Green Bay Packers Offseason Ramblings Part I

With free agency just over a week away, as well as the pre-draft process ramping up now that the NFL combine has taken place, I thought this would be as good of a time as any for one of these types of articles.
 
In short, this is a brain dump, with me discussing anything and everything Packers-related that's on my mind.

Davante Adams

Based on what has been reported, a deal between Davante Adams and the Packers perhaps seems unlikely at this point, but Packers' history says it will get done. While the team typically doesn't spend big money in free agency on players outside of the organization, they will prioritize and pay their own free agents. And although the team rarely hands out third contracts, as Mark Murphy has told us, they will for future Hall of Famers--which Adams is certainly looking like.

Extend Adrian Amos

There were reports out of the combine that the Packers met with representatives for both Preston Smith and Jaire Alexander to discuss extensions. Another name that should be on this list is Adrian Amos.
 
Amos is in the final year of his deal, and at 28-years-old, he is one of the best safeties in the game. He is reliable against both the run and the pass and very durable, regularly leading the team in defensive snaps played. An extension will also lower his nearly $12 million cap hit in 2022.

The Salary Cap

When it comes to the salary cap, there are tradeoffs. If the Packers re-sign Adams, for example, what other moves can't they make? Or what other contracts have to be reworked? How much cap space is being pushed into future years?
 
It's all about give and take. But even with Green Bay still being about $26 million over the salary cap, they have plenty of cap-saving moves available to bring back a large portion of the 2021 roster if they want to. Now, it won't be everyone, and once again, a lot of cap charges will be pushed to 2023 and beyond--but if they want to, they can.

Offensive tackle

This is an interesting position this offseason. If Turner is back and Green Bay feels comfortable with Yosh Nijman playing right tackle if needed, Elgton Jenkins should return at some point, and David Bakhtiari will be starting; the Packers have to feel pretty good about where this position stands.
 
But on the flip side, this is the final year of Turner's deal, or maybe he's even cut (although I do think he returns). Perhaps the Packers want to keep Nijman strictly at left tackle, and maybe they want to keep Jenkins inside--we also don't know when he will return. In this scenario, offensive tackle becomes a much bigger need to be addressed than the one described above.

2 Boxes to Check this Offseason

This offense was missing two elements in 2021 due to injuries to Robert Tonyan and Marquez Valdes-Scantling: a true pass-catching tight end and a downfield target. 
 
The other tight ends on the roster can't fill the same role as Tonyan, and while MVS brings big-play ability, his presence also opens up the passing game and creates for others as well. Whether it's these players returning or the Packers addressing these needs in the draft, they need to make sure they have players who can fill these roles in 2022. 

Wide Receiver

My thought all offseason has been that some combination of Allen Lazard, MVS, and Davante Adams will be back in 2022. My guess is that it will be Adams and Lazard. Adams for obvious reasons, and I chose Lazard over MVS because he makes a more consistent impact in his role--not to mention that his contract in 2022 will be cheaper.

First Round Pick

I'm not quite ready to go out on a limb and predict the specific player that the Packers will select--there is still too much time between now and the draft. But my guess is that in Round 1 they do take an edge rusher. It's a premier position and one we know Green Bay values, the Packers are also in need of bolstering their depth, and this is a very deep edge rusher class.

Cornerback

Yes, the Green Bay Packers do have Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes, but after those two, the depth chart consists of only three other cornerbacks, and combined, they have 38 career defensive snaps. This is a rather large need this offseason. This is why I believe Chandon Sullivan is re-signed. While he's taken his lumps, there has been more good than bad, and he provides Green Bay with some much-needed experience at a key position.

Positions of Need Entering Free Agency

Interior defensive line, edge rusher (assuming Za'Darius Smith is cut), wide receiver, linebacker, pass-catching tight end, cornerback, a third safety.

Will Green Bay value LB differently?

To me, this is one of the more intriguing questions this offseason. After the season De'Vondre Campbell put together, will Green Bay value the LB position more?
 
The reason to bring Campbell back is simple; he was an All-Pro. But to play devil's advocate, reasons why they might not re-sign him, include finding Campbell on such a team-friendly deal could only reinforce their thinking that teams don't need to pay top-dollar at the LB position. Green Bay could also point to Joe Barry's role as a former LB coach and his system, which is more LB-friendly than Mike Pettine's. Also, in many key statistical categories, the Packers' defense was quite similar in 2021 compared to 2020, even with an All-Pro LB.

Aaron Rodgers

There are so many reports out there, but ultimately, I think he returns. There are way more signs pointing to that outcome than any other. And if this is the case, unless I was blown away with a trade offer, I still wouldn't trade Jordan Love.

Dean Lowry

Dean Lowry seems to be a potential cut candidate among the fan base each season, but he will be back for 2022. For one, there are only four IDL on the roster; the Packers aren't exactly in a position to move on from him. And second, he's coming off a career year as a pass rusher, but a lot of Lowry's value, such as taking on double-teams and eating up space, isn't going to show up on the stat sheet. With that said, Green Bay should be looking to upgrade this position.

Darnell Savage

Green Bay has to decide whether or not to pick up Darnell Savage's fifth-year option for the 2023 season later this offseason. He is coming off a down 2022 season, but my guess is that they choose to exercise the option. While there is certainly room for improvement, and overall consistency, he has shown enough upside to earn that fifth year. In order to truly unlock Savage's potential, finding another option at safety to play deep, and allowing him to play closer to the line of scrimmage would best utilize his skill-set.
 
Also, if we look ahead to the safety position in 2023, depending on what happens with Amos, this position could be a huge need for Green Bay. On top of that, the salary for the fifth-year option is performance-based, so he shouldn't break the bank either.

Offensive Line

This is an offensive line draft class with a lot of talent, and it's a position where there is no such thing as too much depth. As Brian Gutekunst has done in each of his drafts, you can expect him to once again address this position in April.

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Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 
 

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6 points

Comments (28)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

March 07, 2022 at 11:40 am

Going to be a different team regardless. And if Denver outbids the Packers for Rodgers, it will be a VERY different team. It sounds like the Packers have offered him a contract so the Broncos will know that deal and try to up the ante. If they do, Adams could be traded too. Pack has a chance to end up with 3 first round picks and a bunch of day two picks and lots could happen during the draft....trade ups and trade downs too. This draft class is loaded where the Packers have needs...or will, once the pre-draft roster is set.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 07, 2022 at 12:02 pm

Yep to all.
My ideal situation is to trade Rodgers; he may give us the "best chance" to win a SB, but with a strong team and coaching, it's not impossible that that chance is not a LOT better than it is with Love. There's a reason we haven't won (or even been in) the SB for over ten years WITH Rodgers: it remains a team sport.
Personally, I'd love to pick up a first this year and next for Rodgers, then trade down one of our 2022 firsts to get extra second round picks this year, and keep NEXT year's so we have two firsts as ammunition to move up for a QB if Love crashes and burns.
Rodgers was one of my all-time favorite Packers... until the past two years. I'm ready to move on, even if that dice roll results in being merely above average. (I really don't see this roster being under 50%)

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Dragon5's picture

March 07, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Rodgers buys land outside of Nashville? Rodgers & Woodley (Boulder, CO) still an item? Tae buys a house in Vegas...

Our offseason has become a TMZ episode. Thankfully we'll have clarity soon as FA & draft draw nigh.

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Dragon5's picture

March 07, 2022 at 01:41 pm

Miller giving hints today about Denver reunion...negotiating ploy for sure...or does he already know what's going down with #12?

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 07, 2022 at 05:38 pm

Shailene's alleged biggest gripe about Rodgers was he didn't devout enough attention/time to her, or make her a priority. Being in Denver less than an hour from home every day sure seems to go a long way to address that issue. Just saying!

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stockholder's picture

March 07, 2022 at 12:05 pm

Part 1. Let Adams go. 30 mil. doesn't work for anybody, but Adams. Extending Amos.- Depends on the deal. He's not worth 15 mil. And who could blame Gutey if he took a DB again rd.1. With so many safeties regressing in Green Bay. Free Agency might be the better alternative again. The constant pressure to pay a ILB 10 mil.///. Suggests; we should just start drafting the position,( as long as we have a LB coach running the show.) We've seen the best of Lowrey. Yet- why draft a bench warmer again? Nothing will be done to address the DL. Regardless how good this class is. Jordan Love won't be traded. So it really doesn't matter who we sign. Because when a QB sucks, the whole team sucks.

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JQ's picture

March 07, 2022 at 12:11 pm

Thanks Paul! Off-season ramblings...maybe. But interesting nonetheless!

8 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 07, 2022 at 01:11 pm

Given the Packers history, and Gutekunst's history, we won't extend Adams. We said goodbye to Jordy and Cobb. We haven't drafted a WR higher than the late 3rd round. We win with bargains at that position, and it gives us a competitive edge over teams that are spending high draft choices on guys that do the same thing our bargains do.

We'd be stupid to let Turner go to save $4 million. He's a vet who plays multiple positions. Since we don't know if Bakhtiari is going to hold up, we need to keep Nijman where he is. Jenkins, who could backup the tackle spot, won't be a factor until the middle of the season.

We'll bring most of the defense back. Amos, Savage, Alexander, Stokes, Douglas, Gary, PSmith, Barnes, Lowry, Clark, Slaten. I think only Campbell and Zsmith will be gone. And King, of course.

The Draft:

Jordan Davis: We aren't getting him. First, he won't be around when we pick at #28. Second, we don't draft defensive linemen in the first round very often. Third, we've already got our big run plugger on the roster in Slaten. So stop projecting him as our pick.

WRs: What, in Packer history or Gutekunst's history, makes you think we'll take a WR in the first? Who was the last WR we took in the firstt? Javon Walker? Before that it was Sharpe, if I recall correctly. Gutekunst has used Day 3 guys and UDFAs and it has worked. I can't see a single thing that would make me think we'll take a WR in the first.

ILB: Many of us love the idea of a monster in the middle of the defense. The last ILB we took in the first round was Nick Barnett, almost 20 years ago. The Packers Do. Not. Place. A. High. Value on this position. Period.

Gutekunst likes edge pressure, so we could take an edge guy. He likes guys who can cover and tackle, so we could take a DB. Look at what Gutekunst has done: Alexander, Savage, Stokes, Gary........Gutekunst views defense as being pass defense, and he puts his resources on coverage and pressure. We're 30 times more likely to take a DB or edge guy than we are to take a WR or ILB.

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wildbill's picture

March 07, 2022 at 03:44 pm

Good research but Gute isn’t responsible for the last 30 years of drafting. A draft from 20 years ago has no bearing on this years draft

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Leatherhead's picture

March 07, 2022 at 03:51 pm

Because an organization doesn’t have a history. Gutekunst has been with the organization a long time. He was mentored by Thompson. So yeah, I think organization tendencies and values do have a bearing on this year’s draft

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Oppy's picture

March 08, 2022 at 07:02 am

Sure, there's history, but one needs look no further than how Gute and Ted weigh picks to see how different they are.

Gute will almost always favor the more highly graded athletic player / ht wt speed guy, while Thompson almost ignored athletic composite scores and instead valued "football guys".

Beyond that, they're so divergent in personnel priority thus far, particularly WR. Is that due to where the team is at, personal preference, or happenstance? What about free agency? value on special teams?

There's an awful lot of differences between the way this roster has been built by Gute compared to the way it's been handled over the last 20 years so far.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 07, 2022 at 04:22 pm

I agree. Besides TT drafted Jennings, Jordy, Cobb and Adams all in the 2nd round between 2006-2014. Two of them helped us win a SB. Those are some pretty super duper WRs that were drafted high. I see no reason to think Gute wouldn't use a 1st or 2nd to draft a WR if one is available.

5 points
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BradHTX's picture

March 08, 2022 at 09:18 am

Indeed, they’ve already said that they wanted Aiyuk but the 49ers took him right before them. So it’s not like receivers aren’t in contention for high picks.

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BirdDogUni's picture

March 07, 2022 at 04:53 pm

Just out of curiosity, where are you going at #9 and #28 if Gutey were to trade AR to Denver?

I think I would go Edge at #9. Either Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson, or David Ojabo, depending on who was still available and how our board was set up.

The at #28, I think there will be some really solid prospects. Maybe Devonte Wyatt, Trevor Penning, Travis Jones. Hell the way ILBers tend to fall, we may have our choice of Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd? (I agree I'd expect a CB or S before ILBer.)

I really like Christian Harris at the top of the 2nd round if we were to get Denver's 2nd round pick, but there should be 3 or 4 WRs who would look good in Green and Gold available in that slot too, and while I would love a top-flight ILBer, I think a speedy WR to pair with Love might be more important. Guess we'll find out though.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 07, 2022 at 05:17 pm

I know that wasn't directed at me, but....if we got the #9 pick and Fant in trade, I'd go the best DL or edge guy at #9 and the best WR at our own #28.

That would give us a stud front seven guy to pair with Clark and Gary, a young ascending TE to pair with Tonyan when he returns, and a 1st round WR to grow with Love. And we still have rounds 2 thru 7 to add players.

4 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 07, 2022 at 05:49 pm

LH,
Interesting read as always! Really appreciate the effort you put into your comments.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a DL, EDGE, or WR in round 1. However, there are too many unknown draft factors right now because of Rodgers and Adam's, so we will have to wait and see what happens after all that and FA to predict draft needs/selections.

I am very curious where the Packers think Jameson William's will be selected. Definitely blue chip with star talent should he stay healthy. Would he be available at 28 due to injury? I'm thinking he goes around #18 through #22. If the Pack get extra draft choices I'd be very excited to see them bundle a 2nd rounder to move up and snag him even if he isn't available until late in the season. dude is electrifying! Don't know we have ever had a big time WR similar to Jameson. Don't agree? Go look at his YouTube videos.

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 07, 2022 at 01:20 pm

Here is my take:
In 2020, the team like many others drafted a replacement QB for the future. Rodgers did not like that, or disliked how they did that without letting him know. Whatever, it changed the whole thing with Rodgers. The team changed their attitude to placate or however you want to say to please him. However you want to slice this, this doesn't happen in a sport with big egos. But I digress.

So now, the Pack hired Clemens probably to satisfy Rodgers. And I hear the team is showing interest in Von Miller. That can't happen if the team is over the salary cap. So expect the team to do all the pushing money to the future to:
1. Sign Rodgers
2. Sign Adams because Rodgers wants him
3. Have enough money to sign Von Miller and or Campbell and or Douglas.
4. Draft a WR in the 1st round.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 08, 2022 at 04:16 am

Preston Smith is one of the lynch pins in dealing with the cap. I don't think it is a coincidence that reports leak about GB's interest in Von Miller when the team is probably negotiating an extension with Preston Smith.

GB gets $12.5M with a release. On an extension, $6M to $8M.

Spotrac has Miller's value at 2 years, $21M, which seems low but he will be 33.

Player - PFF Tackles, Sacks, QB hits TFL Snaps
Miller: 88.7; 50 tackles; 9.5; 17 hits, 19 TFL, 764 snaps, age 33
Smith: 80.8; 38 tackles, 9.0; 17 hits, 9 TFL, 689 snaps, age 30

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Swisch's picture

March 07, 2022 at 04:57 pm

Trade Adams and Rodgers and Z. Use the money saved to sign all of the other guys already on the roster, including MVS, Turner, Preston, Campbell and Douglas.
In these trades, try to get a top tight end to help Jordan Love as a reliable pass catcher over the middle, and try to get as good of an interior defensive lineman as possible.
Fill in with the draft, including a wide receiver or two.
Start afresh for a new era in Green Bay, a re-Packing with an updated new look of enthusiasm.
There'll be a lot of guys with a lot of talent who'll want to show they can excel without Rodgers, and win without Rodgers. There'll be a new team spirit of egalitarian camaraderie.
Next season, the Packers win 10 games and make the playoffs.
After that, they're consistent contenders for the Super Bowl for at least a few seasons.
It's just that easy.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 07, 2022 at 05:51 pm

Swish, I had to do a double take as I almost thought I wrote your post word for word. High five!!! Nothing you say can I disagree with.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 07, 2022 at 09:09 pm

Problem is, they have to get nearly $20 million under the cap just to franchise tag Adams. They dont get anywhere near that without trading Rodgers and Z first. And nobody's going to trade for Z with his current salary. Im convinced theyre going to cut Z and let Adams walk which will basically guarantee Rodgers demands a trade. Its exactly what I would do if i was worried about blowback from the fans over trading Rodgers. Make him the bad guy so the fans will support the trade.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 08, 2022 at 04:20 am

I agree that the Packers could trade 2 of AR, DA and Z, but not all three. There just isn't the cap space. But Swisch's general idea is worth exploring.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 07, 2022 at 06:00 pm

"If Turner is back and Green Bay feels comfortable with Yosh Nijman playing right tackle if needed, Elgton Jenkins should return at some point, and David Bakhtiari will be starting; the Packers have to feel pretty good about where this position stands."

How do people feel about that group with Turner at $8 mil cap hit vs trading him for Dennis Kelly at a much lower number...say $2 mil? When I'm looking at the cap numbers, that's a trade I'd make. I just didn't see $6 mil of drop off to Kelly, It was far closer call.

-1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 07, 2022 at 07:40 pm

You’d save $4million by cutting Turner and then spend $2 million of that on Kelly?

IMO, that’s not a good move. We should keep Turner. He’s a dependable vet who has started at three positions for us. He’s an asset.

3 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 07, 2022 at 09:11 pm

Id let them both walk and move Royce Newman to right tackle. His skillset is far better suited to be on the outside anyways. He has an elite first step too which is perfect for the zone style run scheme they like to run. Oh, and hes extremely cheap which is huge right now.

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

March 07, 2022 at 07:36 pm

I’d try to trade down, but if I had to pick a guy at #9, I’d want a defensive front seven defender, and that would mean an Edge. Ojabo? Karloftis? I don’t see a DL worth taking at #9.

3 points
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BruceC1960's picture

March 07, 2022 at 08:32 pm

Jordan Davis?

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

March 07, 2022 at 09:16 pm

Ojabo would be an interesting pick but hes got a long way to go. No strength at the point of attack. Terrible edge setter. Entirely too dependent on speed. With a top 10 pick i would hope they could find a more complete player. Id either try trading up to #1 for Hutchinson or trade down.

2 points
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