Packers Will Compete Without Rodgers - They Have No Other Choice

The Packers can't be truly bad in 2023 or 2024 even if they want to.

The Green Bay Packers are entering a new era at quarterback, but the notion that they will be significantly less competitive over the next couple of years appears be false.

Due to the many rigorous kicks of the salary cap can by the Packers front office, the core of the current roster will almost forcibly be kept together for a while yet.

With nearly every veteran having had their contract restructured in some way, the reward for cutting or trading said contracts will be minimal until 2025.

Even after Aaron Rodgers’ trade to the New York Jets is confirmed, Green Bay is still set to have eight of their current high-priced veterans on the books in 2024. Those deals belong to:

  • David Bakhtiari - $40,583,017(!)
  • Kenny Clark - $27,490,000
  • Jaire Alexander - $24,364,000
  • Aaron Jones - $17,170,000
  • Preston Smith - $16,507,000
  • Elgton Jenkins - $14,500,000
  • De’Vondre Campbell - $14,407,000
  • Rasul Douglas - $11,600,668

Those deals add up to more than $166m against Green Bay’s cap, and while further restructures can certainly be implemented to reduce that number, getting rid of these contracts outright is not as beneficial as you might think.

Of course, some of these players would not be cut or trade candidates anyway. Alexander, Clark, and Jenkins are likely to be staples of the roster for years to come.

But let’s take Jones, Smith, Campbell, and Douglas, who will be entering their age 30, 32, 31 and 30 seasons respectively and would feasibly be vessels through which the Packers might hope to free up some cap space.

If Green Bay cut or traded all those players after the 2023 season and before June 1, 2024 -- which is the window that would allow them to actually use the savings to get under the cap and then sign free agents -- they would save less than $17m while taking on $43m in dead cap. Douglas is the only player who would provide more cap relief ($6.5m) than he would inflict dead cap ($5.1m).

The Packers could save $21.5m by cutting or trading Bakhtiari, which figures to be the team’s best avenue for creating cap space, but this would carry a whopping $19m dead cap hit as well.

For the most part, these savings just aren’t worth it, meaning the veteran nucleus of Green Bay’s roster is likely to remain intact until at least 2025, essentially killing the potential for a true rebuild any time soon.

To be clear, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While there is something to be said for being “all out” if you’re not “all in”, rebuilds are easier started than successfully finished, and it simply isn’t in Green Bay’s DNA to purposely not compete.

Keeping a strong roster around Jordan Love will only help in his transition to becoming the starter, as well as the front office’s evaluation of him. Gutekunst clearly believes Love is ready, and if that’s true, there’s no reason to tear down a roster which can still compete for the playoffs, especially considering Gutekunst's legacy in Green Bay is now tied to his hand-picked QB.

In 2025, Bakhtiari, Clark, Jones and Douglas will be free agents, and there will be more financial benefit to shedding the contracts of Campbell and Smith. That is likely the point where the Packers roster will start to look quite different.

But until then, your Green Bay Packers aren’t going to be outright bad, because to be honest, they haven’t given themselves the option.

-------------------------------------------------------

Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @MarkOldacres

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2 points
 

Comments (107)

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

March 19, 2023 at 06:49 am

It’s kinda hard to read this article. Black print on dark green background. Maybe that was the intention. “Dark days ahead”? As a fan I will remain hopeful while fully aware that there will be some rebuilding.

15 points
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Spock's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:31 am

I just highlighted the whole thing and then read it while highlighted.

5 points
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croatpackfan's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:50 am

Still hard to read.

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KenEllis's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:07 am

Compete for what exactly?

Another glorious NFC North crown?

Amazingly, the North looks as bad as ever.

So what.

The team is further away from competing for a Super Bowl than at any time during the 12-year drought.

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Untylu1968's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:28 am

If they won the superbowl every year, some of you clowns would still find something to bitch about!

5 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:46 am

Why do you have to call us clowns Ronald?

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PeteK's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:43 am

OK Eeyore, nobody is great but many teams are a good draft away from being solid playoff contenders.
--Bears are improving with a boat load of picks and cap space.
--Lions are a very competitive teams and with improvement could reach the playoffs easily.
--Vikes still have a solid team.
--Pack is listed as 8 youngest team in the NFL.

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KenEllis's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:05 am

"Pack is listed as 8 youngest team in the NFL."

So the Pack is competing for the YOUNGEST team in the NFL now?

Whoopee, TitleTown is back baby.

Let the other loser franchises compete for Lombardis while we go young.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:36 am

I would like your explanation how you suggest to compete for Lombardi with one wasted player eat 36% of cap space?

I would really like to know. Thank you.

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MainePackFan's picture

March 19, 2023 at 06:41 pm

croat, which player is eating 36% of our cap space?

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joefan's picture

March 20, 2023 at 03:16 am

If anything the Packers showed that they are okay not winning the Superbowl.

The 2019 off season was an aberration or at least it was as far as this organization was willing to go when they signed Zadarious Smith, Preston Smith, Billy Turner, and Adrian Amos within a few days.

I believed then that this organization was going to prioritize the final years of Rodgers career and create a new window for themselves. That isn't to say that Rodgers deserved another superbowl, but rather the organization didn't maximize its own opportunities to increase their superbowl winning odds while Rodgers was their QB. I think that for most of Rodgers career the Packers didn't do much with him and coasted on player personnel.

They have only had a top 10 defense a few times in Rodgers career.

They once went 43 games in a row from middle of the 2010 season all the way into the 2013 season where they didn't have a running back rush for 100 yards in a game. The running backs during these seasons were James Starks, Brandon Jackson, and Cedric Benson at one point in 2012. They eventually drafted Eddie Lacy in 2013 which helped, but also could've traded for Marshawn Lynch in 2010 who instead went to the Seahawks and helped rebuild their team. The same team which the Packers struggled against in the future.

They rarely signed free agents or made trades. Again Marshawn Lynch. This part is frustrating because Thompson signed amazing free agents like Charles Woodson and Ryan Picket, but it was too few and not often enough. He also signed Peppers, but I think that was only because the Bears released Peppers in such a way that it didn't cost the Packers a compensatory pick..Classic Packers ALWAYS obsessed with draft picks.

They also released too many of their own players after rookie contracts and instead opted to focus on cheaper options. Sometimes they got it right letting some guys go like Sitton and Lang, but some others they got really wrong like when they released Casey Heyward in 2016 only for Heyward to sign with the Chargers for a very inexpensive contract at about $5 million per season. The Packers really couldn't pay that? They instead opted to stay with Randall and Rollins at corner. Then in 2017 they released Micah Hyde who was one of the classic guys that this team is supposedly all about: a versatile guy who could play multiple positions and was their best punt returner in years. They let him go and instead focused on Clinton-Dix who was only on the team for another year and half before he got traded in 2018. Had they kept Hyde the safety position wouldn't have been such a disaster that it required a total reset in 2019.

I need to mention these things to add context to how the Packers operated for most of Rodgers career. I'm not saying that this is the worst organization in the NFL, but I don't think they would've had the same success without Rodgers. Notice how almost every time Rodgers was out with injury this team never won a game? The exception was when they had Matt Flynn. But in 2017 they lost almost every game without Rodgers.

Going back to the 2019 off season where they showed promise, they followed that up with 2020 which was a complete stinker in my humble opinion. After reaching Super Bowl contender status again, the Packers ignored their own window and the rest of the competition by drafting guys who wouldn't contribute for the 2020 season. Of course, these were Love, Dillon, and Deguara. Love would've never played except for injury. Dillon was a third string running back after Jones/Williams. And Deguara had an incomplete season because he tore an ACL week 3 and no one saw him again. Compare the Packers moves to the Buccaneers in 2020 who signed Brady and Gronkowski then drafted guys who started as rookies.

Of course, that would be the team that the Packers lost to twice including the NFC Championship. Every year under Gutenkunst/Murphy the Packers are the 2nd best team in the NFC except for 2022 where they finally fell off. They were never first place because the Packers have their own philosophy of balancing present with the future except 2020 was all about the future. They don't engage in the arms race with the rest of the NFL. If Brady didn't join the Buccaneers in 2020 then they probably would've been in the Superbowl. But the problem is that there is always another team prioritizing the present season while the Packers don't. That's why they keep losing in the playoffs.

At the same time, I can't reconcile what the Packers were doing in 2019 compared to 2020 and 2022. Of course, they were never going to spend as much money in 2020 as 2019 but they could've drafted guys who were impact players rather than projects like Love or Deguara. If the Packers also wanted to prioritize the future, it didn't make any sense to re-sign Rodgers last year whose contract is now a problem for the teams future.

Gutenkunst has this team in worse shape than at any point in the last 20 years. If they want to commit to Love fine, but then don't re-sign Rodgers to this massive contract that every team in the NFL knows is a problem. It seems like the Packers were wanting to have it both ways. Get the QB of the future and still win with Rodgers but then trade Rodgers at the last second when almost no teams want him anymore.

1 points
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Nate-1980's picture

March 23, 2023 at 05:37 pm

Joefan great post every word is truth, Gute is a horrible gm, I can’t fathom why people on here think he’s not sunk this team into obscurity with his incompetence .. Baffling, and downright dumb and contradictory moves with every decision.. This team is done, and it’s all his fault, I can’t wait for him to get canned.. I will rejoice and celebrate on that day..

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

March 19, 2023 at 08:26 pm

Yeah I thought I changed a setting or something on my phone.

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Mr_Bill_H's picture

March 19, 2023 at 07:11 am

TDDR

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NickPerry's picture

March 19, 2023 at 07:13 am

You know, when Ted Thompson was the GM, there were MANY times I was just plain pissed at the way he did things. He rarely used Free Agency, especially early, instead choosing to fill out or add to the rooster with UDFA. YES, I know he signed Woodson, and then Julius Peppers later, but there just weren't many to move the needle.

When I REALLY began to appreciate Ted was just before he retired and especially AFTER. I think the thing that made me appreciate Teds way was watching what the New Orleans Saints `did to their Salary Cap the last few years of Drew Brees career. Hell, the Saints are STILL working out of that mess. Ted Thompson just wouldn't blow up the teams future. He did take care of his own, but not at the price of the clubs future.

Under Gutekunst it's been a different story. Some blame Gute while others like myself blame Mark Murphy. I mean the problems started, really started once Murphy wanted to be involved. He wanted to do what Bob Harlon would have NEVER did when Ted or Ron Wolf was the GM. They wouldn't have stood for it and I'm glad they didn't.

You can say what you want about his drafts. Some of them have been pretty bad. But this last draft AND parts of others have been pretty damn good. Not getting Rodgers more weapons earlier in Gutes tenure was a HUGE mistake. But I'm also curious to see how everything fits together now, with Jordon Love as the QB, and the offense ran the way it's SUPPOSED to be ran. Wouldn't it be something if Degura all of a sudden FIT in this offense AND was a bigger part of it. Or Jones who already does, AND AJ Dillion started averaging 5 YPC while getting more touches. Or Jordon Love starts cutting up defenses with passes over the middle to EVERYBODY.

I still believe this is a good football team with MANY good young players to continue building around. I just saw something where they had the Packers finishing in 4th place in the NFC North. I'm telling you now it's NOT happening. The Packers WILL make the playoffs next year in Loves first season.

The Players listed above are a BIG reason why they'll make the playoffs. Just 3 of them are 30 or older, Campbell, Smith, and Bakhtiari. Aaron Jones is 29 and is EXPENSIVE. Whether they make it to the end of the 2024 season is anyone's guess. If Campbell plays like he did last season he could be gone after 2023. Douglas should be here the length of his contract, especially if he moves to Safety.

ALL OF THIS is a result of the Aaron Rodgers contract. In 2021 Rodgers had a pricey contract already. In 2021 his cap hit was over $27 million with almost $54 million in dead cap. In 2022 when the Packers FO lost their fucking minds giving a 38 year old QB $153 million dollar extension, you KNEW this wouldn't end well. Guess what..IT DIDN'T!

Rodgers is gone (almost) and the Packers will pay him $40 million not to play here, but it will be OVER after that. It may take a minute but I trust Gute, as long as Murphy stays the hell out of the way, to get the Packers back to where they belong...Competing for Superbowl's.

17 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

March 19, 2023 at 08:46 am

Awesome job NP!

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NickPerry's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:45 am

Thanks Knock!

-1 points
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Rebecca's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:07 pm

Jones is 28. Campbell is 29. Pro-football reference.com.

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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:02 pm

I believe he is referencing 2024 from the context of what he was addressing

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LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:34 am

"The Packers WILL make the playoffs next year in Loves first season."

I definitely think not with the current coaching staff but hope springs eternal.

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NickPerry's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:56 am

I think it will be tough but if you look at their schedule it's not that terrible. Granted they play the AFC West, but they also play the NFC South as well. Other than their own division they play the Steelers, Giants, and Rams. I say 11-6 or 10-7.

With that said I'm worried about the coaching staff too, especially the Defensive staff. I very curious to see how MLF coaches with Rodgers in New York though.

3 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:46 pm

I see 4 losses against the AFCW alone, 3-3 in the Division, and a Pitt loss and another from NYG or LAR. That's at least 8.

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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:06 pm

That wouldn’t surprise me. But then again what I think we win from this year is growth from Love, but also some of Watson, Doubs, Wyatt, Walker and others. How many take a step and how much of one while our cap recovers and we see what LaFleur/Stenovich/Barry can do with continuity? Could that squeeze us in? Yes. It’s also possible that Love could be a revelation and the three stooges nullify that. Anything real would require LaFleur and Love to be revelations and Barry to prove most wrong.

It won’t be dull. That’s for sure.

1 points
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murf7777's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:02 pm

Did you forget about your draft crush Toure? All pre-season and during the year you kept saying he is so good and MLF should be playing him. I lost count after 20 times.

There are many receivers like him in the NFL lingering on team's bench. That said, I hope he makes it, but he needs grooming. Speed alone doesn't make you a great WR in the NFL.

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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:53 pm

No. Did I need to list everyone? Melton too? Austin Allen? Tom? The other Walker …. Not all prospects will develop as hoped, as I said above, it is about how many do and how much they do. A lot of that has to do with opportunities and coaching, and that’s something else we need to see improve now.

Toure was not my draft crush. My late round want was taken just before him and is the guy who kept Melton off Seattle’s roster effectively. I had him as a 5th rounder, so I liked the value, but Toure was the guy who opened my eyes in camp with his play and capabilities.

Sometimes what a guy can do is what counts, not his draft position. The essence of coaching is to recognize that and give the guy a true chance to do it in anger. LaFleur preferred to ignore it and trot out 3 guys no longer in the roster. Since he was being thrown to by Love, I am excited to see if Toure can pick up where he left off. I also think Doubs’ early rapport with Love should rekindle fast too.

3 points
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NickPerry's picture

March 20, 2023 at 06:20 am

I agree with the division at 3-3 but I'm hoping for 4-2. I think they lose to the Chiefs, Chargers, maybe the Broncos but they'll trounce the Raiders. I think they'll lose to the Giants but in no way lose to Pittsburgh.

So even at 3-3 in the division and 1-3 in the AFC West, plus the a loss to the Giants that's 10-7. I'll take that in a minute for 2023. Especially with it being Loves first season and Joe Barry still the DC.

Get THROUGH 2023, gain the experience Love needs and the cap under control somewhat for 2024 is the goal.

-1 points
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Tundraboy's picture

March 19, 2023 at 08:29 pm

Thanks NP I needed that. Looking forward to seeing passes All over the field.Not just to the sidelines and behind the line

2 points
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joefan's picture

March 20, 2023 at 02:27 am

I agree with some of the first half, although it went off the rails for me in the second.

"Not getting Rodgers more weapons earlier in Gutes tenure was a HUGE mistake."

I agree with that, although getting Rodgers another receiver probably wouldn't meant not drafting Love, or trading a high pick for another receiver. I would've been okay with an alternate plan to pass on Love for another receiver because I wanted the packers to prioritize the present. But not everyone was. There was also the 2019 draft where the Packers could've drafted Metcalf then they could've still drafted Love in 2020. Instead the Packers have Savage who is nowhere near the same player as Metcalf. Overall the point still stands and this offense depended a lot on Adams/Jones to their own detriment.

"But I'm also curious to see how everything fits together now, with Jordon Love as the QB, and the offense ran the way it's SUPPOSED to be ran. "

I've seen this opinion intimated by many fans, and I don't agree that Rodgers wasn't running "the real" offense. The statistics do show that Rodgers used the middle of the field less than the sidelines, but what is actually wrong with that? I don't think it was an issue when the Packers won 13 games in the first three years of LaFleur's career. The Packers didn't have a good slot or possession receiver for many years. Randall Cobb came back in 2021 but he wasn't the same.

I hope Love has a good season but I see too many holes for this team to make the playoffs.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2023 at 05:48 am

This year is one to regroup and start to regain cap flexibility while Love and young players develop. It’s also one where we will see just how good LaFleur is offensively and in terms of personnel usage without the presence of Rodgers. If the story that Rodgers was the problem has any merit, we should see him blossom on both counts personally and his offensive coaches should benefit too. He will also be judged on his faith in Barry of course. If you are right, and the story was largely imagined, I would be surprised if LaFleur survives. So this will be a telling season of reappraisal, player growth and cap recovery. We could squeak into the playoffs, but the real upside is player and cap improvement and a clear opportunity to judge coaching acumen.

3 points
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joefan's picture

March 21, 2023 at 03:02 pm

My prediction is that it's a down year because I don't believe that Rodgers held back the offense.

That's never been true in his entire career. Any time Rodgers missed games the offense struggled. I think the only reason that people believe that now is because Rodgers is older and they also believe that Rodgers played favorites and didn't spread the ball around that much. I never saw anyone provide any explanation/evidence for how that is true or plausible. It was repeated on blogs/websites/twitter and taken as truth.

And even if Rodgers did throw more passes to certain guys there was probably good reason for it. Did anyone really want Amari Rodgers or Sammy Watkins getting more opportunities? Those were players under performed so bad that Gutenkunst released them during the season. That left Lazard, Watson, Cobb, Doubbs, and Toure as the receivers. Watson and Doubs were in and out of the lineup all year, but when they started games they got opportunities. Cobb only had 34 catches all year and he is supposed to be Rodgers favorite player yet Rodgers barely threw to him and he wasn't even featured in the offense. The truth is that Rodgers and LaFleur used the players who were available to their best ability.

LaFleur will again do the same thing but with Love. Except this season they are also losing Tonyan and Lazard too so they will have even less. Even if they draft some guys they will be rookies and probably struggle.

1 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

March 21, 2023 at 04:03 pm

So, you don't think Gutey will replace Lazard and Tonyan?

What if he drafts Johnston and Washington to replace them?

Washington is in GB today for a visit. No way he makes it to 45, so Gutey must be thinking of trading down or trading up. (Daniel Jeremiah has him rated at 22 Overall.)

1 points
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marpag1's picture

March 19, 2023 at 07:19 am

LOL.

I think the letters are black because even the article did not want to be read.

Lemme just get back to my March Madness. Nothing to see on the Packers front.

3 points
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splitpea1's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:12 am

I sure wish they would come up with a new lead broadcast team. Nantz is fine, but Rafferty is a little weird, and Grant Hill is almost unbearable because he says the same thing over and over. I'd rather have Dickie V. and if they need another Dukie, Jay Bilas is much better.

1 points
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marpag1's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:43 am

It seems like in every sport, no one ever likes the national announcers. The only announcers people like are their own local guys. Probably because the national guys can never really be informed about all the teams they cover, while local guys focus only on one or two.

0 points
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mrtundra's picture

March 19, 2023 at 07:52 am

I just hope we are competitive enough to sweep our division this season. Sweeping the Bears just isn't enough. Splitting with the vikings was hard to bear and losing the last three games we played with the Lions, should have left a really bad taste in our mouths. Yes, the Lions are ascending, but they are still the Lions. Screw the vikings. They may be the bottom feeders, in our division, this season.

3 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:30 am

I think the Vikings are set to be last place in the NFC North this year. They had a puzzling free agency (to say the least) and they have only 4 draft picks this year. I think the Lions likely win the NFC North this year. I am still unsure of who will finish second place, us or the Bears. We shall see.

4 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:45 pm

US...

Duh bares still suck...

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 08:24 am

In the NFL it’s hard not to have some good players on your roster unless you really work at it. The draft and cap work to try to spread talent around. That’s said, that small core doesn’t mean much in isolation. This league is one of very small differences. That’s why teams can rise and fall so quickly, if they manage to add the right talent in draft and FA with a big boost from health, and know how to use them.

My point? Sorry, I don’t agree that this core means anything more than that we have some good experienced pieces. Certainly I do not see that core as a guarantee of contention in any meaningful sense, just a kernel to build around. You need a number of players that should be 3 year quality fixtures around which to construct. By then our cap should be healthy enough to add more pieces and youth have developed around this core. In the meantime, the focus has to be developing talent.

2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:00 am

If the FO and coaching staff had a little job security I think this should be a depth draft. That is trade down, accumulate a few more picks and hope you make wise choices. I think they're a real crappy season away from cleaning house, especially if Love isn't good, so they should realize their seats are warm if not hot and I expect they'll act accordingly which probably won't be in the best interests of the team. The big question is does Murphy pick the successors or is it a full house cleaning.

As long as they beat the Bears twice for continuities sake I'll be happy. I'm already sick of hearing how their long cold winter is over.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:00 pm

It will be a very different Bears team, but we’ve seen that fail before. They are running with Fields it currently seems. That’s a gamble in itself.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:00 pm

Duplicate

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Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:00 pm

Duplicate

0 points
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Savage57's picture

March 19, 2023 at 08:44 am

WTF is it with the mystery of fonts? First it was the micro-sized type, now it's 'guess the text' dark-on-dark camouflage. It's your gig and you're the author, but you might wanna just give 12 or 14 point white copy on a dark background a rip if the goal is people actually being able to read what you publish.

10 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:56 pm

Wait...

You guys read the articles?

; P

2 points
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Oppy's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:00 am

Mark,

You have to stop submitting your articles in this format.

I don't know what the issue is, but the text is black, which is impossible to read against CHTV's dark green background.
Also, your font size is small compared to all other articles on the site.

Please, please, please.. you need to get in touch with Jersey Al and figure out a solution.
Your work goes mostly unread due to these issues.

11 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:36 am

It's a weekly thing, he either doesn't read the comments or doesn't care.

5 points
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Rebecca's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:10 pm

Needs to get their facts right also.

1 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:06 am

Could we get a CAPTCHA on this article, please? And, then display it as a slideshow. Thanks.

4 points
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stockholder's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:15 am

I'm disappointed in the Actions of Gutey.
You point to the core. I point to the Loses.
Bob Tonyan should have been re-signed.
And Lazard just wasn't that bad.
Lowrey and Reed leave a void.
And Now we spend on the unknown.
Whether it be draft picks, or dumping a great.
The odds to win support my argument.
And everybody knows the rest of League
has caught the packers.
I believe Gutey has created a team of paper
packers.
A constant revolving door with No Experience
in leadership, and regressing players.
It's Over. No matter how I look at it.
The Dooms Day is a GM Rebuilding.
And While the best laid plans can go astray.
The plan of showing his Love.
Can only lead us down the path of sorrow.
The cupboards are bare.
There.is No depth behind the starters.
He's created to many questions and holes.
Sorry but my belief is Gutey is
only waiting to spend money.
And how has that worked out when he had it?
" We Still had missing pieces, that brought us to Fire"

-14 points
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PeteK's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:03 am

While they were disappointing loses, even with all the whining from AR, it did lead us to two championship games.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:07 am

Don't go overboard on the Deletions. All of them were on my cut list. Lewis should have been gone 3 seasons ago. Tonyan is a receiver, but four guys in the top two rounds can replace him w/out missing a beat. The only thing holding the Packer offense back is LaFleur. The key, as usual, will be Gutedkunst Not blowing another Draft. Ergo the Depth issues dating to 2017. They padded a couple more years on his contract, but he either brings it home, or he goes along w/ the cheerleader. Murphy will squat in the "executive suite" w/ low-ball, plotting the next fiasco. Douglas will not give him the #13. He best try to secure two picks in 2023-24 and a three in 2023.
Competent GMs Reload and tune the machine. The newbie TEs will be Better. They are trained in the New Offenses. I would hope moving Bisaccia to Asst.HC will motivate LaFleur to design a 4th and Inches play that Must work. I would have Fired him after the Fake Punt from the Pack's own 30 yard line. They do not want to spend Money. They want to Clawback some CAP from the Rodger's contract refinancing, which THEY wrote and signed off.

1 points
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stockholder's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:29 pm

#15 Jaxon Smith Njigba. WR OSU A+. Replaces Lazard
#45 Felix Anudike-Uzomah Edge KS A+. Replaces Whitney Mercilus
#78 Keeanu Benton DL WI A- Replaces Reed
#116 Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomilinson CB TCU A+
#150 Kobie Turner DL. WF. B+. Replaces Lowrey
#170 Zack Kuntz. TE Old D A+. Replaces Lewis
#233 Stetson Bennett. QB Geo. A+ Back-up
#236 Hunter Luepke. FB. NDS. C+. replaces KUHN
#243 Daniel Scott S Cal. C+ Replaces Amos
#255 Noah Gindorff. TE. NDS. B+. Replaces Runyan
#258 Kevon Merriweather. S. Iowa. C+ Back-up ST
PFF Sim OverAll. A

0 points
2
2
jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:18 pm

Solid selections. The TCU corners were both good. Top end coaching. He reminds me of Jaire. You know I favor Felix and Benton. Smith-Njiba's only concern is his Injury history. What a trio along with Olave and Garrett Wilson. I still like Max Duggan in the sixth. He was the guy tossing to Johnston and Deruis Davis.

1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:34 pm

I went WR over TE. He can Catch.
Best Route runner.
I love Felix. And Nolan Smith (CM3)
I prefer Dexter over Benton. As you know.
Dexter is always gone. Benton Wasn't.
(Yet dexter is lower on the board. )
At some point they will have to take Qb.

-1 points
1
2
jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:33 pm

PFN
#21 Felix Uzomah Edge K-State
#31 Darnell Wright OT Tenn
#45 Cedric Tillman WR Tenn
#78 Sam LaPorta TE Iowa
#102 Keanu Benton DT Badgers
#149 Jake Bennett CB Maryland
#170 Rejzohn Wright CB Oregon State
#193 Max Duggan QB TCU
# 256 Ben Sims TE Baylor

1 points
2
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:51 am

I think the only thing left for you to do is go full Ayahuasca on us before your next comment. It could start sort of about the Packers, go on a William Burroughs long interlude and then slowly wind back to the Packers.

-1 points
1
2
jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:21 pm

I prefer Full Gonzo: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

2 points
2
0
Alberta_Packer's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:04 pm

Which version? The first with Bill Murray and Peter Boyle? Or the second with Johnny Depp and Benecio Del Toro?

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:39 pm

Naturally, The Live Experience, but Johnny Depp and Benecio were the best representation of the book. Terry Gilliam is a brilliant Director.

2 points
2
0
jurp's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:39 pm

"It's Over. No matter how I look at it."

Since you're of this opinion, may I suggest that you abandon us to our fate and join this site instead: https://www.ganggreennation.com/

I'm sure they'll welcome you with open arms, and you can spread the Rodgers love to an entirely new audience. My new Bonkers Scale will have to be put in mothballs, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Oh yeah, this post is a 7 on the Bonkers Scale. Might as well use it while I have the chance.

1 points
4
3
stockholder's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:35 pm

It's never over till it's over.
And there will be fall out from it.

2 points
4
2
HarryHodag's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Vacuum. Something you do to clean your floors. It also is an empty space inside of a barrier. It also is something the Packers can't do. They don't operate in a vacuum. Like the laws of nature, the Packers are subject to the laws of the NFL.
One of those laws is the salary cap. Since your hero, His Darkness, ate up much of it, there isn't any room left to resign those folks you imply were screwed up by the GM.
There is a nice space where your hero spent a few days contemplating life. It would be helpful for those with things that trouble their minds.

-1 points
2
3
stockholder's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:33 pm

They never gave him a chance to restructure his contract.
It's take your time till the press hangs you.
It was pure genius for the Rodger haters.
I just wanted to make it possible they keep him.
instead of letting the team go over the cliff with a Rebuild.
Everyone was like putty. But me.

-1 points
3
4
Oppy's picture

March 20, 2023 at 05:21 am

This team was going over the cliff with Rodgers.
This team just pulled the parachute. It will likely be a season of floating, but they will have their feet back on solid ground and be ready to run again soon enough.

Ultimately, the problem revolves around Murphy effectively making it impossible for the GM to do his job efficiently. When you you have Russ Ball structuring contracts and handling the cap seemingly without conferring the GM (or possibly taking directives from the president instead of the GM), and you had a QB demanding certain players be retained and the president overrides the GM to make it so, it can lead to major roster issues.

2 points
2
0
Since'61's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:30 am

This article points out that trading Rodgers (if it happens) will not solve all of the Packers problems. In this case specifically the salary cap problem for the Packers.

Yes, the Packers can compete for the next 2 seasons as the article claims but what does that mean? Reaching the playoffs via the wildcard or winning the division or finishing near .500 for the next 2 seasons. Four of the players mentioned in the article will be in their 30s for the 2023 season. Beyond that Bak, Alexander, and Jenkins already have significant injury histories. How will the Packers sign adequate depth if these players go down with injuries?

This is the real issue with the Packers' current salary cap, specifically signing vet FAs who can keep the team competitive if the core players are injured. While I agree that the Packers will be competitive, at least on some level, it will be at least two more seasons before the Packers become completely free from the current salary cap hell with or without Rodgers.

It could all turn out fine considering that Love will be learning how to be a starting NFL QB during the next two seasons. By 2025 the Packers could be ready to be serious contenders once again for the division title and an SB if Love works out and if Gute hits on the '23, '24 and '25 drafts.

The 2023 season will likely be an up and down season as Love gains experience and sharpens his skills as the Packers starting QB. The question will be how good will Love's supporting cast be for the next 2 seasons due to the Packers oppressive salary cap constraints?

The 2023 season will be Gute's 6th season as the Packers GM. And with 5 full seasons behind him he has brought us to the point of being competitive, whatever that means. It's not all of his fault, Murphy has his share of the blame for the current status of the Packers. Two more years of cap hell and Murphy and being competitive. Is that really good enough? Should the Packers be further along after 5 seasons of the current regime. After 5 seasons both Wolf and TT had the Packers in and winning Super bowls. Where is the current regime taking the team? Time will tell. Thanks, Since '61

5 points
5
0
Coldworld's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:05 am

We are already experiencing a period of change after a period of legitimate contention based on rosters. That period passed as it was financed by then future years. On the DL, at S and at TE, the guard is changing most obviously, but potentially we will see a new LT soon and the establishment of a RT immediately. We have a very young core of catchers to which we likely add youthful talent I suspect.

The generational change had begun, forced by age and cap and performance last year as well as Adams personal choice—-I still believe that he saw continuation as not sustainable for long—it will only be more pronounced this year and, of course, likely led by a different QB also learning and, if we are to be successful, a very different O from that seen last year.

As our cap recovers, and some of those youngsters become core players, so our path to contention may re-emerge. What our coaches show this year will play a big part in how long that may take and how significant that will be.

1 points
4
3
PeteK's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:15 am

We are currently # 4 in cap space, which includes 31 mill for AR. If we have to fork over another 10 in Rod trade, we will still be near the middle of the pack in space. Cap space to use in the second half of the season when good players become available could be of great help.

1 points
3
2
Oppy's picture

March 20, 2023 at 05:27 am

This team's cap hell is the result of a president telling his cap manager to try to hold together an aging, veteran team (at the expense of the future) around a QB who was failing to get it done in the biggest moments, while the GM was attempting to build a young core to grow around a young QB for the next decade plus.

Total train wreck. Much can be debated about Gutekunst's track record at the draft, but in general, he has been given a job to perform and has been undercut at every opportunity by Mark Murphy.

1 points
1
0
croatpackfan's picture

March 19, 2023 at 09:57 am

Why you do not try gold coloured letters? It will be easier to read and will be in arrangement with the colors on this page.

It is the last time I will comment on the black letter article. I have no interest in that.

4 points
4
0
Packers0808's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:02 pm

Gave it up and didn't even read it!

0 points
0
0
Swisch's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:13 am

I'm one of those old guys who is taken aback when a fast-food cheeseburger costs $6, and one at a restaurant (albeit with fries) $16 -- plus what's with $12 or so for a mixed drink!?!
With that said, Bakh's salary seems enormous, especially when you can get almost three Elgton Jenkins for the same price.
Similar with Jaire at $24 million: Is he really worth more about two Rasuls?
***
I don't want total rebuilds, but gradual ones, with the Packers at least able to compete for a wild card spot each season, and on the way to better.
Also, I want to be generous with our players, but am reluctant to make them highest-paid at their position.
I'm thinking it may be time for some new thinking about putting together a roster, in which players realize that all of their teammates have to get paid, as well.
I want the Packers to use up all of the salary cap, but perhaps better distributed among players.
I like keeping the guys we already have who have performed at a high level for the Packers -- rewarding them with ample second contracts (not so much third ones) -- but at some point of salary it seems better to allow them to leave, with best wishes.
This might mean focusing the first four rounds of the draft on players who are ready to play in the NFL, waiting until the later rounds to pick any projects.
It also might mean more emphasis on middling free agents who are more affordable but perhaps ready to take a step up in their game, while also looking for unheralded guys like Douglas and Campbell (perhaps Melton at WR) who are underappreciated elsewhere.
***
These are tough considerations for good discussion in figuring out this challenge of roster building.
The Packers do have to keep up with the times somewhat, but also to resist crazy owners who drive up the price for players with outrageous deals.
The Packers have to have a vision, and to convey it to the players and the fans.
Again, let's be generous with players, but the ones who are primarily chasing the money can go to other teams.
Then there are ones like Aaron Jones who may rightfully be somewhat overpaid, but are well worth the price because of high character, excellent past performance, and continuing exceptional skills (in his case both rushing and receiving, plus dynamic breakaway ability).
It seems roster building is a combination of science and art, dollars and common sense, stats and personal integrity.

-4 points
4
8
Bitternotsour's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:29 pm

In answer to your questions. Yes. Bakhtiari is the best left tackle in football, Jenkins is a nice player, a top interior, but Bakh is the best.

Yes again, Jaire is worth at least two Rasuls unless of course we are allowed to line up both Rasuls and defend with 12 men. Jaire is at least twice the player Rasul is, hence Rasul being signed off a practice squad.

Both Bakhtiari and Alexander are paid the market rate for being the best at what you do. I'm a little happier to pay Jaire, because he's still young.

2 points
4
2
Swisch's picture

March 19, 2023 at 05:31 pm

A thumbs up from me, Bitternotsour, for a good provoking of thought, although I am not yet convinced.
I appreciate your persuasive comment as adding significantly to the discussion, and look forward to it continuing over time with possibly yourself and anyone else who may want to join in.
Further discussion may include the consideration of the injuries of Bakh and Alexander; how well they could be replaced through the draft; and if even in their high level of achievement on the field, whether they take up too much of the salary cap to properly fill other positions on the team.

-1 points
1
2
Alberta_Packer's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:25 am

I'm setting my expectation thermostat on low this coming season. So far there has been more subtractions from last year's team than additions - while the rest of the team and management remains static. With Rodgers prolonged and histrionic method of decision-making - it more than less knocked GB out of the free agent market - so replacement parts will have to be cheap (quantitatively and qualitatively). Also the team has to be remediated and renewed - which is a big ask - considering we're starting an unproven QB - with a small war chest and some coaching concerns. Frankly, I would be pleased with a .500 season and the emergence of Love as a starting NFL QB. Also other little surprises - especially players who have taken the second year leap. Speaking of pleasant little surprises - Lowry has been signed by the Vikings - so an 'addition by subtraction'!

5 points
7
2
LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:44 am

I'd feel a little bit better about the season if they had replaced Barry with a fiery DC that would take advantage of the talent on the defense. As it is I expect them to once again be near the bottom of the league vs the run and overall be bottom half of the league in DVOA. They have holes to fill with some departures so if some rookies aren't ready to play it could easily be worse.

1 points
5
4
jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:25 am

If they want to stop the run, they may have to draft Noah Sewell.

2 points
3
1
Alberta_Packer's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:54 pm

Certainly their capacity to run stop has lessened because the Packers also lost Jarran Reed.

4 points
4
0
jannes bjornson's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:48 pm

Reed is more of the pass rush, 3 tech, but he had the forced fumbles and brought it when given his reps. I would have kept him for fair value. Wyatt takes his spot.

6 points
6
0
Alberta_Packer's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:49 pm

Yes, Barry is one of the several achilles heels on this team.

5 points
5
0
Packers0808's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:05 pm

Keeping Barry is still getting me slivers under my fingernails from scratching my head!

4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

March 20, 2023 at 05:57 am

In a sense keeping Barry may be a good thing in the long term. LaFleur has really staked his reputation on that decision, especially following in the heels of the Drayton debacle and Gray’s departure due to philosophical differences over Barry’s d heme and tactics. Either he’s right or he’s the real problem. It would have been very easy to jettison Barry. LaFleur refused. The situation is set up to provide a very clear example of whether LaFleur is competent as an evaluator key coaching talent.

0 points
0
0
PackyCheese500's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:31 am

To the Vikings, signing Lowry was like subtraction by addition

3 points
3
0
Alberta_Packer's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:23 pm

I really don't understand the Vikings habit of signing released or free agent Packers players. It's as if their pro scouts all have ankle bracelets - which restrict their legal movements. Or that they can only redeem their Arby's vouchers in 2 or 3 participating states.

6 points
6
0
Bearmeat's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:27 am

Beating a dead horse here, but the Packers really screwed up not blowing up the team after 2021 and starting the rebuild then. Most of those vets you're talking about above were restructured after the 21 season to fit in Rodgers GINORMOUS contract. I think Gute has acknowledged as much saying things like "We'll probably restructure everyone as much as possible." at the combine.

That said, I don't think the team will be truly bad, and I think a wild card is possible. They'll certainly be better than the Bears and possibly the Vikings. I honestly would be fine with a 4-13 season or two as long as Love shows promise.

5 points
9
4
Packers0808's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:06 pm

I actually have beliefs the Pack will be like 10-7 next season or better!

2 points
4
2
Qoojo's picture

March 19, 2023 at 10:33 am

Based on title since it is too dark to read, yea, they still have to show up and play the games to get paid. It's called a job.

6 points
6
0
PackyCheese500's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:27 am

Cutting Bakhtiari will save 21m in 2024. With the emergence of Zach Tom, I strongly believe that 2023 will be Bakhtiari's last year as a Packer. Cutting P. Smith post J1 in 2024 will save us 12m. That should be enough to pay for the 2024 draft class and give us our little in-season piggy bank.

I am of the opinion that Campbell will prove that 2021 was an outlier this season and be cut in 2024 (or, we could target ILB in the draft and trade him post-June first for modest cap savings for 2023 and 2024. As for Jones, I don't know whether he will be cut or restructured. I would be fine with either, providing he does not regress. Cutting him in 2024 would save about 4m. I believe that Kenny will be extended during the 2024 season or in the offseason before 2024.

Personally I would keep Douglas through 2024. At worst, he is an above-average CB2, and he makes some spectacular plays sometimes. I believe he and Alexander combined for the most interceptions by a Cornerback duo in the NFL last season. Maybe we extend him for one or two seasons.

I doubt that the veteran nucleus of the team looks the same in 2024 as it does this year. Contrary to the implications of the article, there are multiple ways to get ourselves cap space in 2024 by cutting veterans, mainly Bakhtiari.

We also have to realize that trading Rodgers frees up an enormous amount of cap space in 2024. We also have to consider Gary's extension.

3 points
4
1
Bearmeat's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:35 pm

I'd personally be all for moving 69 to the Jets with 12 for an additional 1st rounder...

3 points
6
3
PackyCheese500's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:27 pm

I would also, but that would require us to take on 16m in dead money from trading Bakhtiari. Once he was restructured, I knew he was going to stay. Would have liked to get an extra pick for him (also since the Jets need a LT.

1 points
2
1
PeteK's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:47 am

While slightly annoying, one click of the zoom solved the problem, and I'm 67. Then again how trustworthy am I since I believe if the Pack has another draft very similar to last years, they'll be playoff bound in 2023.

4 points
4
0
TarynsEyes's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

The NFC competitive bar is a little low compared to the AFC, so it isn't much of an ask to be competitive from the Packers. If Love has what has been bravado'ed, then the NFC shouldn't be difficult to look like he has the 'IT' factor. It's not like he has 5 Top 5 QB's to contend with in the NFC. The NFC QB bar can't be much lower overall.

7 points
8
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 19, 2023 at 11:55 am

Look at that, a beacon of light from the dark one!

Are you ok?

0 points
3
3
TarynsEyes's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:20 pm

Is it really, a 'beacon of light' if it can't/doesn't shine against the AFC, or the two known better QBs in the NFC, Hurts and Carr, at the moment, with Prescott at his heels, with none being Top 5 and one a Top 10 'legit' QB.

2 points
3
1
Bitternotsour's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:32 pm

My only fear is that he hasn't made it through a season. If he's healthy for 17 games I anticipate really good QB play. I'm less confident in the coaching.

2 points
2
0
PackyCheese500's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:30 pm

Jalen Hurts is the only elite QB in the NFC. The second-best ones are probably Geno Smith and Brock Purdy. Dak Prescott, Derek Carr, Kirko Chainz, Danny Dimes, and Jared Goff are decent. Justin Fields, Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder, and Matthew Stafford are all wild-cards for 2023. Kyler Murray won't play for half the season (at least) because of his ACL. Then there's the underwhelming veterans like Andy Dalton and Baker Mayfield

-1 points
1
2
Rebecca's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:03 pm

“But let’s take Jones, Smith, Campbell, and Douglas, who will be entering their age 30, 32, 31 and 30 seasons respectively and would feasibly be vessels through which the Packers might hope to free up some cap space.“

Wrong: Aaron Jones will be 29 in December, Preston Smith will be 31 in November, De’Vondre Campbell will be 30 in august, and Rasul Douglas will be 29 in august. (Pro-football reference)
I don’t know where you got your age facts from or where did you get your cap savings figures from? Sorry.

9 points
10
1
Heyward's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:26 pm

THe Packers can absolutely be truly bad in 2023 and 2024. In fact, that's pretty much a certainty if Jordan Love doesn't play well at quarterback.

0 points
3
3
HarryHodag's picture

March 19, 2023 at 12:43 pm

The Packers won't win the Super Bowl next year. But they might be fun to watch anyway.

7 points
9
2
PeteK's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:14 pm

Improvement, even if mediocre, from the O line on its late season surge could go a long way to increasing Love's success and fan fun. Bak and Nijman health and a slight development of Tom, Myers and a host of other young vets and rookies could be a very reasonable expectation.

1 points
1
0
Swisch's picture

March 19, 2023 at 02:12 pm

I'm excited about watching the Packers in 2023 with Love as a starter.
I wouldn't expect, but would hope for, at least 9 wins.
A lot depends on how well LaFleur and Barry learn from all of their past experience. Maybe they put it together to elicit the best of their players.
Another area up for grabs, so to speak, is wide receiver and tight end, as well as running backs as pass catchers. I'm excited about Watson, Doubs, Toure, and Melton, but at this point they are mostly about potential.
This brings us to Love, and whether he steps up along with coaches and players to develop as much as possible a disciplined and diverse offense, which outsmarts opposing defenses with an illusion of complexity and picks the right spots to take the deep shots.
Lots of talent on the Packers on both sides of the ball -- to be enhanced by the upcoming draft -- so it seems the key is coaching and commitment, effort and enthusiasm.
While expecting some ups and downs from a young team with a new quarterback, I'm hoping there is considerably more of the ups.
The Packers of 2023 are not great in talent, but not terrible, and seemingly very good overall -- with a nice mix of youth and vet -- which means hope, good drama, and the possibility of an exciting and upbeat season.
***
P.S. I'm wondering if there are any wide receivers or tight ends with the Jets who could help the Packers for the next few seasons, and who could be included to allow the Jets to keep their top draft pick while still giving the Packers a solid return for Rodgers.
The Jets with Rodgers would have to be going all-in for the next season or two, so it doesn't seem reasonable to ask for their first-round pick this year or next.
What could work is including Bakh in a trade to the Jets with Rodgers, then getting back a second-round pick, a player or two, and maybe a fourth-rounder.
I'm hoping early this week for the deal to be done as a win-win. With a couple of these wrinkles, it seems the fan bases for both teams could overlook the disconcertingly annoying delay because of added features to the trade that look good each side.
***
P.P.S. Kudos to Wisconsin basketball with two wins now in the NIT, and here's rooting for Marquette later this afternoon to make the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA.
I miss football, but as with most things in life, the break makes it better for the return.
I guess that's part of the reason for lent, as well.
God bless to all.

-1 points
2
3
jurp's picture

March 19, 2023 at 05:14 pm

I'd like to get Elijah Moore from the Jets, but don't see that happening unless Rodgers can extort them into signing Cobb.

2 points
3
1
pack69go's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:03 pm

I think the Packers should trade Bak some time this season, I think a #2 pick would be reasonable, Hy reason is to get this his contract off the books. I think we have enough young talent on the OL to be good and maybe draft another T, point is get rid of as many of these expensive contracts with older players to clear cap space and get a draft pick to build for the future, while still giving Love enough talent to develop and have a fair evaluation of his play.

4 points
5
1
BirdDogUni's picture

March 19, 2023 at 03:29 pm

Idk what will happen, but it seems like a trade before the deadline might be something Gutey considers. It may depend on who we draft, where we draft them, and his development before the trade deadline.

While am am hopeful Rasheed Walker and Caleb Jones show massive improvements this year, I'm certainly not counting on it. Also might depend on if someone signs Yosh Nijman to an offer sheet we aren't able to match?

We'll have more info after the draft and certainly by the time the season starts. If we end up with 10 or more draft picks, I'd expect at least two to be OL.

4 points
4
0
Rebecca's picture

March 19, 2023 at 01:11 pm

The Green Bay Packers are entering a new era at quarterback, but the notion that they will be significantly less competitive over the next couple of years appears be false.

Due to the many rigorous kicks of the salary cap can by the Packers front office, the core of the current roster will almost forcibly be kept together for a while yet.

With nearly every veteran having had their contract restructured in some way, the reward for cutting or trading said contracts will be minimal until 2025.

Even after Aaron Rodgers’ trade to the New York Jets is confirmed, Green Bay is still set to have eight of their current high-priced veterans on the books in 2024. Those deals belong to:

David Bakhtiari - $40,583,017(!)
Kenny Clark - $27,490,000
Jaire Alexander - $24,364,000
Aaron Jones - $17,170,000
Preston Smith - $16,507,000
Elgton Jenkins - $14,500,000
De’Vondre Campbell - $14,407,000
Rasul Douglas - $11,600,668
Those deals add up to more than $166m against Green Bay’s cap, and while further restructures can certainly be implemented to reduce that number, getting rid of these contracts outright is not as beneficial as you might think.

Of course, some of these players would not be cut or trade candidates anyway. Alexander, Clark, and Jenkins are likely to be staples of the roster for years to come.

But let’s take Jones, Smith, Campbell, and Douglas, who will be entering their age 30, 32, 31 and 30 seasons respectively and would feasibly be vessels through which the Packers might hope to free up some cap space.

If Green Bay cut or traded all those players after the 2023 season and before June 1, 2024 -- which is the window that would allow them to actually use the savings to get under the cap and then sign free agents -- they would save less than $17m while taking on $43m in dead cap. Douglas is the only player who would provide more cap relief ($6.5m) than he would inflict dead cap ($5.1m).

The Packers could save $21.5m by cutting or trading Bakhtiari, which figures to be the team’s best avenue for creating cap space, but this would carry a whopping $19m dead cap hit as well.

For the most part, these savings just aren’t worth it, meaning the veteran nucleus of Green Bay’s roster is likely to remain intact until at least 2025, essentially killing the potential for a true rebuild any time soon.

To be clear, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While there is something to be said for being “all out” if you’re not “all in”, rebuilds are easier started than successfully finished, and it simply isn’t in Green Bay’s DNA to purposely not compete.

Keeping a strong roster around Jordan Love will only help in his transition to becoming the starter, as well as the front office’s evaluation of him. Gutekunst clearly believes Love is ready, and if that’s true, there’s no reason to tear down a roster which can still compete for the playoffs, especially considering Gutekunst's legacy in Green Bay is now tied to his hand-picked QB.

In 2025, Bakhtiari, Clark, Jones and Douglas will be free agents, and there will be more financial benefit to shedding the contracts of Campbell and Smith. That is likely the point where the Packers roster will start to look quite different.

But until then, your Green Bay Packers aren’t going to be outright bad, because to be honest, they haven’t given themselves the option.

6 points
7
1
Lphill's picture

March 19, 2023 at 07:13 pm

Joe Barry is the new Maurice Drayton he will cost this team and Love needs all the support he can get at this point .

1 points
1
0
joefan's picture

March 20, 2023 at 02:13 am

While I appreciate winning to losing and tanking, this situation looks like one where the Packers don't have a lot of choice rather than management maintaining a commitment to winning. As the article says, there's little benefit cutting/trading any of these players with a total savings of $17 million. Gutekunst could then replace all of them with rookies or low priced free agents which even going at the cheapest options would still leave maybe $7-10 million left. An entire draft class costs about $10 million. So the Packers probably won't cut or trade many of them.

What I get out of this situation is that the Packers are kind of stuck for next couple years unless they get a salary cap boost when Rodgers contract is off the spreadsheets. But that won't happen unless they trade Rodgers before June of this year.

The reason I'm skeptical about this core roster is that the defense is still very mediocre. They now have 4 expensive players on defense with Clark, Alexander, Campbell, and Douglas and the results aren't very good.

They're also losing another receiver this off season as Lazard signed with the Jets. I was never high on him, but he was still the best receiver in 2022. Watson and Doubs will have to step up even more now.

The current roster just doesn't inspire much hope in me. The offense might regress again because Lazard and Tonyan both left via free agency. Lewis became a free agent too. Still unsigned but not coming back probably. The receiver position is still being re-worked and they are doing a complete reset at tight end.

Going back to the defense, even in the 13 win seasons, they weren't very good. They finished 2021 with a good playoff game, but the actual regular season was bad. For the last 7 games of the 2021 season, they were last in many defensive categories like passing tds allowed and rushing yards. They weren't very good again in 2022 and I don't see how they will be in 2023.

The only area of improvement I see is on special teams ironically because that is the one area that the Packers were so bad at for years.

I mean I hope for the best. But this is what the Packers have for 2023:

Assuming the Packers close a trade at some point with Rodgers, Jordan Love is the first year starter.

The offensive line is okay, probably the strength of the offense now.

The running backs are decent.

The receiver position is mediocre and depleted.

Tight end is nonexistent

Defense is mediocre and probably losing Amos. The Packers already re-signed low priced guys like Ford and Moore from the 49ers. From what I've read, Moore played mostly on special teams last year. Amos is probably done because of this signing and they have little money anyway.

Of course, free agency isn't done and the draft hasn't happened yet. But realistically, how many good players are they going to get from the draft? If they got super lucky maybe 3 starters. That won't be enough to cover the holes and get the Packers back into the playoffs. Not to mention, while this article argues that the Packers are trying to win, I wouldn't be surprised if Gutenkunst picks a bunch of project players because even he probably doesn't see this team winning anything. We'll see what happens but the Packers have picked a bunch of guys in recent years who were complete no shows for their rookie season. Gary, Dillon, Degaura (injury), and Wyatt had little playing time as rookies.

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SinceLombardi's picture

March 20, 2023 at 10:46 am

I don’t see them as a .500 team in 2023. The coaching makes a huge difference in the NFL, and the Packers are hurting in that department. Even if Jordan Love turns out to be a pleasant surprise at QB, we are questionable at WR. Our best WR has iffy hands and seems fragile.
The defense is led by a poor position coach that has never accomplished anything. The kicking game is suspect ( and we will need a strong kicker for close games)
The biggest positive I see would be a house cleaning and fresh start in 24 if this ends up as a four or five win season.

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