In an up and down season for Green Bay, an eventful offseason may be on the rise. With the Packers having a ugly $-2.8 million in cap space and players like Rashan Gary needing contract extension soon, the Packers may be forced to cut some big players, and maybe even sign a few in the free agency pool. Mixed with the hopeful draft of a WR, this will all lead to an interesting offseason for the Packers.
First things first, the drafting of a WR. If the season ended today, the Packers would have the 8th pick in the draft, a spot they could very well select a WR with. Many mock drafts currently have the Packers taking TCU star WR Quentin Johnston, who leads TCU in yard and receptions, with 49 receptions, 764 yards, and has added 5 Touchdowns to his season. He is a 6 ‘4 fast WR that would pair really nicely next to 6’ 5 Christain Watson and 6 ‘5 Allen Lazard. The addition of Johnston could help the team get back to competing for a championship sooner rather than later. Another potential WR target the Packers could decide to take is 6’0 WR Jordan Addison from USC. Addison also leads his team in all 3 major receiving categories, with 54 receptions, 810 yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns. He is said to run a 3.39 40 and would also be a great addition next to other speedy WR Christain Watson. He is another WR that would help the Packers get back into super bowl contention sooner rather than later. The 3rd WR the Packers could draft, who is just as good as Johnston and Addison, Is Jalin Hyatt. Hyatt is arguably the best WR in college football, and he has the stats to prove it. He leads his team in all 3 major WR categories, and has 67 receptions, 1267 yards which is 3rd in the NCAA, and 15 touchdowns which is tied for first in the NCAA. He is 6’0 and said to run a 4.29 40 time. Hyatt, like Johnston and Addison, could help bring the Packers back into superbowl contention as early as next season. If any of these 3 WRs were to be selected by Green Bay, it would help them both greatly. The Packers would get an instant impact WR that could help them make a push for the superbowl, while the WR selected would get to join one of the greatest NFL organizations and be able to learn from veterans like Randall Cobb and from Hall of Famers like Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers were to lend any of these 3 guys, fans would surely be very happy.
As free agency nears, players who could be cut or traded to free up cap usually are. The same thing will happen with Green Bay this offseason, as they will have $-2.8 million and they will also look to bring in free agents and extend players, they will need money to do so. So let’s take a look at some potential cuts Green Bay could have this upcoming offseason. We’ll start with some potential cut and/or trade candidates. The first being David Bakhtiari. While number 69 is one of the most loved players in Green Bay and is one of Aaron Rodgers best friends and favorite teammates, his time in Green Bay may be coming to a sad end. Bakhtiari has $38.9 million left on his contract, and with his injury history in the past few years, it is understandable why Green Bay may try to move on from the star Left Tackle. If the Packers were to trade him or cut him after June 1st, they would acquire $11.5 million in dead cap for the 2023 and 2024 season, but also save $17.4 million in cap for the 2023 season, giving them somewhere around $13 million in cap with one move. Me, as well as many other Packers fans, would love to have Bakhtiari back on a restructured contract, but it will not be surprising if the Packers choose to take a different path with Bakhtiari. One other potential trade/cut candidate would be Preston Smith. While Preston was re-signed last offseason, that doesn’t mean the Packers wouldn’t explore trading him, as cutting him when he has value wouldn’t make sense. The Pacers would be able to acquire $10 million in cap this upcoming season if they were to trade smith, and most likely acquire a set of draft picks. The third and final candidate, who would only leave by trade, is Aaron Rodgers. This is the least likely of the 3 options, but its something to take a look at. If the Packers after watching Love play against the eagles, and however much he plays in the next few weeks, determine he is the QB of the future and it is his time, there’s a chance Rodgers could be on a new team as soon as this next offseason. If the Packers were to trade Rodgers after June 1st, they would be able to save $15.8 million, and most likely go get another WR for Jordan Love if they dont draft one. The odds of either Preston Smith or David Bakhtiari are somewhat high, but there is a good chance the Packers move on from one of them.
Another big part about free agency is keeping your own players or letting them walk. Here are some of the names the Packers could keep and names of people the Packers could let walk. First is Adrian Amos. Amos has had an up and down season, but so has the whole defense. Still, he could return to the starting safety roll of the Packers if he’s willing to take a team friendly deal. Amos certainly will get offers from other teams, but he seems to like playing in green bay and it seems as though he will stay. Next is Randall Cobb. This one isn’t something I think is even a debate, Cobb will for sure be back in Green Bay on something close to a veteran minimum. Simply put it if Rodgers is here, Cobb is here, and neither of them seem to be going anywhere. If Mason Crosby for some reason doesn’t retire like he should, there’s no chance GB lets him go anywhere else, even if they should. Green Bay’s all time points scorer will only ever play for the Packers, and he could very well stick it out till Rodgers leaves. Allen Lazard, unless he really wants to stay, is most likel;y on his way out of Green Bay. He could get more money with another team, more than Green Bay is willing to pay but there is a chance he does stay. Elgton Jenkins is the last notable free agent the Packers have. I believe he will stay and if not on a long term deal, potentially the franchise tag. He’s been the most consistent offensive lineman this year, and he’s been the best when he plays his natural position of LG.
In what has been such an up and down season for Green Bay, the offseason for them could be just as crazy if not crazier. One thing is for sure in all of this. If the Packers are gonna do something, it’s going to be big.