The Packers Are At A Crossroad

Coming off a disappointing 8-9 campaign in 2022, this offseason is a pivotal one for the Packers.

For the first time under head coach Matt LaFleur, the Green Bay Packers watched the playoffs from home. While it is certainly no easy feat to be one of the 14 NFL teams to play beyond the regular season, the Packers constructed their roster for the 2022 season to be “all in.” In other words, they expected to not only make the postseason, but to compete for a Lombardi Trophy, which they obviously fell well short of. So will general manager Brian Gutekunst & Co. go “all in” again in the 2023 season? If so, what does “all in” look like? If not, can the Packers make enough moves during the offseason, in addition to developing the talent they currently have on the roster, to find themselves back in the postseason next year? 

The Rams went “all in” by acquiring top-end talent, such as All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey and quarterback Matthew Stafford, in exchange for high round draft picks, and it worked – at least for a year – as they were crowned Super Bowl champions. But, now, they are left without a first round selection, which would have been in the top 5 had they kept it, and as shown in the above chart, do not have a lot of wiggle room in terms of cap spending nor do they have a lot of draft capital.  

The 49ers, to a degree, went “all in” this year by acquiring star running back Christian McCaffrey at the trade deadline for three 2023 picks (2nd, 3rd, and 4th round selections) and a 2024 fifth-round pick. So far, so good for San Francisco. The team has won 11 games in a row and are certainly one of favorites to not only make it to the Super Bowl, but to win the Super Bowl. To boot, McCaffrey has accumulated 1,346 total yards and 12 touchdowns since joining the team in Week 7. However, they are one of the few teams to be in “Cap Hell” while also not having a lot of draft capital. 

The Saints went “all in” with Drew Brees toward the back end of his career and I will put it to you straight: it did not work out at all. Failed with flying colors, actually. Sure, they advanced to the playoffs but only made it to the conference championship once during their “all in” process and are now firmly entrenched in cap hell. New Orleans is $60-plus million OVER the cap in terms of effective cap space, the worst in the NFL. The Saints also have a bleak future at the quarterback position and do not own a first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

The Dolphins went “all in” this season as they were aggressive on the trade market by acquiring wide receiver Tyreek Hill during the offseason and edge rush Bradley Chubb during the season. Sure, they made the playoffs, albeit as a No. 7 seed, and could have made some noise (and had a better seeding) if Tua was healthy for the entire regular season and played in their lone postseason game, but they are now saddled with minimum draft capital and are almost $20 million over the cap in terms of effective cap space. 

That brings us to the Packers. As you can see, they are designated as a “Cap Hell” team. I’m not a mathematician, but that is an area on the graph that you would like to avoid as they are almost $20 million over the cap in terms of effective cap space. Based on my knowledge of the NFL cap, you can only kick the can down the road so many times because, at some point, the bill becomes due. 

Thus, will the Packers continue to kick the can down the road and run it back next year with almost the same squad as 2022 (plus the 2023 draftees)? If it were up to QB Aaron Rodgers, that would be the plan because it seems like he wants the team to bring back Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Robert Tonyan, David Bakhtiari, and Marcedes Lewis at a minimum, all of whom are either free agents or have contracts that the Packers could ditch to free up some cap space. 

The Packers could do as QB1 wishes and bring back the aforementioned players, hope to hit on the draft the way that the Saints did in the 2017 draft or the way that the Seattle Seahawks did in last year's draft in order for the Packers to be back as Super Bowl contenders, and then sign some under-the-radar, cheap free agents — like they did when they signed linebacker De'Vondre Campbell in 2021 and defensive tackle Jarran Reed in 2022 — and hope they pan out as valuable contributors.

Alternatively, they could trade Rodgers and start a slight rebuild, giving the keys to Jordan Love to see whether he has what it takes to be a quality (and certainly above that) starting quarterback in the NFL and, at the same time, position themselves to get back on the right track in terms of the cap. Or the Packers could keep Rodgers but not do as he wishes and only bring back players that they believe will help them compete for the Lombardi Trophy, while still putting an emphasis on the draft and potential under-the-radar, cheap free agents. 

Either way, Gutekunst and Packers cannot afford to take another step back by way of missing the playoffs again next season, which is why the 2023 offseason may be the most important one in quite some time. 

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Rex is a lifelong Packers fan but was sick of the cold, so he moved to the heart of Cowboys country. Follow him on Twitter (@Sheild92) and Instagram (@rex.sheild). 

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Comments (78)

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:16 pm

Rex, you asked valid questions in your article.

If we will go to the history of the franchizes that decided to go all in for several years, Rams were the only franchize that was able to win SB after prolonged period of trading future for immediate success. Tampa gfBay had already quality roster, so their "all in" was short term, they won SB title, but after just 2 seasons they are already in cap hell. Who knows how many years they will throw through window until they will be contender once again.

Packers already doing that "last dance" atempts for 3 seasons and it looks like they are alreabdy out of contention for SB, no matter ACR will be back or not.

In contrary to Saints I would say that Packers need to stop this madness and start to look to future, step by step improving roster to win SB without pushing them to the cap hell. "All In" type of building the roster is short term success and long term pain. That is stupid.

Thank you!

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marpag1's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:25 pm

On a somewhat related note, I've never been a fan of Joe Namath... until today.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/joe-namath-says-aaron-rodgers-can-wea...

Go get 'em, Joe!

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Since'61's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:20 pm

Way to go Broadway Joe! Nobody can throw like Broadway Joe!!! Thanks, Since '61

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mnbadger's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:34 pm

We're all-in at a few positions: LT, LG, NT, CB1 and last but most certaninly NOT least is qb1. The rest of the roster I'm guessing is middle of the road mix of rookie contracts, fairly cheap veterans and a couple of bad contracts. I'm looking at you DL94.
Super bowls are usually won by teams with inexpensive QB's.
That is the place we need to make changes. Making that trade with any amount of draft picks in return would instantly move us from top left of the chart to the top right. That's where we want to be every offseason.
Three of the teams in that quadrant were in the playoffs this year, which is even better.
What a dreamer I am?
GPG!

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harleycops's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:43 pm

Bowing to the whims and wishes of A.R. does not make this team better. It only makes them older. A.R.'s annual refusal to work with young WR and missing mini-camps until mandatory training camp says he wants the dough, but doesn't want to mix the ingredients. Guter & LaFloozy have to get him some weapons too after letting Lewis, Cobb, & Lazard go. And then there's Joe Poisonberry. Pack should squash him now and get Leonard in the DC fold. Those are some of the stop signs I see as the Pack are at the crossroad!

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:38 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if Leonhard takes a year off or goes to some other college program like USC. Since MLF made the stupid decision to retain Barry, hopefully we can get Leonhard next year as DC (along with a new head coach!!!)

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Bure9620's picture

January 20, 2023 at 12:51 pm

I have defended this front office often over the the years but I simply do not understand this plan. When Love was drafted, I said he WILL be the starter at some point, I predicted 2 years at the time. Well, after 2 they threw a ridiculous amount of money at Rodgers and here we are. Let's be clear, Aaron Rodgers is not a $50 Million QB anymore. It is time to blow it up. But we are now headed to having a diva overpaid, past his prime QB making $50 million while a first round draft pick rides the bench and we go "All-in" after an 8-9 "All-in" season. There is a chance Gute has really effed this up.

Honestly I would trade Rodgers, even if for only 1 first round pick....What team will take on that contract for a nearly 40 year old QB now?? They made him essentially untradeable. WTF.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:15 pm

I think Gutekunst recognized that retaining Rodgers would stain the franchise’s future and wanted to trade him, but Mark “we’re not stupid” Murphy was likely the initiating force behind Rodgers’ return.

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ricky's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:25 pm

There is no team that is going to give the Packers a first rounder, and take on his contract. I'd gladly say goodbye to AR for a third or fourth (there could be some upgrades built in for making the playoffs, winning a SB, etc.). But even then, it seems likely the Packers would not only have to take the $40 million dead cap hit, but probably would have to keep some of Rodgers contract if he decided to retire after one year.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:55 pm

I'd take a cup of coffee for Rodgers as long the Packers get out from under that massive mistake of a contract. Cap relief is the primary objective, anything else is gravy at this point.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2023 at 07:55 pm

Guam, if there is no financial advantage to trading Rodgers, then why peddle him for a cup of coffee? I'm not sure, but my understanding is that if he plays for us or somebody else or doesn't play at all......we're still on the hook for roughly the same amount of dough?

I hope I'm wrong on that. If I'm not, it's a question of what you would realistically take for him, and what would be realistically offered.

My Theory is that Rodgers and the Packers will agree to a mutually acceptable exit and hand him a golden parachute,.The size of that chute might be affected by where he's going to land, and he's got plenty of money, so we might (hopefully) get some relief. Not a lot, I still think it's $40 million, but maybe a little.

I'm kind of with you on this though. Tired of the drama. Anything we could get for Rodgers would be a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 21, 2023 at 09:14 am

You are wrong, thank God. If ACR decide to retire or accept trade, Packers will owe him 40.3 mill $ for 2023. And nothing else. If ge retire or be traded after June, 1st, Packers will owe him ~60-65 mill $ for 2023 and the rest for2024 & 2025.

Everything is in connection to signing bonuses. If you do not sign player there is no signing bonuses. That is how it is.

If ACR stays on team Packers will owe him ~31 mill $ and if he plays all other incensitives from contract. If he retires after end of the 2023 Packers will owe him ~90 mill $ that can be split between 2024 & 2025 season.

That is what I got from explanation by one NFL player agent on "locked-on-Packers" podcasr made vy Peter Bukowski.

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Guam's picture

January 21, 2023 at 10:18 am

Croat answered your question LH and I agree with his analysis. I think the savings are around $19 million in 2023 ($59.5 mil contract minus $40.3 mil dead money), but there are even larger savings in 2024 and 2025 since the Packers avoid that $90 million millstone in the out years. Whatever the Packers get above that is gravy although it would certainly be nice to get some draft choices. Just not sure what another team would pay given they also get that huge contract.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 21, 2023 at 09:52 am

I think two seconds and a fourth is a fair return for Rodgers.

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:04 pm

I can't believe the front office blatantly ignored your statements and predictions like that.

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:04 pm

I can't believe the front office blatantly ignored your statements and predictions like that.

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MooPack's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:09 pm

Don’t know how many more ways to say it. Unless Rodgers is gone, this team is not going to the SB.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:36 pm

No matter what, Rodgers or not, we will not be super bowl contenders in 2023.

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MainePackFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:42 pm

Moo, are you saying if AR is gone the Packers will be a SB contender? I'm sure you have put on your GM hat like the rest of us. What's the plan ?
Will they be a SB contender this year, or is this a two or three year plan?
I'm very excited that the Packers will once again be SB contenders. I'm hoping you can share with us when we can expect that to occur. Hopefully it's this year. Thanks.

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2023 at 04:08 pm

What he’s saying is the obvious. That the only way to hit the heights necessary starts with moving on. More of the same will not get us there while we have Rodgers and hamstring us for several years after we are done while we are running out cap from him and I’m other of his old stagers we clung on to to keep the fantasy going. Time for a parting of ways. Time for a new beginning. That may be rocky, but at least there’s a path up the other side that is lacking with more of the same.

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MainePackFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:12 pm

CW. What is obvious about it? Is there a clear path once AR is gone? Is the path clearer than if he stays? Simply saying Aaron Rodgers has to go in order to win a SB seems like a pretty lame strategy. That may work for some as a simple solution, but it requires a little more input for me.

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MooPack's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:17 pm

The obvious is clear to those that embrace it. There is such a thing as addition by subtraction. That's exactly what this is. Relieve the Packers of him and his magical mystery tour. That strategy is wise and intelligent. How many more years of evidence do you need. A year more? Two? Three? The data and results have shown year after year, over and over, his failures come crunch time. In the computing world it's known as "crap in, crap out". It literally doesn't matter who is the QB going forward, as long as it is not him. SB or no SB doesn't matter. The team's overall condition going forward from this year matters. This doesn't equate to hate. It equates to reality. Is that path clearer? Yes, In the most absolute terms, yes.

Instead, some want to hang on to the fantasy that this year will be different. It's everyone else but him. We just need to .... All I hear is Ricardo Montalban exclaiming "Welcome to Fantasy Island".

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MainePackFan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:42 pm

Thanks Moo. You completely cleared it up. We now know the key to the Packers future success without Aaron Rodgers. Nothing short of brilliant analysis. I sure am embracing it. Thank you.

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MooPack's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:10 pm

Funny. I’m sure this cleared things up for you. This doesn’t take brilliance, although I’m sure you have loads. Embracing is the first step to recovery. Your welcome. Let me know if you need further guidance.

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TXCHEESE's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:20 pm

Not sure if the trend of winning Super Bowls with a cheap QB is accurate. Glancing at the last 10 winners, Baltimore (Flacco), Seattle (Wilson), Philly (Foles), and KC (Mahomes), won when the contracts were considered cheap. However, I would totally support trading Rodgers for picks and cap relief and keeping most of band in Green Bay. I love Lewis, but let's face it, he's not getting any younger. I would think if GB would commit to Love, the team would rally around him. The young WR's would probably build a better rapport with Love, than they ever will with Rodgers.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:29 pm

Well put, Rex.

No matter what this team does in 2023, whether we cut/trade the veterans or restructure everyone Willy Nilly and go all in for one more year, we won’t be serious super bowl contenders.

Not only is it unlikely that we could even retain all of our currently 8-9 roster next year, even if we did manage to do so, how is it rational to suddenly expect to return to being a 13 win super bowl contending team without making any serious improvements? We don’t have the cap space to do so.

It makes no sense to go all-in next year just to be a borderline playoff team. In order to contend again, this team needs a salary cap reset. It is time for us to cut and trade the old expensive veterans - Rodgers, Jones, Bakhtiari, P. Smith - we need to even out our salary cap and manage it responsibly. There is still time to get out of the future ditch that this franchise is careening headfirst in to. Going all-in one more year would make that ditch substantially worse.

By future ditch, what do I mean? Rex brought up the example of the Saints, and I think that is very good. This is an example of a team that was once an NFC heavyweight, who, after one mediocre year, should have rebuilt (they went 9-8 in 2021). Because they went all-in just to be a borderline playoff team, they kicked the salary cap can further down the road. Now, all the restructures and procrastination has caught up to them - they are a bad team with little draft capital that cannot cut any of its older players - they have to restructure and extend them to get under the cap on 2023. Because of bad decisions in 2022, they will now be a bottom feeder team for years to come.

This is what I don’t want to happen to the Packers. Going all in to be mediocre is a terrible idea, because of the future ramifications it has - we will be terrible bottom feeders, like the Lions and Browns were for so many years, for years to come if we do this.

There is still time though. I think it is a no brained to rebuild because it will give us lots of future cap space that we can use to build a contending team (not to mention we have an ascending young cheap QB with lots of upside in Jordan Love). That way, by choosing to rebuild for 2023, we will set ourselves up for success and flexibility for years to come, instead of being irresponsible, going all in to be mediocre in 2023, and establish ourselves to suck for years to come.

Now, this isn’t to say I am against going all in. I think that, as (Kenny) Rogers says in the Gambler, you have to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. If we had a legitimate shot to win the SB, I would support going all in. In the off-seasons following the 2019 and 2020 seasons, I wanted the FO to go all in. I’m not sure they maximized all of their opportunities to do so, which I didn’t like. Heck, even for the 2022 season I didn’t have a problem with going all in because I, and many others, though the Packers would have a shot at winning the Super Bowl.

However, now that this team has been exposed, i believe it is time for a rebuild. As I have stated, this team, no matter what, will not have a legitimate shot to win the SB in 2023. I think it is time to fold ‘em and start an new chapter of Packers football.

The Packers must be responsible and keep the future in mind, and not be irresponsible.

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GregC's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:32 pm

Those charts are nice, thanks. The Packers are the deepest in cap hell along with the Panthers (!) but not as deep as I thought. I was so proud of the front office a couple years ago when it was revealed that they were not committing too much money to Aaron Rodgers and were not letting him have input into personnel decisions...and then it all went out the window. Trade him now please, while you still have a chance to maintain a shred of self-respect. This past season has convinced me that the miscalculation on Rodgers is a fireable offense for Murphy and/or Gutekunst, depending on which one of them cooked up this scheme.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:36 pm

There is still time to get out of the mess. The Packers must get out of cap hell in 2023 ASAP or become a bottom feeder team for years to come.

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Lphill's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:42 pm

the cap is smoke and mirrors there's always a way to get things done teams supposedly in cap hell always seem to sign some big free agent regardless.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:23 pm

Nobody is saying a thing about Savage.

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Rebecca's picture

January 20, 2023 at 04:27 pm

What thing is Nobody saying about Savage? Inquiring minds want to know. Did he figure out where his MOJO went?

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:12 pm

His cap number.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2023 at 02:41 pm

Grand Larceny.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:45 pm

On an unrelated note, I just watched some of Darnell Savage’s college tape - this dude has such a high ceiling! We have seen what he can be in 2020. It is almost criminal of Barry to coach him this badly. If we get better coaches then I could see him rediscovering his 2020 form and becoming a star again. However, thanks to MLF, we are stuck with one more year of Barry. Thanks a lot!

Jim Leonhard used to be a Safety in the NFL. If we get him as our DC, then that would provide excellent tutelage for Savage, and he could get a lot better. Hopefully he takes a year off of coaching this year and we can land him as our new DC next year (under a new HC as well!!!)

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:10 pm

Pettine had him playing better. LaFleur went company line right after the Detroit failure. Leonard should have been inked last week.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:09 pm

Leonhard runs a scheme that is closer to Pettine’s than Barry’s, so maybe that will help?

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beautiful_mystery's picture

January 20, 2023 at 01:48 pm

Here we are...not at the corner of Healthy and Happy, I can tell you that. More like, at the corner of Watdafukwedoin and Detsrdue.

Say bye to #12. If it helps, buy him a share of Packer stock. I have been practicing my hand signal to #12. It's almost like a parade queen wave from on top of a 67 baby blue Continental.

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ricky's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:34 pm

The pivot point for the Packers was the drafting of Love. If they had a plan in place, Rodgers blew it up by getting back-to-back MVP's, and winning 26 regular season games in two years. But he failed to put them over the top in the playoffs. Both times at Lambeau; both times with a first round bye. When Denver wanted Rodgers, the team should have taken the offer of multiple draft picks, and possibly multiple players, and made Love the starter. Then, build the team around him while he was under his rookie contract. Instead, the team effectively gave control over Rodgers future to him, mortgaging the team's future and hoping to get at least one SB out of it. Instead, it looks very much like the gamble came up snake eyes. Personally, I expect them to double down, and, quite possibly, make the even worse mistake of trading Love.

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HawkPacker's picture

January 21, 2023 at 08:22 am

I totally agree ricky. The need to get whatever they can for Rodgers and really should also trade a few of the other vets for draft capital as well and start over. It will take a few years to get back to where we want to be but just look at the young players we have to get started with. It will be fun to watch. We also need to dump some/all of the coaching staff too.

This should be a major restart. Yes, we will still be in Cap hell for a couple of years but then we should be in excellent shape with a lot of good players.

I really do not see a good alternative. I even thought that what if Rodgers would agree to reduce his salary a bunch. That would help but we still have Love looking at that fifth year option. Bottom line is it is time to start culling the herd!

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 02:55 pm

Let's live in Denial. And go all in one more year.
So Bahk And Jones re-work their contracts.
The OL goes with what they have.
Rodgers comes back. He's the leader.
And we get as many of his friends back as we can.
Whats wrong with giving everyone one last fling?
Everyone on the team thinks were only 2 players short.
With Rodgers wanting his friends back.
It's obvious he thinks it's Defense.
So draft what doesn't stay.
1. We won't draft a TE for the future, unless Tonyan Leaves.
2. Lazard may leave, but Rodgers will get the WRs guys going.
The defense gets back Stokes and Gary at some point.
Don't trade anyone.
Draft 1. BPA 2. WR, 3. DT 4. S

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:05 pm

So I came up with this mock.
@15. Porter CB Penn State-
@45 Rashee Rice. WR SMU
@78 Gervin Dexter. Dt FL
@115 Jamie Robinson. S. FS
@149 ZACK Kuntz TE. Old Dominion - Red Zone
@170 Hunter Luepke. FB ND State- Red Zone
@219 Max Duggan QB. TCU
@234. Trevon Flowers S Tenn
@237 Deonte Banks S Maryland
@240. Taulia Tagovailoa QB

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:40 pm

Sound choices. Kunzt can be had later. Can he move, or just a hook and post guy?

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:07 pm

Kuntz is a WR in a TE body. If we get him, we should probably take a blocker as well. TE must be addressed earlier, though - years of doing the same thing and staving off TE to the later rounds and trying to have a cheap fix have yielded no results. It is time to fix the TE position once and for all.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2023 at 10:03 am

They have to bag Mayer, Kincaid or Kraft, maybe two of them. If LaFleur was ever paying attention when Shanahan designed his offense, he would know the key element is the TE position.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:14 pm

He can move and Block. Doubt he falls. Great size for red zone.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:54 pm

No point in getting blockers.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:16 pm

Isn't that the reason behind keeping Lewis ?

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2023 at 10:09 am

Big Dog needs the gold watch. Get the kid from Bethune-Cookman, Kemari Averett, with a #7 or UDFA. 6'-6 and 260.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:06 pm

Why would we take a CB in round 1 when we have Douglas and Alexander who have combined for 9 picks this season! Makes no sense. Not to mention Stokes is still an unknown. Don't count him out after his great rookie year - probably just a typical sophomore slump. We have bigger needs like Tight End, Safety, or OLB.

I like the pick of Rice in round 2. Dexter is also good; Jaquelin Roy of LSU or Zacch Pickens of South Carolina would be better, in my opinion..

Robinson is also good, but we need to draft a Safety before that - we must get either Brian Branch of Alabama or JL Skinner of Boise St. - Safety is tied with TE as our #1 need for 2023.

Zack Kuntz is basically a WR in a big body. No use with him - we need someone who can be a good blocker as well.

Deguara is already our FB - no need in getting another.

Why would we draft a QB when we already have Love, much less TWO QBs? Also Taulia is returning to Maryland, so we can't get him regardless.

Late round picks can't compensate for early round players. We must address Safety earlier in the draft.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:31 pm

BPA. Now let me tell you why.
It can move Douglass to safety.
And savage in.
It keeps him away from the Lions and Vikings.
But you forgot what Wolf said.
You build a Team with Tackles and CBs.
Are you Happy with how Douglass and Stokes played?
I'm not. And I believe it's easier to move a CB
to safety. Then it is to draft one.
You always draft an All-pro before Need.
Thats the take on him. Future All-Pro.
I

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 21, 2023 at 10:00 am

So, then, would it be ideal to have a team of 10 all-pro OT and 10 all-pro CBs and no one else?

I agree those are both very important positions, but they are not our largest needs. Douglas played relatively well, I believe.

It makes more sense, now, why we draft a CB if Douglas moves to FS. However, I don't think we ought to do so in the first round; Alexander is a pro bowler, Nixon has played well in the slot, and Stokes is still an unknown, and people seem to so swiftly forget his phenomenal rookie season. I could see us addressing CB in round 3 or 4; Ohio St. has a nice pair of CBs we could target in Lathan Ransom and Cam Brown.

I don't know if moving Douglas to FS is best, though. First of all, he's not that fast, which can be a hinderance. Secondly, when he was moved to the slot, he didn't do very well. Outside CB is obviously his most natural position, and I fear that he may flop at FS just like he flopped at Nickel.

I, personally, believe that it is best when you draft all-pros that fill your needs. I think need ought to be a significant factor in determining who you draft and whether you trade up or down, if at all.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2023 at 02:57 pm

Porter,Jr could go in the top ten. Another guy mentored by his ex-ALL PRO father.
PFN w/trades:
#15 to JAX for 2024 #1+ 2024 #2 & #24. porter bagged and B Jones bagged
#24 to Denver + # 5 (2024) for #28+#67
#28 Uzomah KState Edge
#31 Kayshon Boutte LSU WR from Eagles for JAX #1/#2 2024.
#45 Dalton Kincaid Utah TE
#67 Schmitz Gophers C/OG
#89 Keeanu Benton Badgers DT #114 & 2024 #4, 2025 #5
#147 Brenton Cox FSU Edge
#202 Tom Incoom C.Mich Edge
#211 Kemari Averett B Cook TE
#221 Zion Nelson Miami OT

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stockholder's picture

January 21, 2023 at 04:26 pm

Yes on Porter.
I traded 5 times and still got a TE.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:17 pm

I will tell you what is wrong with living in denial - if we do not win the super bowl in 2023, (which is very likely), we will be in an even bigger cap hell than we are this year, much like the Saints are in this year. We will have to extend everyone multiple years as the only way to get under the cap, watch as all of our young players (like Watson and Gary) leave in free agency.

The problem is that we will likely be a bottom feeding team for years to come and we will completely screw our future for the next 5 or so years. Conversely, if we tear it all down this year, we gain lots of future cap space and can position ourselves for success and flexibility. Even if Love isn’t the next Rodgers, the roster we would have if we rebuild would be significantly better in the long run than a roster that we end up with if we go all in.

To me, going all in makes no sense because we wouldn’t be legitimate SB contenders -just a borderline playoff team. We’d be keeping much of the roster that we went 8-9 with this year intact, so how can we reasonably expect to return to the 13 win seasons of the last few years? We need to position ourselves in the best position to win a Lombardi in the next 5 years since there is almost no chance we will win it next year (let alone make the playoffs), and the best way to do that is to rebuild so we can have a more complete roster.

It may not be pleasant in the short term, but it is what is best for the long term hopes of the team.

Unless, of course, you want to be like what the Lions and Browns were for so many years and what the Saints will be for the next 5 or so years: Trash.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:28 pm

Rodgers will only come back 1 year. or want to be traded.
I say Gary will be Franchised.
Regardless: you don't exercise the option for Love
for 20 mil. Unless you plan on Rodgers being done.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:37 pm

They have had three chances. Three strikes and you're out. Stokes is a liability. Gary will be lucky to suit up by Trick or Treat. They better draft two TEs to get a functioning offense. I like six forward gears, why use reverse?

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jurp's picture

January 20, 2023 at 04:28 pm

We've given everyone "one last fling" for two effing years. And it has paid off so well that we finished 8-9 and lost a "win and in" game. Yep, let's just keep doing the same damn thing and hope for different results.

The majority of us are not idiots.

Only someone who's looking out of AR's mouth would think that we're "two players short".

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Racingdad's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:13 pm

Some just don’t get it ( maybe they were not around in the 80’s ) the cap is very real arod can not be cut 99 million but can retire or be traded 42 mil or after 6-2 split that number goes to 68 mil after 23 season 73 mil after 24 season it’s all dead cap ( money already paid but counted against cap in future years If we don’t part ways now it only gets worse for many more years cause a lot of cap was pushed forward the last 2-3 seasons. If you continue doing so for ‘ one more run’ we wind up having to push all cap forward just to field a team( see saints) just move on NOW

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Spanky65's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:13 pm

There is a HUGE PROBLEM Joe Barry is still the D.C.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:56 pm

Why is that a huge problem? Despite losing Stokes and Gary, we finished firmly in the middle. Average. Only one team got over 28 points on us.

It was as good a defense as several teams that made the playoffs.

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Rennatkcir's picture

January 20, 2023 at 04:25 pm

The 85 Bears allowed over 30 points twice!

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:10 pm

Look at SF this year, who I think has the best defense in the NFC.

44 to KC. 34 to the Raiduhs and 28 to the Falcons. We give up 40 to the Eagles, when 14 of them were turnover gifts, and you'd think they had run out of prune juice at the nursing home. When the Bears only got 19 on us, the Gameday thread was full of people who didn't think that was very good defense. Guess how many they got against SF?

Washington, Miami, and the Bucs were also common opponents. SF defense gave up only 51 points to them, 17 ppg. Green Bay gave up 55.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:09 pm

Bears should have been 23 if not for a missed FG and missed PAT. We should not strive to be average - average defenses cave in the playoffs, as the Packers of 2019 and 2020 have shown. We need to strive to be an excellent defense, as well as an excellent offense. Just to be excellent.

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LambeauCalrissian's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:08 pm

The front office invested tons of money into the defense extending Campbell and Douglas, then drafted 2 more defensive players in the 1st round. Middle of the pack is fine when you don't invest 12 of the previous 13 years' 1st round picks on defense. then still expect the offense to be great.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:49 pm

The Packers don't draft skill position offensive players in the first round because they've found they can get these people later, and they've been right. And since 2011, we haven't taken an offensive lineman in the first round. So by default, we're going to get defenders in the first round. I think it's a sound strategy, and it predates LaFleur, Murphy, Gutekunst, etc.

I'm also a little confused. Going back 13 years, to 2010, we drafted Bulaga and then Sherrod the next year . I get your point, though. Other than Love, it's been a straight decade of defense in the first round. We expect more.

But again, a decade ago was 2012. Over the next 5 years, we drafted Nick Perry, Datone, HaHa, and Demarious Randall. None of them have anything to do with our current defense, and haven't for years.

In 2016, we got Kenny Clark. He's been a real good player for us. Two years later, we got Alexander, and he's been a real good player for us. We drafted Rashan Gary in 2019, and Savage, and then Stokes the following year, and they've all been good players for us, although Stokes and Gary were missing this year. And then last year, we got Quay and Wyatt. So really, we're only talking about this since about 2016, or 2018.

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HawkPacker's picture

January 21, 2023 at 08:26 am

So Leatherhead, just so I know, are you defending Barry and feel he is our answer at DC?

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Leatherhead's picture

January 21, 2023 at 09:12 am

I think Barry did a decent job. Despite injuries, we put a decent defense on the field every week.

IMO, the first line of defense is an offense that keeps the ball and puts points on the board, and that was the weakest part of our Wefence. We finished 30 points behind #6 Dallas in defense rankings. Two garbage TDs to the Vikings and a couple of bad plays during the season. That's how far out of the #6 defense we were.

I think a lot of people here don't get what the Packers are trying to do on defense. They want the run stuffed, and it makes no difference that a good run attempted is 5.0 and an average passing attempt is 7.0, or that most points are scored in the air. We're designed to defend the pass first.

Is Barry the answer at DC? Who out there would be a clear improvement? I don't know. Is there any benefit to keeping Barry and the defense together another season? I think so.

Truly, if we can go out in 2023 and keep our offense on the field and score points, I'm pretty confident that Barry and the defense will be good enough for us to win most of the time.

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joefan's picture

January 20, 2023 at 03:44 pm

The Packers were definitely not "all-in" for 2022. Yes, Adams didn't want to play for the Packers anymore, but they still traded him. So, I can't see how trading away the best offensive player is consistent with an "all in" mentality, setting aside that they had no choice.

"Alternatively, they could trade Rodgers and start a slight rebuild, giving the keys to Jordan Love to see whether he has what it takes to be a quality (and certainly above that) starting quarterback in the NFL and, at the same time, position themselves to get back on the right track in terms of the cap"

The rebuild began last year when they released Zadarious Smith, traded Adams, and drafted new receivers. The "rebuild" doesn't depend on whether or not Rodgers plays in 2023 or beyond. Even if the Packers traded Rodgers this off season, it barely changes what they'll do in the draft and free agency. The Packers won't have the cap space with or without Rodgers to sign free agents and they'll have even less if they trade him. So, what they'll do is focus on the draft and maybe sign some undrafted guys here and there. But that's actually what the Packers have done most years since the beginning of free agency anyways. And that's what most teams do. Every team relies on the draft. The only question is how long it will take for the Packers to fill in the gaps.

The receivers drafted last year showed a lot of promise, much more so than the group drafted in 2018. Overall, the Packers aren't in that bad of shape regardless of the Jordan Love situation. They have promising receivers, an okay offensive line, and a promising QB situation with either Rodgers returning or Love getting his shot.

The defense still has solid players with Alexander, Douglas, Gary, and Clark. But the defense still ranked in the bottom half. So there is a lot of room for improvement. I also saw a statistic that the Packers special teams improved from last to 22nd overall. But the sad news is that Bisacia is interviewing with the Colts for head coach so the Packers might already lose him.

The Packers will likely need to emphasize running back, tight end, and safety or at least one of those positions this off season.

Since this team still has several position needs, I don't think a rebound to Superbowl contender is likely for 2023. But even with how poor the 2022 iteration of the Packers were, they still had a playoff shot, even though they wou'dve never made a real push. But just mentioning that the team isn't as doomed as some people make it seem.

They do have some risk though with how they're managing Love. I could see some potential burned bridges if Love has to sit "forever." He's already sat three years which never happens in the modern NFL and barely ever happened at any time that I can think of. It's possible he might not even want to play for the Packers anymore if he sits for 4 years. He will be a free agent at some point and doesn't have to re-sign. So I don't think anyone should assume that the Packers can rollout Love whenever they feel like it.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:15 pm

I think they went as all in as they could have. Adams would not play for the Packers no matter what - he didn't want to be there. Smith was a necessary cap casualty.

In my opinion, there were several small opportunities that weren't maximized, such as not signing a veteran EDGE rusher before the start of '22 (which, if that happened, means that Gary may still be healthy), but the biggest miscalculation were two things:

1. Rodgers' drop-off in play. He is being paid to play like an MVP, but even before his thumb injury, he didn't play that well. I was not expecting him to repeat 2021, but his drop off was bigger than I think any of us would have predicted.
2. Refusing to utilize Jones and Dillon. We were supposed to be run first in 2022, and it worked when we did so, but MLF said no, no, no.
3. Drop-off on defense. Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, and Eric Stokes were supposed to fortify the best secondary in football. Instead, each player has massively regressed. Barry is part to blame, as is MLF for trusting the former DC of the 0-16 Lions to carry his team, but I don't think the FO was expecting this. Clark and Campbell also did not play to the level of years past, but the 3 I mentioned really massively regressed.

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Since'61's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:24 pm

This is an easy fix for the Packers. Just arrange for the league to have 28 teams make the playoffs. Even with our current coaching staff I think that the Packers can stay out of the bottom four teams in the league.

If this doesn't happen I doubt that the geniuses who created the current mess can get us out of it. Thanks, Since '61

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Packerpasty's picture

January 20, 2023 at 05:28 pm

I'm worried that the sledding hill and TitleTown area's will go kaput if they go broke..

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fangirl's picture

January 20, 2023 at 06:40 pm

Packers are not going to the SB next year w/or w/o Rodgers. They don't have the coaching expertise, heart or player buy-in.

There is not one coach or Front Office guy I have faith in.
Most teams would have fired LaFleur/Barry.
LaFleur talks about 'playing better' every week but does nothing of substance to rectify the situation. The fact he is allowed to do that weekly is mind-blowing. And, keeping Barry???

Rodgers says he wants a SB but insists on keeping 4 substandard players. (Lazard is not included.)

It seems to me GB is a place where a number of coaches, a President and several players act out their personal agendas.

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PackyCheese500's picture

January 20, 2023 at 09:16 pm

Your first sentence is absolutely true. That is why the Packers must prioritize the future of their organization and enter a rebuild, and not go all-in one more year just to be mediocre and drive the future of this organization even further into the ground

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joejetson's picture

January 20, 2023 at 10:42 pm

The Packers are a.corporation. The primary duties of corporate officers is to guide the business to long term success. They had a golden opportunity to do so after the 2021 season. Several other teams would overbid for GB's main asset- Aaron Rodgers. Sadly, management made the wrong decision, and chose short term success over long term success. Now, Seattle will reap the benefits of Denver's desperate trade for an established QB, and the Pack is doomed to a bleak future in Salary Cap hell. Meanwhile, Detroit and Seattle load up on young talent acquired from suckers. I don't know if this fiasco was engineered by Murphy, Gutekunst of LeFluer, but whoever decided to pass on trading Rodgers should be run out of Green Bay on a rail.

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SinceLombardi's picture

January 21, 2023 at 09:30 am

Going all in and not making the playoffs, and finishing with a losing record as well as cap problems is a high indictment on the front office and coaching staff .

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croatpackfan's picture

January 21, 2023 at 03:34 pm

Adam Schefter reported on Saturday morning that the Green Bay Packers trading away quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a “real possibility” and both the team and player understand the relationship could be coming to an end via trade this offseason.

Who believes in that claim?

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vin0770's picture

January 21, 2023 at 06:30 pm

They were at a crossroads last year and made their bed…a little late for hand wringing now 🤪

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SinceLombardi's picture

January 21, 2023 at 08:56 pm

I think we will be lucky to be 8-9 in 2023. Hopefully it will be the last season for Murphy, Gutekunst and MLF.

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