushing TDs (37) with an average of 5.00-plus yards per carry (5.17) in their first four seasons in the NFL.
The other? Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
Jones was voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career this past season after registering his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, becoming the first Packers running back to achieve the feat since Eddie Lacy (2013-14).
The production established Jones as the top running back on the free-agent market this winter, raising question about whether he'd return to Green Bay for a fifth season.
That uncertainty was alleviated when Jones and Green Bay came to an agreement on a new deal last week, ensuring the Packers' 31-26 loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay in January's NFC Championship Game wouldn't be Jones' final appearance in a green-and-gold uniform.
"I feel like this is a perfect fit for me," Jones said. "I've been in this offense. I know what comes with it. I know my teammates here, and we feel like we have unfinished business."
There will be some noticeable changes on the offensive side of the ball in 2021. All-Pro center Corey Linsley (Los Angeles Chargers) and running back Jamaal Williams (Detroit) both signed elsewhere during the opening week of free agency.
Williams and Jones entered the league together in 2017, with Williams being drafted one round earlier than Jones. The two developed a strong bond away from the field despite the fact they were competing for snaps on it. Jones even joked on Friday that Williams signing with the Lions was an indicator he "couldn't get away from me."
With Williams on the other side of Lake Michigan, the Packers now move forward with Jones and 2020 second-round pick AJ Dillon as their one-two punch in the backfield.
Dillon missed five games last year due a bout with the COVID-19 virus before returning in December. The 6-foot, 247-pound running back showed what he could do in tandem with Jones, breaking free for 124 yards and two touchdowns during the Packers' 40-14 win over Tennessee in Week 16.
"A.J. hit me up right away (after agreeing to re-sign) and was happy to have me back," Jones said. "For us to grow our relationship, and me help him in any way I can and him help me in any way he can … is going to be special. He's already showcased a little of the things that he can do. I think we complement each other really well."
Jones was training in Florida with his twin brother, Alvin Jr., when he found out that a new deal was in place with the Packers. He immediately hopped on FaceTime with his family before enjoying a celebratory dinner with his brother.
The next morning, however, the Jones Bros. were back to work. Because there is unfinished business in Green Bay for Aaron. He wants to carve out his own place in Packers history and capture the Super Bowl ring that eluded the team in 2020.
Whatever the outside perspective of running backs is in today's NFL, Jones wants to prove the skeptics wrong and show the best is yet to come for the 5-foot-9, 208-pound playmaker.
"I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface to enter the prime yet," Jones said. "I feel like I've still got a lot of growing to do, and I think it's going to be scary for a lot of people and just continue to grind and work and I'll be right where I want to be."
Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones through the years.