The Packers Will Need A Safety Overhaul in 2023

Amos and Savage have underperformed in 2022

The Green Bay Packers lost again on Sunday, 40-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles, their seventh loss in the last eight games. The reality is that their season is over, and even if the Packers win out, they might still not be able to make the playoffs. Therefore, it's time to think about the future and what the roster should look like beyond 2022. One of the several question marks is the safety position.

Before the season, there was a consensus evaluation that the Packers had a good starting duo, but the lack of depth was a real concern. As the season has gone on, however, Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage haven't looked like what they had been in previous years, and both had their worst seasons as Packers defenders.

Their performances are obviously affected by a broken defensive system — and in Savage's case, in particular, it is also related to the coaching staff's inability to put him in position to do what he does best, playing closer to the line of scrimmage. But the fact is that they are not producing individually, they are missing tackles and assignments, and it might be time for the Packers to find new alternatives.

In 2019, the Packers signed Amos in free agency and traded up in the first round to draft Savage. Since then, however, the team has invested almost no resources in the position. This year, even with a clear depth need, the only additions were a seventh-round pick limited to special teams, Tariq Carpenter, and a pleasant surprise, Rudy Ford, signed from the street after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For 2023, the situation is not great. Savage had his fifth-year option picked up, and it'll be a fully guaranteed $ 7.9 million cap hit. Unless the Packers find a trade partner, he is going to be on the team. However, it's hard to think Green Bay will accept him as the projected starter without competition. Adrian Amos will be a free agent, but the recent restructures have created a problem — if the Packers let him go or don't extend him before his contract voids, it will generate a $ 7.95 million dead money hit. That might create a scenario where the Packers extend him, if the price is right, just to keep his previous restructure bonus prorated throughout the next four years.

Those contract considerations mean the Packers have almost $ 18 million invested in Savage and Amos for the 2023 season, and there is no real answer at the position. Rudy Ford is a good piece and might re-sign for a relatively cheap deal. There is also hope that Savage can turn back to his 2020 days. Nonetheless, the Packers will need to invest heavily in the position to find new solutions for the next seasons — and, considering how much it was a need even before this year, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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

Wendell Ferreira covers the Green Bay Packers for Zone Coverage and Cheesehead TV. He is a Brazilian journalist with over a decade of experience covering the NFL, soccer, NBA, and MMA. Follow him on twitter at @wendellfp  

NFL Categories: 
3 points

Comments (47)

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

November 28, 2022 at 10:14 am

Amos has been coasting all year. Savage is just clueless and has proven he can't cut it in the NFL. Keep Ford, bring in a free agent/trade, draft another safety, but not with a high pick and get Barry the hell away from this team.

9 points
9
0
PackyCheese500's picture

November 28, 2022 at 01:28 pm

No free agents. We should only sign free agents if we wish to contend, but we are likely entering a rebuild. We should get a premiere safety in the draft. JL Skinner of Boise St, Christopher Smith of Georgia and Brian Branch of Alabama are my three favorite prospects.

As far as DC, if we keep MLF, then hire Jim Leonhard. If MLF is fired, then we should hire Dan Quinn, someone who isn't a sissy and has proven he can succeed as an NFL head coach (if it weren't for 28-3)

1 points
1
0
Packers2020's picture

November 28, 2022 at 02:43 pm

ML is not getting fired. He was just extended. He is here until Murphy retires in two years.

Plain and simple.

-2 points
0
2
PeteK's picture

November 28, 2022 at 10:21 am

I don't see them going anywhere as the cap hit is too high. They are young and have shown some success, and hopefully can rebound next season. A new D coordinator, some injured players back, along with more experience for our rookies and this D could advance. The OLB rotation looks strong. A key will be getting Gary back to full strength.

2 points
2
0
Return_To_Sanity's picture

November 28, 2022 at 10:51 am

Huh? Amos is about to be 30 and isnt even under contract next year yet he is owed $7.5 million thanks to restructuring his contract. More money wasted.

5 points
5
0
PackyCheese500's picture

November 28, 2022 at 01:29 pm

I think Hollins is a keeper. Also, I want to see what Micah Abernathy can do at Safety

3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

November 28, 2022 at 10:32 am

Amos missed a lot of tackles last night. You bet they regressed. We need a change!

2 points
4
2
Coldworld's picture

November 28, 2022 at 10:34 am

Amos is out of contract this year. I think it’s time now to see if we have anything behind Ford over the rest of the season. The wild card in this is that Barry and good safety play don’t seem to go together though, but still worth seeing what we have.

2 points
2
0
stockholder's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:29 am

We don't have anything behind Ford. The packers can't afford to sign a FA. Amos is done in GB. His best games were against the bears. Let him go back to them.

0 points
2
2
PackyCheese500's picture

November 28, 2022 at 01:30 pm

Ford should be re-signed, he'll probably be cheap

2 points
2
0
croatpackfan's picture

November 28, 2022 at 02:18 pm

Abernathy, stockholder. You are stockholder but do not know what resources your stocks are covering?

-2 points
0
2
T7Steve's picture

November 28, 2022 at 10:42 am

How much better does the back-end look, if the D-line actually eats up blocks and makes some plays. Still can't miss so many tackles.

6 points
6
0
Return_To_Sanity's picture

November 28, 2022 at 04:17 pm

Well when youre starting guys 12-15 yards off the ball and dropping them into no man's land, that automatically creates a whole lot of space underneath for rb's and qb's to run. This also means these defensive players now have further ground to cover when attempting to come up and make the tackle. And the offensive player now has more room to get up to speed or make a move. Giving the offense more space and the defense more ground to cover is trouble waiting to happen. Trouble the Packers seem to experience week after week. Yeah sure the players bear some responsibility, but Barry is just hellbent on putting them in a position to fail every fricken game. Its a no win situation for these players.

2 points
2
0
Return_To_Sanity's picture

November 28, 2022 at 10:49 am

If they want to improve safety play, they should prioritize getting a Defensive coach who will emphasize controlling the line of scrimmage first. Better pass rush and better tackling from the front 7 lessens the burden on safeties. Look at the 49ers for example. Jimmy Ward was a 1st rounder years ago but hes never been considered a great player. And their strong safety is a rookie 3rd or 4th round pick. Yet that defense still dominates because the front 7 manhandles offenses. Everything starts up front. And speaking of the 49ers, Packers should take a long look at replacing Lafleur with Demeco Ryans. He is a rising star.

8 points
8
0
Fubared's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:13 am

The irony for me before I read this an logged in , I was thinking of Zimmer. He was so pissed at his defensive back field, he kept Smith, and with the GM gutted brought in top free agents, bundled picks to move up in the draft and in one off season rebuilt the pass d. Ya their first year they made mistakes but as a unit learned the system together.
Now in there second year, they may be the best in the league. They can all tackle and hit hard, cover tightly and yes allow the pass rush to do their thing.
Savage,Amos, Douglas - was God awful last night. Keep Jairre and move Stokes to safety and if he can't handle it get rid of him.
One thing I do know you can't make someone who lacks speed, faster. You can't make people who are slow to react faster thinkers. And you can't get guys who are averse to tackling, willing to punish there bodies. Gutt the pass d and do it now.

-2 points
2
4
SinceLombardi's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:27 am

One would have to assume there would be at the very least a new DC in 2023. If not Ronnie Lott and Willie Wood in their prime wouldn’t help this unit.
With so many roster questions it is imperative that Mark Murphy act quickly to replace the GM and staff , so to let the new GM build his team. The cap and talent combined make this too great a challenge for the Gutekunst who built this mess.
I really can’t see Gutekunst or MLF being fired, which makes me think it’s more of the same in 23.

-4 points
1
5
LambeauPlain's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:27 pm

That would mean Murphy would have to fire himself. He is the self anointed GM. Gutey is just his Administrative Assistant.

3 points
4
1
canadapacker's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:41 am

This has been a problem with the Packers FOREVER - we cant tackle and cant tackle ever since Charles Woodson. Now TT spent a whole lot of high end draft picks on D backs forgoing high end offensive players. But it appears that the draft guys dont value ( unlike teams like Baltimore and Pittsburgh) guys who are willing to stick their nose in there. When one factors in that their staffs over the years dont seem to be able to get that training end skills upgraded during OTA's and training camp - and this is what we have - once again over the years.
All season long we endured that - last night it was obvious and since our Dline was overwhelmed and immobile and since we have lost a few ILB's - they ran out of gas. They tried to spy with Quay but he is a rookie and made some plays but he needs an offseason to build up his body and do more tape study - but he is going to be good.
But if you cant tackle you especially on first down and you cant make open field plays - it is game over for these types of offense. Finally everything started with poor Dline play - when they bulk up and we bulk up and still get pushed into our backfield 4 yards Oh My.

4 points
4
0
saltandpeppers's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:42 am

Amos looked like he was playing in quick sand last night. So bad. Great guy, but he's gone, salary cap be damned.

2 points
2
0
Lphill's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:45 am

Amos didn't miss tackles he just didn't want to tackle.

5 points
6
1
coolhand's picture

November 28, 2022 at 02:13 pm

Just like Savage. His cowardice is contagious I think.

1 points
2
1
arthurl's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:52 am

At this point it’s hard to single out one particular unit on the defense when the entire eleven have played so poorly. Before the season this defense was propped up to be something special and that’s all we heard. But reality it’s the same crappy performance we have seen for the past decade. All that draft capital and free agent signings just wasted. Thing is all these dudes can ball individually, but as a unit they suck. So in my opinion it falls back to the coaching not setting these guys up for success. Amos hasn’t played any worse than anyone else on the defense other than Smith and Gary. Savage has been awful; they screwed up signing that dude that 5th year.

8 points
8
0
Rhambo53's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:53 am

Savage has always been a liability and I was really disappointed when they picked up his 5th year option. His draft status and salary are the only reasons he's on the field.

5 points
6
1
albert999's picture

November 28, 2022 at 11:56 am

Eagles had over 500 yards of offense
29 first downs
QB ran for 160 yards and our defensive coordinator still has a job today…. Wow
They never punted also

5 points
5
0
ricky's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:00 pm

This is the "chicken or the egg" problem. Are some players underperforming because they're not being used correctly? Or are the players simply regressing, and therefore need to be replaced? Barry seems to have a defensive game plan that just doesn't work with these players. So, there are effectively three options. Get rid of the underperforming players; get rid of Barry; get rid of the underperformers and Barry.

4 points
4
0
PackfanNY's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Yes, we need an overhaul at Safety.

Of course, that might be needed at a few other positions as well.

4 points
4
0
joejetson's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:16 pm

The salary cap mismanagement of the underperforming and overpaid players is going to continue to hurt this teams for the foreseeable future. They can't even start a rebuild because their cap situation is such a disaster.

7 points
7
0
Lphill's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:22 pm

Jim Leonard is available today , hire him and fire Barry now.

4 points
6
2
beerandbrats's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:36 pm

Jim Leonhard played safety as well. Having a DC who played the position would benefit Amos and Savage.

1 points
2
1
Return_To_Sanity's picture

November 28, 2022 at 04:06 pm

He also played a chunk of his NFL career under Mike Pettine. Not to mention, he didnt want to coach here which led to Barry being hired in the first place. Hard pass. Dont care if he was a Badger. He had his chance and left the Packers hanging.

3 points
3
0
crayzpackfan's picture

November 29, 2022 at 08:49 am

If I’m not mistaken, Jim Leonard learned under Mike Petine? If true, do we really want that poop on our carpet again?

0 points
0
0
LambeauPlain's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:43 pm

Ponder this: Joe Barry’s D has given up 60 points during the last two minutes of the first half this year.

That is not just poor coaching…that is malpractice from a soft clueless, stubborn DC.

7 points
7
0
Starrbrite's picture

November 30, 2022 at 01:17 am

Outstanding note Lambeau.

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

November 28, 2022 at 12:46 pm

I reject this thinking that we should throw away decent players because they "aren't good enough" or had a bad season. We're going to have plenty of holes in the roster as it is, without creating more.

Holes created by FA departures:

Cobb......let him go
Lowry.....let him go
Crosby....let him go
Lazard....a priority resign, IMO
Tonyan....let him go
Reed........let him go....He's 29
Lewis...let him go
Abram....make good contract
Watkins....let him go
Jenkins.....resign
Leavitt.....let him go
Ford......resign
Nixon....resign
Nijman....resign
Amos.....let him go.

Now, when I say let them go, that means let them test the FA market and if they get an offer for more than we're willing to pay, let them go. When I say "resign", it means we should try to keep them if we can with a reasonable offer.

That's about 10 holes in the 53 man roster in this scenario. That's our entire draft spent filling holes instead of upgrading the roster.

4 points
5
1
PackyCheese500's picture

November 28, 2022 at 01:36 pm

My changes:

Let Lazard go.

Franchise-tag and trade Jenkins for a 2nd round pick, like what was done with Adams this year. A big contract for him will limit our cap flexibility in the years to come. We can draft another Guard with that pick.

Also, why re-sign Abram?

0 points
2
2
Leatherhead's picture

November 28, 2022 at 04:00 pm

Because you'd like to carry 5 safeties on the 53, and he might be one of the best 5. At the minimum, you can bring him to camp and let him compete, and if he doesn't make the team, you don't owe him anything, since his contract would consist of salary and bonuses.

Lazard is a very solid WR and one of the best blocking WRs in the league. We should at least make an offer, because you'd like about 6 WRs and he's definitely one of our best 6. I'd be fine going into next year with Watson/Lazard/ Doubs as our Big 3 and Toure and somebody else as our #5.

Jenkins had a serious injury and came back early and played out of position. He's clearly one of our best 5 linemen, and we should keep good linemen and add to that, replacing two of our weaker guys.

0 points
0
0
Fubared's picture

November 28, 2022 at 06:40 pm

So your not looking for change? Every year this team loses talent, people WE DEVELOPED who leave for no money. We're always filling holes not improving anything

0 points
0
0
Packers0808's picture

November 28, 2022 at 01:09 pm

Not gonna bother to look around, Is Barry still a Packer Coach today? Swiss cheese has less holes than our supposed Defense has!

0 points
0
0
Dragon5's picture

November 28, 2022 at 02:36 pm

If Gute extends Amos just prior to his enemy year...hmmm what could go wrong? Bahktiari saga TIMESTAMPED.

<<Dragon5 January 10, 2022 at 05:00 pm
Kid gloves with...Bahk as he finishes up his enemy year (OX) thru Jan 31st

Dragon5March 25, 2021 at 06:14 pm
"David Bahktiari (GOAT)...concern is instead of sitting out '21, they rush him back and lose not 1 year, but the rest of his career"

Dragon5January 29, 2021 at 06:29 pm
"BAHK (GOAT)--ACL just prior enemy year, high odds recovery complications, let him recover on IR, out for 2021"

Dragon5 September 12, 2020 at 04:06 pm
The worst thing Gute can do to mess this up is to re-up Bahktiari in Bahk's enemy year.>>

2 points
2
0
Since&#039;61's picture

November 28, 2022 at 04:25 pm

In addition to a safety overhaul the Packers need a defensive coaching overhaul. Chuck Barry and start over with a new HC and staff.

As for the Safety position I would start by trying Ford and Douglas as our Safeties for the remainder of this season. Ford has looked good and Douglas would probably be a better Safety than a boundary corner since he likes to keep the play in front of him. Besides, Stokes will return at some point and return to his CB position.

The Packers also need to overhaul their DL which is long overdue. Keep Clark, chuck Lowry now and let Wyatt and Slayton play more snaps with Clark for the rest of the season.

This is the time for the Packers to find out what they have in their younger players so that they can make the appropriate decisions in the off season for the draft, for who to resign and where to fill in with FAs and UDFAs. It's time for the FO and HC to get smart for next season since they have failed miserably for 2022. We can't expect either the GM or HC to be fired since they were just extended. We're probably stuck with both of them until Murphy retires in 2 years.
Thanks, Since '61

4 points
4
0
wrm1230's picture

November 28, 2022 at 04:59 pm

Sorry, but Kenny Clark is STEALING. His play in the middle of the defense has been atrocious for weeks. His inability to play the run has only magnified the biggest error as it relates to the defense....they went into the season with two cover MLB's, neither of whom is a willing or able run defender. And yes, I mean Campbell. And yes, I mean Walker.

1 points
1
0
Since&#039;61's picture

November 28, 2022 at 09:49 pm

Clark is a great player for the Packers. The problems are that other teams know that and they know he is the only threat on the Packers DL. He is often double teamed or the plays are run away from him.

As for the last few weeks Clark may be playing injured but even if he is not he is just getting worn down week after week without any relief from anyone else on the DL. He and numerous other players are long overdue for their bye week.

IMO the Packers should reduce Clark’s number of snaps for the remainder of the season. No sense risking a serious or permanent injury at this point in a season like this.
Thanks, Since ‘61

2 points
2
0
canadapacker's picture

November 28, 2022 at 05:07 pm

I would really like to see an experienced DC come in - dont know who is out there but these ex HC who were also DC until promoted seem to be running great defenses. We not so much - Lafleur is one of those new era HC and they may be the flavour of the month but that seems to be changing - they say that coaches such as Staley and Kingsbury are on the hot seat. Others such as Lovie are retreads and place card holders ( in Houston's case). I truly believe that the coaches room needs some experience and when we lost Hackett and Getsy - they were young but had been around for awhile. Should have left Stenavich alone with the Oline as with all the new receivers - didnt need an inexperienced OC at the same time. So what killed us - bad Oline and lack of early development of the offense with the new recievers - and that is on Lafleur. I would like to see an older experienced DC come in. Move Stenavich back to Oline unless he gets hired elsewhere - Make him assistant head coach /Oline coach and make Lafleur bring in some help with a receivers coach. Try to bring in Adam Henry from college after he left the Cowboys.
Totally revamp the defensive coaching staff and for cripes sakes bring in somebody who can teach players how to tackle and release anybody who wont stick their nose into that. Tired of guys flying after guys high and falling to the ground.

2 points
2
0
Fubared's picture

November 28, 2022 at 06:51 pm

None of the people you mention are worth a salt shaker full of shit dust. Barry no defensive coaching experience, the rest no a credible experience. They came cheap. Real coaches want to be paid big bucks that's a no no the the cheap ass packers

0 points
1
1
canadapacker's picture

November 28, 2022 at 07:00 pm

Obviously you CANT read - I said to totally rebuild the D staff - the comments about the O staff - won 39 games over the past 3 years - so they have something to give - I said to move them around to get Lafleur more involved in the O ( his supposed forte) and get Stenavich back more involved in the Oline - which he did a good job with in the past. So go back to the Queens site - Usually I dont comment back to ijuts like you but couldnt help myself this time.

2 points
2
0
Fubared's picture

November 28, 2022 at 06:45 pm

Obviously Wyatt is a bust or he would be playing. This is another pos draft pick by Gutt who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. The worst gm in football bar none.

-2 points
1
3
vin0770's picture

November 28, 2022 at 08:59 pm

Two new Safeties fine. Can they take Stokes along? I’m glad to see the Douglas money is been a good investment 🤪 Cut by how many teams lands on their doorstep plays out his mind and now it looks like last year was the one off, but he’s got his bag now.

1 points
1
0