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Packers agree to free agent deals with Josh Jacobs and Xavier McKinney, AP sources say

The Green Bay Packers got off to a busy start in free agency, agreeing to deals with running back Josh Jacobs and safety Xavier McKinney, and releasing two longtime stalwarts.

McKinney agreed to a $68 million, four-year deal that can be signed when the new league year starts on Wednesday, his agent David Mulugheta told The Associated Press.

A person familiar with the deal also said Monday that the Packers will sign Jacobs at the start of the new league year. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the move.

Green Bay traditionally has not been an aggressive team in free agency, but made big moves on the first day of the negotiating window to get two of the top players at their positions on the open market and cutting ties with running back Aaron Jones and left tackle David Bakhtiari.

Jacobs was a first-round pick by the Raiders in 2019 and was given the franchise tag last season. He agreed to a re-worked deal with Las Vegas that ultimately gave him an extra $1.3 million in 2023 but never was able to reach a long-term deal with the Raiders.

Jacobs is coming off a down year, having rushed for a career-low 805 yards and six TDs in 13 games for the Raiders.

But the 26-year-old Jacobs was an All-Pro in 2022 when he led the NFL with 1,653 yards and 2,053 yards from scrimmage.

In five seasons with the Raiders, Jacobs ranked third in franchise history with 5,545 yards rushing and 46 TDs. He also had 197 catches for 1,448 yards.

Jacobs will join an offense led by emerging quarterback Jordan Love, who had a strong first season as starter, and a deep group of young pass catchers featuring Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson, Dontayvion Wicks, Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. All of those players, including Jacobs, are 26 or younger.

The 24-year-old McKinney was also one of the younger players on the market and will be a needed upgrade in the secondary for Green Bay. He had three interceptions and 11 passes defensed for the New York Giants last season and was one of the more versatile safeties available.

The Packers will reportedly release longtime running back Jones after adding Jacobs. The 30-year-old Jones was due a base salary of $11.1 million in the final year of a contract that was reworked before last season. The Packers will take a dead cap hit of $12.4 million for releasing Jones.

“It is certainly one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make in my time with the Packers and not one taken lightly," general manager Brian Gutekunst said in a statement. “He has not only had a significant impact on the field and in the locker room, but he is one of the most beloved players in the community.”

Jones played only 11 games last season as he was limited by injuries. His 656 yards rushing and 889 yards from scrimmage were his lowest totals since his rookie season in 2017. Jones did rush for 226 yards and three TDs in two playoff games last season for the Packers.

In seven seasons in Green Bay, Jones had 5.940 yards rushing, 272 catches for 2,076 yards receiving and 63 total touchdowns.

The Packers also could lose backup running back AJ Dillon in free agency as he is set to hit the open market on Wednesday.

Former All-Pro offensive tackle Bakhtiari’s time with the Packers also is over after 11 seasons, the past three of which were severely limited by injuries.

“David is one of the best offensive linemen that has played in the NFL during my time in the league. His consistency and approach to his craft is unmatched,” coach Matt LaFleur said in a statement.

Bakhtiari had a $40 million cap hit and a base salary of $20.2 million for 2024. Releasing him saves the Packers more than $20 million under the cap.

Bakhtiari has played a total of 13 games since the 2021 season while dealing with an injured left knee that has required five surgeries. His only appearance last year came in a season-opening victory at Chicago.

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AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl