This is part two of a two-part writing series on the Green Bay Packers offseason. The first part was an analysis of four free agents whom I think the Packers should sign in open free agency.
This article explains how the Packers can get into the situation where they can sign those free agents, and get this team back in Super Bowl contention, again, for 2022-2023.
Green Bay’s early playoff exit has left a sour taste in the mouths of Aaron Rodgers, Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur, and Packers fans throughout the country, and it still does. This summer will most likely be his final chance to win a second Lombardi trophy in his era—assuming he stays.
“I would be surprised if Aaron Rodgers asks to be traded. it feels to me like it’s more retirement or running it back again with the Packers” according to NFL Network and NFL.com’s national insider Ian Rapoport.
It also means winning a Super Bowl is more challenging for the Packers after wasting Rodgers’ greatest roster to date.
“Around the league, everyone knows GB doesn’t believe in Jordan Love. Dealing him now would net a minimal return. Late day 3 pick. He’s not on the block, and also isn’t in demand,” said reporter Benjamin Allbright.
Love can go for a day 3 draft pick since he has been learning from the back-to-back MVP and a top-three offensive coaching staff in the league. Not to mention that Sam Darnold got traded for a second-round pick and more. Josh Rosen was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a second-round pick after the Kyler Murray pick. Quarterback is by far the most important position on a football team, and teams will give up a ton for a good one.
Love, if he was a prospect entering into the 2022 draft, would be the top quarterback in this class.
Salary Cap Maneuvers
The Packers are about to embark on a pivotal offseason. Gutekunst, the general manager, must lead his championship-hopeful team through salary cap issues.
The Packers are currently $48.4 million over the salary cap, and superstar receiver Davante Adams is up for re-signing. As the offseason and the NFL draft approach, Green Bay will be pushed to think outside of the box. The only team in a worse financial situation is the cash-strapped The New Orleans Saints.
The Packers will have to give up certain things. To start things out, extensions will be handed out to players like Rodgers, safety Adrian Amos, edge rusher Preston Smith, and cornerback Jaire Alexander. Restructures include left tackle David Bakhtiari and interior defensive lineman Dean Lowry.
Lowry is entering the final year of his contract, and he’s coming off his most productive NFL season as a pass rusher. He is currently under contract for 2022 as is Kenny Clark, and Tedarrell Slaton: leaving two nose tackles and one interior.
As of February 23, Kenny Clark did get a restructure as well.
Cuts would include Za’Darius Smith, but the Packers could trade or keep a guy like Smith, a top-12 pass rusher in the NFL, who is worth at least a second-round draft pick if traded. I think Smith will be cut at the end of it.
If Rodgers returns, Cobb would sign a veteran minimum deal. The Packers’ “acquisitions” are players like Alexander, Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Robert Tonyan, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to play more than eight games, but they might work out some low-end contracts with free agents as well.
These changes can get the Packers under the salary cap, and more importantly, in contention for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona.
Thanks for reading my breakdown of the Packers’ offseason. For more quality football content, consider following my Twitter account @joshripka1, and follow @OTH_Football and @OT_Heroics on Twitter and Instagram.