Who Will Remain On The Defensive Roster in 2022?

The Packers have to make big decisions on Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith, De'Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas. 

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Returning Probably IFFY Gone
Alexander, Stokes, Jean-Charles   Sullivan Douglas
Ento. Kiondre Thomas   King Yiadom
 
Savage, Black, Gaines, Scott Amos    
Shawn Davis      

CORNERBACKS:

Alexander is almost certain to receive an extension that provides the Packers with salary cap relief of between $6M and $9M or so.  Stokes, Jean-Charles, Ento and Thomas are all on cheap, rookie contracts.  Those five should make the 90-man roster.  What is the market for Rasul Douglas?  Spotrac listed his value at $9.2M AAV and OTC indicated that the value of his play for 2021 was over $11M.  The Packers could stretch for him if his value is reasonable, perhaps $8M AAV. 

Chandon Sullivan has gotten worse every year but he was good enough to play 827 snaps for the Packers in 2021.  He was below average.  OTC listed his value in 2021 at $6.67M.  I have a hard time believing someone will cough up that much for Sullivan.  I would be interested at $2M to $4M.  Kevin King played 303 snaps, earning an above-average 70.6 PFF grade.  OTC suggests that his value in 2021 was just $706K, about the rookie minimum, but they are taking into account his missed playing time. 

King and Sullivan both have dead money.  King has $3.0M in dead money that will count against the cap if he is released or if his contract is allowed to expire.  The Packers could actually agree to pay King $2.25M for 2022 and still obtain cap relief.  Going all out, pay King $1.035M in base salary (the minimum for him) and the difference ($1.215M) as a signing bonus prorated over 5 years.  His new cap number would be $2.028M, a savings of $972K for 2022.  Ken Ingalls presented this idea (though I cannot tell if he was being sarcastic) in a recent tweet, though he used different numbers to obtain $1.2M in cap relief.

True, this would mean that the Packers would have to take a $3.22M dead money hit for King in 2023, but the Packers get a guy who can play snaps in the NFL while saving almost $1M (which, sadly, will not be an insignificant amount when the crunch comes to meet the cap limit).  The same principle could be applied to Sullivan, but his dead money hit for 2022 is only $970K.  Isaac Yiadom is competent on special teams.  He is a UFA who has a high minimum base salary ($1.035M), so it depends on how new Special Teams Coordinator Bisaccia views him, whether there are cheaper alternatives, and if there is a new emphasis on special teams.

Needs:  The Packers usually keep five or six cornerbacks.  They need a starting slot corner back, depth at boundary corner (which probably will be ably manned by Alexander and Stokes) and depth in the slot.  The Packers seemed to like Kabion Ento during the last two preseasons but he has yet to play a single snap in an NFL game.

SAFETIES:

Savage is still on his rookie deal.  The Packers have to decide by May whether to exercise his 5th year option for 2023, currently estimated by overthecap at $7.9M.  Savage has not made this a slam dunk though I think the Packers exercise it.  A $7.9M AAV makes him the 20th highest-paid safety, but looking at Overthecap there are a slew of safeties with expiring contracts in 2022 and 2023, so Savage would slide down to perhaps 30th in 2023.  The Packers could restructure Savage to save about $1M on the 2022 cap.

Amos is likely to return.  He is such a professional.  A simple restructure should provide between $3M and $5M in cap relief.  Amos is 29, so during the new years on a 4-year extension he would be 30 to 33.  OTC listed his 2021 value at just $6.2M, but that seems shockingly low to me.  I would place his value at $11M to $14M AAV.  However, at that number, an extension would likely provide less than $2.5M in 2022 cap relief, less than a simple restructure.

Needs: The Packers need a third safety for their 3-safety package plus depth.  They have no proven players after Amos and Savage.  Black has played poorly but he is still an ERFA, so he is inexpensive.  Vernon Scott was only active twice last season and on those occasions played only special teams snaps.  Shawn Davis and Innis Gaines have no NFL regular season defensive snaps.  This position appears to be devoid of any proven depth.

   

LINEBACKERS
Returning Probably Iffy Gone
Gary, Garvin, Gileai P. Smith Burks, Summers Za'Darius Smith
Hamilton Mercilus Ramsey, Rivers  
Barnes, Wilborn, McDuffie     De'Vondre Campbell
      Peter Kalembayi
       
Clark, Slaton, Heflin Lowry   Abdullah Anderson
  Lancaster   Kingsley Keke

OLB:  Rashan Gary will return in 2022.  The Packers undoubtedly will exercise his fifth-year option which is estimated to be worth $10.55M in 2023.  The Packers could gain $1.3M of cap relief for 2022 with a simple restructure.  Extending Gary is unlikely as it provides no additional immediate cap relief.

Gary needs a bookend pass rusher.  It could be Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith, or perhaps Whitney Mercilus might suffice.  Neither of the Smiths have void years on their current contracts, so they would have to agree to alter their contracts to effect 2022 cap relief.  Mercilus is a UFA, so he would have to agree to terms and given his injury, he should be more affordable. 

Za'Darius and Preston Smith will be 30 in 2022, so both would be 31 to 34 years old during a four-year extension.  A release of Za'Darius provides $15.28M in cap relief, and an extension could provide $12.45M in cap relief if he would accept an option bonus in 2023 in lieu of a signing bonus in 2022.  Preston's release would yield $12.47M in cap relief; I have previously outlined how to obtain $6M to $9M in 2022 cap relief on an extension.  Should the Packers ask Za'Darius for a massive pay cut for 2022?  Zach Kruse thinks he will be coveted by other teams despite his back injury.  If the Pack wants him back, what is his market for a four-year extension?  Back surgeries scare me, and I do not have the medical information necessary to form a solid judgment.  What is the market for Preston Smith for that matter?  $15M AAV?  OTC estimated the value of his play at $11.2M, but their estimates are generally low.  OTC thought Gary's play was worth $15.7M in 2021 but he probably would not sign for that.     

Preston Smith will not want anything less than a lucrative, four-year extension.  Since he has no void years on his current deal, the Packers cannot auto-convert base and roster bonuses into a signing bonus.  He would have to agree to void years, and that is unlikely.  Preston Smith just had his best season.  Better to negotiate for an extension at age 29 rather than next year at age 30, and there is the possibility of injury or just lesser quality play if he gives the Packers a one-year deal.  This largely applies to ZaDarius, unless other teams are leary of his back injury, which seems quite possible absent more medical information.  The Packers need to get perhaps $23M in cap relief between the Smiths one way or another.  That could be one extension and one release, two extensions, or two releases, which would yield almost $28M.  Whitney Mercilus will be a free agent.  OTC listed the value of his play at $1.07M.  At that cost, sign me up but he should get something more than that if healthy.  He will be 32 in 2022.  My draftnik friends tell me that the edge class in this year's draft is deep.

ILB:  Khrys Barnes is an ERFA, so he will return.  OTC listed his value at $1.59M, but they take into consideration playing time (48% of possible snaps).  He did have a couple of good games, but he should not be out there 48% of the time.  Ray Wilborn has yet to play an NFL snap.  Isaiah McDuffie will return.  He isn't a bad prospect but so far he has played only on special teams.   The Packers did not sign Kalembayi to a futures deal.  Oren Burks and Ty Summers are getting pricey at about $1M each.  Like with Yiadom, it depends on how they are viewed by the new staff and if there will be an emphasis on personnel for STs.

De'Vondre Campbell was a difference-maker.  At age 29, he is a free agent.  OTC listed the value of his 2021 play at $15.1M.  Spotrac lists his market value at just $6.2M because they factor in his play for both 2020 and 2021.  Campbell always had good physcial tools.  I think Campbell will get an offer he cannot refuse elsewhere, but the Packers should offer $9M AAV with a first year cap hit of $4.5M in 2022.  Just find that kind of money.  Otherwise, ILB is devoid of proven players.

Defensive Line:

Clark will return.  The Pack could get $11.85M in cap relief with an all-out restructure with added void years and almost $10M without adding void years.  He will be 27 in 2022.  The Packers will probably alter his contract to get $4M to $10M.  Slaton and Heflin will be back on cheap deals.  Heflin signed a futures contract.

Releasing Lowry would net about $4M in cap space.  He already has void years so a simple restructure would yield $2.96M in cap relief.  OTC listed the value of his 2021 play at $8.05M.  I cannot say I am interested in extending Lowry to the tune of four years and $32M (but then, I wanted to release him last March and he went out and had his best season since his last extension in 2018).  Yet, he did have 5 sacks, 9 QB hits, and Pro Football Reference credits Lowry with 16 pressures.  Clark only had 13 QB hits with 28 pressures, per PFR.  Pro Football Focus gave Lowry a slightly above-average grade of 66.7.  Sigh: the numbers suggest $8M AAV for Lowry is not actually outlandish, but one would think the Packers could find a better player for $8M.  An extension at 4/$32M might garner just under $3M in cap relief, or more if they choose an unusual structure.  I would lean (I'd be almost touching the ground) towards a restructure versus an extension. 

Tyler Lancaster did not have a good year.  He is unrestricted.  The Packers could bring him back for something just over the minimum or thereabouts.  He will be 28.  The Packers did not sign Abdullah Anderson to a futures contract, which surprised me.  I thought he was okay.  Since the Packers released Keke, I take that as a sign he is not returning, but that whole situation is murky.  OTC listed his value at $2.57M.  He was better in 2020 and he has a history of concussions. 

To recap, the Packers might find $6M to $9M from Alexander, $3M to $5M from Amos, $978K from King, $1M from Gary, $23M one way or another from Preston and Za'Darius Smith (and up to $27.75M if the Packers can't reach deals with both of them), $4M to $10M from Clark, and $3M from Lowry for a total of between $40.978M and $66.729M, but that high end number would be extreme.  Heck, even the lower number is not a thing of beauty.  I would love to have Campbell back at a cost of $4.5M in 2022 ($9M AAV), Douglas at $3.5M ($7M AAV?), Mercilus at $2M for one year.  Sullivan's return at under $2.5M would be acceptable.  If King plays elsewhere, that is a $3.978M swing in my calculations.

The bones of a good defense might still be in place.  Alexander, Stokes, Amos and Savage should constitute a good secondary if they can find a starting slot CB and a decent dimebacker.  Gary and Preston Smith would be adequare if thin at OLB.  ILB will be much worse if Campbell walks.  The defensive line likely will be the same sans Keke and Anderson.  The Packers will add players in the draft (they have comp picks in the 4th and 7th rounds).

The Packers by rule must generate almost $51M in cap space by March 16.  Really, $61M when the PS, draft picks, and 52nd/53rd players are added plus a cushion for the season.  $75M if the Packers want to extend Davante Adams, or $81M to franchise him (and probably trade him).  More than $81M if the Packers want to re-sign some of their free agents or sign outside free agents.  If Rodgers is extended, the Packers will get a contract with cap relief in place prior to March 16.  If he is traded and the Packers do not get the cap relief until after the new league year starts, the Packers can reach agreements with their own UFAs now on a handshake deal pending a trade of Rodgers.  NFL teams never rengege on handshake deals, but some caution would be in order here. 

We still need to look to the offensive side of the ball.  There are a lot of moving parts involved to this issue, so the key will be mixing and matching to reach the best result.  

 

 

 

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13 points

Comments (70)

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

February 11, 2022 at 04:10 pm

Good God you are very thorough with your posts. I appreciate your hard work. Whether Rodgers and/or Adam’s stay or go, I’m imagining a very different lineup in 2022.

10 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:21 pm

Yeah, this issue has a lot of moving parts. Other sites are doing one article for each important player. That is fine if readers have a good memory and/or access to the old articles. Here, at least the defense is all in one place. As usual, I wrote this and then whittled it down. Still too long, I took Thursday off and attacked it this morning again. Only shortened it by about a paragraph today.

6 points
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crayzpackfan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 05:17 pm

Don’t confuse detailed with being too long. It was a great read and my time well spent. Thanks

7 points
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BradHTX's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:46 pm

“Good God you are very thorough with your posts.”

TGR = The Godlike Research

5 points
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BruceC1960's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:24 pm

Thanks for the content. Doesn’t paint a very pretty picture. I was really hoping they could find a way to keep Campbell.

6 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:08 pm

Deleted. Below is a response regarding Douglas.

Edited: As to Campbell, he had one great season and 4 or 5 others that were middling or so. What is he worth on the market? What flipped his switch and will it be sustainable? IDK. Fingers crossed.

5 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:45 pm

What is he worth on the market? I am leery of one year guys, though he had some lackluster years. There were CBs going in the $8M - guys like Prince Amukamara who took lesser but still good money. That's where I have Douglas, just need to quantify it.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:39 pm

I read an interview with Douglas where he convinced me he’d like to stay in Green Bay and isn’t expecting a big jump in pay.

He hasn’t had a great career, and all of a sudden he had a career year in Green Bay. I’m not surprised he’d like to stay.

6 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

February 12, 2022 at 12:42 am

I saw that interview, and you're right... He wants to stay....

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:23 am

The guy Makes Plays.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:32 am

Is Campbell a Barry system guy like Cory Littleton or has he moved to the next level of consistency? The multi-million dollar question.

0 points
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mrtundra's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:00 am

....and Douglas!

0 points
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Guam's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:37 pm

I want to keep Douglas, but if some team offers him between $9 and $11 million, he is gone. I think TGR is being generous at offering him $8 million. The guy has had one good season. I would like to see one more before he gets big money. Douglas will be missed, but there are players on the roster that could replace him (King or Charles or Ento) as the third CB.

The big loss would be Campbell and I would really like to see the Packers do everything (within reason) they can to keep him. He is the glue that holds that defense together and they have no replacement currently on the roster. Not only should the Packers keep Campbell, but they need to draft another ILB to shore up the existing depth which is minimal. ILB may be the weakest group on the Packer roster.

Mercilus might be a very nice add as the third OLB if they can get him at a reasonable price. I had forgotten his injury may keep his price down.

Thanks for a great article TGR. Very informative as usual!

8 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:52 pm

I initially wrote $5M to $6M AAV for Douglas. Then I checked OTC and spotrac which knocked my socks off.

If King is worth $5M then Douglas is worth.............?

I think Campbell is more likely - $9M or so and knock the 1st year cap down 50%. Leonard, Warner, Wagner and Mosely are $19M to $17M. They had multiple years of good play, though. $9M, $11M AAV for Campbell would be fine.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 05:20 pm

For me Campbell is the logical first choice to resign. Mercillus is at more of a position of need than Douglas, so I’d lean there if it’s a choice, but only if he’s the 3rd OLB, so that’s a conundrum. At his age, he needs to be rotating in not starting every game to be healthy and effective. That’s ignoring offensive priorities, which I think starts with MVS (I think Tonyan is not likely to be available to sign till in season on health grounds).

I’d go heavily to performance based incentivized deals. That would, given the snaps played by these players (and MVS) other than Campbell and yet provide plenty of opportunity to give realistic upside but with the cap counting next year due to the “unlikely to be achieved” formula.

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:21 pm

If AR is gone, as much as I would like to focus on the defense, which is close to being good for quite a while, I'd lean towards the offense if the choice was close in the draft.

That's because I would want to give Love a fair chance and because I'd like to be able to give him a fair evaluation. He would have a decent OL. I wouldn't pass up a 3rd or 4th round OL Milt Hendrickson liked though. [GB has enough needs that they should draft BPA in the early rounds.] RBs are sound. Then some pass catchers. I probably DO NOT keep Adams though. Gute could get two $14M AAV WR for the price of Adams, or just about.

Mercilus looked like an ideal #3 OLB. Well, Z, P and Gary sound a little more ideal, but Mercilus looked solid: ok against the run, some pass rush. I suspect GB gets priced out of his market if he is healthy.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:49 pm

I think we bring back MVS and go draft heavy on catchers. It’s possible that we pick up an SFA or two in the summer.

That aside, I have a feeling that they will bring back Ramsey at OLB. I just get the impression that they really like him, more so than I can say I’ve seen reason to support, but we fans don’t see everything. Anderson surprised me, but he may have preferred to go the FA route.

2 points
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stockholder's picture

February 12, 2022 at 07:50 am

I'd rather have Douglas than Savage or Sullivan. I'd rather have Campbell than Lowrey. I’d rather have the Smiths instead of a rookie. If Gutey doesn't take a WR rd. 1. He won't replace Adams. But the solution to get better, is draft the DL here. And hope you get a couple of good WRs later. I prefer he goes DL,WR, WR. But- Gutey isn't logical at taking the BPA who drops.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:50 am

The Holes next to Clark have to be sealed.

4 points
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 07:50 am

I think your $5-6 million AAV for Douglas is spot on given he has only delivered one year of solid performance. I think King's contract is not applicable given his inability to stay on the field. King is the current version of Randall Cobb - good player when available but too frequently injured to warrant keeping except on a very cheap contract.

Campbell has had enough prior performance in the league to earn a significant contract. Hope the Packers can swing it.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:21 am

Any money going to King should be put into the Douglas budget. King walks and let the guys who showed up every game get their compensation/bonus. Defense can let Lowry walk. I would keep Abdullah over Heflin.
Campbell is a guy they need if they get creative with bonus distribution and add the incentive clauses. P Smith should stay. Burks,Black and Summer pink slips. The first two rounds of the draft is solid for LBs.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:25 am

Mercilus at Veteran's minimum, but his body may be gone.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:42 pm

I wanted a photo with Z and P Smith plus Campbell. Those three plus Douglas are the big issues. Alexander is important but he is a near certainty and it isn't unusual for teams to get some cap relief when they extend fifth year options.

I would restructure Lowry rather than extend him, but what do I know: I'd have cut him last year. He isn't unimportant but is not in the same dollar range as those listed above. Clark is important but it is just a matter of how much they need.

Philosophy is extremely important.

1. AR is returning for another last dance. That would change which players get extended or restructured (probably almost everyone does), for how much, and which UFAs and RFAs get re-signed.

2. AR is gone - time to retool. That means making judicious choices as to which players to wring money out of, how much, and which to re-sign. I'd want Love to have a decent OL so I might draft another OL player in the first three or four rounds, and try to provide him with some receiving options. The OL is pretty good and the RBs are fine, but the WRs and TEs not so much.

3. AR is gone - time to rebuild. That means clearing the cap in one year. Maybe franchise and trade Adams, maybe trade Aaron Jones (reduces cap space by just $750K) for a decent pick, consider dumping both Z and P, and the like.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:17 am

Re-boot the D line.

2 points
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Festvangelist's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:26 am

Long term the best scenario is getting Draft Capital for Rodgers. Denver makes sense…#9 and #40 and a #1 + 2023. Who knows at this point.
But I would love to see a OT or Edge R#1. Not sure if a quality Edge is available but a OT will be. However my preference would be a stud DT over Edge.
I agree with you regarding needs, but the OL will need a new OT the 2022 OL has too many unknowns including David B. who worries me big time. B

1 points
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Festvangelist's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:11 am

After Aaron gets back with the Packers in March the fun begins ! Very complicated and interesting, 2022 might be the most pivotal Draft for a L O N G time.

-2 points
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gkarl's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:30 am

TGR I think another problem the GPB have is, if AR wants a trade where will he agree to go, and then how much is his value in draft picks/players to that team.

I think a trade is probable but what is AR worth? I have seen what I thought are some crazy valuations put forth but I have to believe we should get more than what the Rams gave up for Stafford.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 01:10 pm

I am more skeptical than some about what GB might get out of a trade. I would think it has to be at least two 1sts and a 3rd. It would be nice if one of those firsts was in the teens or better.

Anything more than that will look like gravy to me and be gladly accepted. I think a team could pry Matt Flynn away from Atlanta for that package of picks. AR is better but older and probably will cost more?

2 points
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HankScorpio's picture

February 12, 2022 at 01:19 pm

I'd be thrilled with trading Rodgers to Philly for #15 and #19 this year. Quick, clean and done. We're not worried about how Rodgers might make future picks later in the round.

Denver has a higher #1 at 9. And a couple of 2s. That's not bad either.

3 points
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HarryHodag's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:43 pm

Great analysis. The question arises about extending contracts on players that might be past their primes. My take on it is the Packers should do a minimum to prolong the cap problems, bite the bullet and rebuild.

It's painful but New England is in the same process now, perhaps a year or two ahead of the Packers. They let Brady walk away and the Packers should move on without Rodgers, sad to say. Adams needs to go to. Both are oustanding players but the NFL is a business. I can't see prolonging the fiscal tooth ache when removing the problem means a better 2023.

11 points
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PeteK's picture

February 11, 2022 at 05:35 pm

Campbell received 6 mill from Cards after a good season in 2019 with Falcons ,but regressed. So 3 yrs 18 mill ( 10 in bonus 12 total guaranteed) for a 28 year old ILB is fair. I would give Douglas 1 yr- 5 mill guaranteed as he came into his own in half season but was just solid a couple of years. I don't want King anywhere near this defense as he was hurt & underperformed again. This might be wishful thinking. Thanks for the workups

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:29 am

My son rather disrespectfully likes to tell people that I (his loving father) am so cheap I won't even spend other people's money!

Every year, I am shocked by how much so and so got and puzzled by how little other players get. I was shocked GB paid $5M for King and puzzled they got OT Kelly for so little. Looking back, I am usually a little low with my guesses/projections.

If King was worth $5M, Douglas is worth ... more. Last year I watched 4 CBs I liked better than King sign for less than King. It was actually infuriating and got me a little riled up. Which does no one any good, certainly not me. I am not a fan of King.

You're giving Campbell Kirksey money. Interesting. Campbell had one good year in Atlanta (his 2nd season) and three bad ones, then crapped the bed in ARI (weirdly - he looked pretty good during the first half of the ARI season and then stunk). Kirksey got $4.5M for 2021 in Houston elsewhere and stunk despite playing a lot. Kirksey also really only had one good year before signing in GB, though it was not of course an all pro year, it was like Campbell's 2nd season. Both guys are good athletes and can cover ground. That is, they can both make the splash play, and have similarities. IDK: I hope GB can get Campbell for that type of contract.

What is surprising is no comments on Chandon Sullivan. Maybe we are all in lockstep on him: $6.6M is way too much and $2.5M to $4M is reasonable for him?

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2022 at 09:15 am

Campbell was actually rather good for the first half of 2020, but then picked up and mostly played through some injuries and lost snaps as well as effectiveness. This year he was mostly healthy.

In a normal year I’d regard Sullivan type players as a trap, as I do Lowry. They are worthy of a roster spot but the team won’t improve while they are projected to start at their positions. Those players tend to get more money and longer careers because they aren’t awful and are known commodities. Ideally we should look to upgrade both and, if they demand starter type pay, move on from them.

If we can keep Douglas, I’d let Sullivan go except at near minimum as a 4th corner. Lowry likely stays in his current role because we are so thin at his position and we overpay him again.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:42 am

Better CBs in the draft over Sullivan. Get faster.

2 points
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:13 am

Sullivan's play declined as the season progressed. I did not hear about an injury, so I am inclined to think offensive coordinators identified him as a weakness and attacked him. I would not pay Sullivan much more than the veteran minimum. Let someone else pay him $6+ million and give the Packers the related comp pick.

Sadly TGR, I think folks with a finance background (guilty as charged...) tend to have too much respect for money and are reluctant to let it go. My daughter could compare notes with your son........ Which means I may be way off on Sullivan.

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 12:52 pm

LOL. I shouldn't have told my son this story. My boss said they'd pay for a garage door opener to the underground garage so I didn't have to get out to use a fob in the winter (I live so close that my window is usually stuck closed). The garage door opener cost $100 which my boss thought was worthwhile company expense to enhance employee comfort. I declined noting I am not so old or so lazy that I can't get out of the car to use the fob. So my son exclaimed that I wouldn't even spend other people's money.

I am okay on vacations. Can't enjoy a vacation or beers at a game if I am keeping a tally about how much I'd save per beer at home (and likely be drinking better beer!). Come to think on that philosophy, the garage door opener was a one-time expense whereas everyday small expenses incurred add up to real money: I should have accepted it.

3 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:01 pm

Seems to me, most Packer fans can squeeze a quarter so hard it'll make the eagle scream... Cheap %'ers... ;)

0 points
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Dragon5's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:59 pm

Campbell likely priced himself out GB linebacker paygrade threshold and good for him--he earned it.

Like Campbell, many will vie for Douglas given his profound '21 impact, but as MVS was in '21, he is a 7 life path entering a high-injury risk personal 7 year just before the '22 season kicks off. You can sign him and hope doesn't ride the bench injured for much/most of '22, or the wise GM either passes or brilliantly sells high in a sign n trade...further extracting value from a Rodgers/Adams blockbuster.

Smith Bros in their enemy year with Preston in a personal 7 year to boot = de facto cap casualties.

Choose wisely Gutey. The opportunity that lies before you is a GM's wet dream, regardless if Love fails or succeeds.

-1 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:31 pm

Excellent work TGR...

IDK how it happens but I want Rasul Douglas and D. Campbell on the team next year. From everything Rasul said, he definitely wants to come back and I think a fair team-friendly deal will do it. Campbell - I don't want to break the bank, even if AR/DA are both gone, but we've all seen our defense without him in the middle and it ain't pretty... So I am sure Ball is working the numbers, and could sure use TGR's help, if only to carry the 9, but letting two guys like Campbell and Douglas walk out the door seems insane if we can help it and afford it.

3 points
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stockholder's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:55 pm

Gutey won't do anything Logical. Campbell will be resigned. And the money will come from the reworking of contracts. And if they complain. Can you say CUT! The key to getting under the cap; is to let Adams go. They honored his contract. And with Rodgers winning the MVP. He's good for a wild card any day. My thinking now is if they found Cambell and Douglass. Why can't Gutey can replace Adams.

-6 points
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dobber's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:14 am

"My thinking now is if they found Cambell and Douglass. Why can't Gutey can replace Adams."

Yeah, that's an apples to apples comparison...

3 points
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friedt's picture

February 12, 2022 at 05:18 am

Awesome article! Thank you. The bean counters gotta find a way to keep Campbell - he's the QB of the defense. He made it all work this year for the D. Want Douglas but we have got to have Campbell.

6 points
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HankScorpio's picture

February 12, 2022 at 07:00 am

Z is simply not affordable at his age & price given the cap crunch, IMO. Preston Smith has a long rich history of following up good years with bad one and vice versa. The pattern says 2022 will be a down year, Pulling those two off the roster devastates the pass rush depth and gets them about halfway home in terms of untangling the cap mess.

I love what both De'Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas did for the Packers in 2021 but don't want to unload the truck for one-year wonders, given the cap situation. That's two more holes in the defense,

Not a pretty picture. But that's what happens when you let Russ Ball manage the cap. He came from New Orleans where they were always in cap hell. It was a slow burn for them until they hit on magical draft class that included Ryan Ramczyk, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore. With the goofy reporting structure they have, it falls at Mark Murphy's desk. But Gute has his fingers in that pie, IMO.

This is why I will always hate the notion of going "all in". They did and went backwards by losing a round earlier than the previous two years. And now they are going to pay a heavy price for taking a step backwards.

-2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 09:35 am

How are you doing, Hank?

I agree with your facts for the most part. Remember CM3 being the only pass rusher (with help from Daniels and Raji) while being paired with Walden or Zombo or Andy Mulumba? Gary with Clark seems similar to me. Losing Z and P would greatly weaken the pass rush, but no doubt Gute would try to mitigate against such a talent drain. TT tried to get some more pass rushing juice with Neal (56th pick) in 2011 and then Nick Perry (28th), Worthy (51st) and hit on Daniels (132nd) in 2012, but Daniels wasn't immediately apparent so Datone Jones (26th) in 2013. TT finally solved the problem by actually getting an OLB/Edge player in Peppers in 2014.

As I noted, the edge class is deep, so a first or second round edge selection is very possible. OTOH, GB has needs, so in the first round, if they like a WR, ILB (obviously if Campbell departs), CB who can play both slot and boundary, TE, DE suitable for a 3-4, I couldn't argue with any of those generic selections. That said, don't pass on the next Anthony Munoz just because GB doesn't need an offensive tackle.

I particularly agree on your view for NO. Great draft class transformed them into a contender. I like to point to Denver: In 2011, HOF Von Miller (2), OT Orlando Franklin (46), TEs Julius Thomas (129), TE Virgil Green (204th - okay, a blocker, but he played 137 games in the NFL for a reason) . Then in 2012, Derek Wolfe (36th), Malik Jackson (137) and Danny Trevathan (188) - so thats a 2nd, 5th and a 6th - and voila, you have a defense! Add a couple of free agent DBs plus a QB in Payton Manning in 2012 and select a competent IDL in Sylvester Williams in 2013 and you've got a monster team with great players on rookie contracts.

Most of this cap problem is due to Covid. That said, their eyes were wide open going into the 2021 season when they added void years to every player's contract. I applauded and still applaud that decision since I figured AR was not long for GB. I am all for going "all-in" when the stars align. But to each their own.

3 points
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HankScorpio's picture

February 12, 2022 at 01:21 pm

Doing well, TGR. As usual, enjoyed reading your point of view.

I've read some pretty good things about the edge rushing draft class, too. And the LBers too. The potential losses at those two spots from 2021 can be replaced if Gute navigates the draft well.

The good news is the Packers defense has a solid base where it counts the most, IMO. CB1, CB2, Edge1, DL1 and Safety1 are rock solid in Jaire, Stokes, Gary, Clark and Amos. We're talking about filling pieces, not finding stars, which is far from hopeless. In fact, I think they have greater needs on offense since they cannot seem to complete passes in playoff games when things really matter.

2 points
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Turophile's picture

February 12, 2022 at 07:54 am

I'm beginning to see why Thegreatreynoldo is so pessimistic about a future that includes Rodgers within the Packers cap.

It's a real delicate dance in deciding how much money to push into 2023. There is cap constraint pain, both this year and next. The dance is about how you keep, extend, re-negotiate, or release, to deal with each contract of a very good group of players.

Things are going to change in 2022, even more than they do most years. It won't be change for the better, the problem is too serious for that, but at least we can all hope for 'minimised damage' to future team strength and cap health.

This is not a hopeful post, but that is simply the situation the Packers are in. Any blame for their current position is down mostly to outside forces they had no control over, not to Packers management. I do hope Russ Ball earns every dollar of his salary in the next few months.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:16 am

I have no issue with them spending to get a team around Rodgers that gave him a legitimate chance. As I see it, that has been the clear objective since Gute was appointed. Most of us wanted that and there were considerable doubts whether we could get there. We did, in 2020 and then we threw everything left into this year. That it didn’t work doesn’t change the fact that it perhaps ought to have if LaFleur and Rodgers had done their parts.

I’m a little surprised at some who seem to regret that we are in the current cap position or criticize the team for it. They took an informed gamble that we all wanted. It didn’t pay off and now we should accept the consequences we all knew would follow (win or lose) and have discussed often enough.

7 points
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HankScorpio's picture

February 12, 2022 at 01:00 pm

"I'm beginning to see why Thegreatreynoldo is so pessimistic about a future that includes Rodgers within the Packers cap."

Call me is conspiracy theorist if you'd like, but I took Rodgers saying he didn't want to be part of a rebuild as code for him saying "Thanks for the memories, it's been fun. But time for me to move on". I just don't see how the cap allows 2022 to be viewed as anything but a rebuild.

I know very little about how all the cap gimmicks work. All I really know is they will have to pay the fiddler for overspending in the past at some point. And that will mean high priced players moving on.

2 points
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mrtundra's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:15 am

Who stays or goes relies heavily on whether Aaron Rodgers stays, or goes. If ARod goes, we can clear cap space needed to extend Campbell and/or Douglas, and maybe Davante. If he stays, a lot of guys will be gone from this roster, solely due to Rodgers' cap hit. I can see GB letting these guys go to FA, or by being traded: Zadarious, Crosby( after training camp competition settles down), Keke, Bakhtiari, King, Sullivan, Douglas, Campbell, plus a few fringe guys like Burks or Black. The thing that may save Burks is that he was a good tackler on STs. The new STs coach may like what he sees in Burks and that would be enough to keep him. That goes for any of these players that could be cut. We just hired a new STs Coordinator and he should have a say in who he wants to keep, in his unit.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2022 at 09:32 am

If one boils it right down, there’s really little one can meaningfully discuss till we know what is happening with Rodgers. As you say, our options and direction change dramatically depending on whether he is traded, retired or retained.

TGR, I do appreciate your determination to put the facts in front of us in a comprehensible form. Our discussions are far better for being informed, even if the message is not all that palatable.

4 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 09:56 am

Thanks, CW. Mind, one should never let the bean-counters run your team. And if the bean-counter is organizing the numbers so as to promote his own agenda or view, you've got a bad bean-counter no matter how good he or she is at being accurate with the numbers.

The cap savings are about the same with a trade of AR or an extension. What changes is the possible philosophy. Without AR, is a complete rebuild while shedding contracts the way to go?

If you want to be decent in 2022, the defense is closer than the offense. Just keep Douglas and Campbell and add an edge in the draft high. At least, that might work. But I think it is more important to give Love a decent supporting cast. I do think the NFL is a QB driven sport and we need to give Love a decent OL, run game and some receivers. [Since I am talking to you specifically, placing an emphasis on the offense also might tell us more about LaFleur and his abilities with his own QB to mold and without wondering how much AR is ignoring his play calls and/or skewing the offense toward passing in general and deep passing in particular.]

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:05 am

I don’t disagree with your thoughts on off season approach and priorities. I think we will need a DL and OLB unless they really believe in Ramsey (under the potential scenarios I envisage) and a cover-capable S later or in FA as we have zero depth. We need an ILB too, either to replace Campbell or compete with Barnes, which just affects how much draft capital.

Other than that I’d go WR/TE and likely an OL, with a corner or two late. The missing element could be a QB, but this year that may as well be later in my view. I don’t think we need a RB outside of UDFA: I’m happy with Taylor and Hill. That’s about as close as I can get to a needs and rough priority without knowing what we will do before March 16.

0 points
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:35 am

TGR: You seem to see two options while trading Rodgers - (1) a complete rebuild and (2) a modified rebuild. I am not sure I see the difference in practical terms.

The Packers will have to cut several other high priced vets regardless of what happens to Rodgers just to fix the 2022 cap problems. Davonte is gone along with Z. Smith and likely a number of other vets are in the high risk / potentially gone category (P. Smith, Cobb, Turner, Lowery, Campbell, Douglas, etc. etc.). Not all will go, but some will have to.

Other high dollar players are essentially uncuttable in 2022 because of their contracts (Bahk and Clark) and they can only be addressed in 2023 at the earliest.

I just don't see many options for the Packers for 2022 and I think their course is largely defined outside of Rodgers. I would appreciate it if you could articulate your options because I seem to be missing them.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:49 am

Right. Assume AR and Adams are gone. GB can have a hard landing or a potentially a softer landing in 2022. Lots of folks think GB can be a 9-8 team or 7-10, whatever, even without AR and DA, but I think that requires not cleaning up the cap because Gute has to spend some money on defense: that is, buy Campbell, Douglas and keep one of Preston or Z. [i suppose there are possibilities like Mercilus signs cheap and is good and Gary and Mercilus stay healthy, etc.). I don't like being mediocre and having cap problems.

I have avoided making a judgment on Love. I don't know how he will turn out, but if you give me a truth inducing drug I am not high on him. Looking at the ole crystal ball, I'd say Love needs 2022 to learn during and 2023 in which to grow. So, I am looking at 2024 for supporting cast, his 5th year option season. Not great management in my view: Love didn't get to play have TC being the main or 2nd QB for reps for his first two seasons, and the team has to start paying him in 2024 and definitely in 2025 if he is a capable franchise QB.

GB has Aaron Jones under contract for $4.75M in 2022, $16M (!) in 2023, and $12M in 2024. GB is probably parting ways with Jones after this year, a year I think we will be bad without AR/DA. Why keep Jones? I like Dillon, Hill and Patrick. Maybe draft a scat back in the 4th. I'd trade Jones in June for a 3rd round pick. I'd think about a 4th. Take the $800K in negative cap savings with a June trade. Jones would have a $6.5M dead hit in 2023, but if GB is going to part ways in 2023 anyway, they are still going to take the same dead money hit anyway.

Billy Turner is 31 and has a $6.1M cap number for an acquiring team. He had a good year in 2021 and a good performance against SF despite the comments. I like Bakh, Nijman and the ubiquitous Jenkins covering the tackle spots in 2022. GB has OG prospects. I probably would trade Turner as well for a high 4th or better. However, I might have to release him to comply with the cap unless I mortgage things by keeping P or Z and re-signing possibly expensive guys like Campbell and/or Douglas.

The Packers could just not sign or extend the "Probably, the Iffy, or the Gone" types. So, spend no money on King or Sullivan. Do you want to sign Amos for 4 yrs/$48M? By the time GB is good again will he be in decline? He is 28 and will be 29 in 2022. What is the point of having high priced players who will (or might) age out by the time GB is good again? Lot of support for extending him and I am not against it, but I could also see trading him in the hard fall scenario. I could see leaving his deal alone and flipping him in June. His numbers are awkward, he still costs $7.4M as a cap hit to an acquiring team, so I think getting a draft pick for him is too iffy to plan on. I'd just restructure him if it can done without his permission.

Do you want to sign Preston Smith to a 4 year, $54 to $60M deal ($14 or $15M AAV) that covers his 30-33 age years? With AR maybe. Another awkward guy is Lowry.

I guess I don't want expensive aging players who get old just when GB is getting better. I don't want to fail to clean up the cap while still going .500 so we don't get top 12 picks but can't afford FAs. I seem to remember Buffalo having a fire sale on veterans but it might have been longer ago than I thought: 2017 apparently. I have some confidence in Gute's ability to draft, particularly in rounds one and two as 3-7 he's been a little iffy.

Sorry this took so long to form a response. That's the type I am! 😂

3 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 04:58 pm

Darn, I butchered the description of Aaron Jones' contract. He would have to be traded on March 17 exactly (before his $3.75M roster bonus is due but after the new league year starts) to get a cap savings reduction of $800K and a draft pick.

If traded between March 18 and June 1, GB takes an $5.05M reduction in cap space. That is a non-starter.

If they trade Jones after June 2, GB gets $1.452M in cap savings in 2022 but would have a $6.5M dead money hit in 2023. That would not make too much sense. The only reason to do that is because the acquiring team would get him for $2M cap number in 2022 instead of $5.75M, in which case I'd be looking for a better draft pick, maybe a 2nd. IDK though, the acquiring team would still be saddled with a contract that calls for $16M (!) in 2023 and $12M in 2024.

BTW: Spotrac's numbers and OTC's numbers are wrong except for one day in March. They don't consider the roster bonus. IF GB pays it, it doesn't go away. Their numbers are right if Jones would consent to deferring his roster bonus payment date from March 18 to June 2 or later.

1 points
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 05:36 pm

Thank you TGR. BTW this response includes having read your postscripts.

I have been pondering similar issues regarding the "aging" vets that are still good but may age out before Love (or his replacement) develops sufficiently. I think Turner, Bahktiari, Jones, P. Smith, Lowery and Amos all fall into that category and Clark is close although his age makes him borderline younger. I would also add the free agents Campbell, Douglas to that mix.

Bahk and Clark are untouchable in 2022 due to their contracts and Clark is young enough he may well be good for awhile into Love's (hopeful) ascendency. Bahk may well be a trade candidate after 2022 given his contract and Love's development (which is very unclear to me).

The others I would be more than willing to part with if the Packers can get decent trade value or resign them if they are amenable to very reasonable contracts. I would not sign any of them to large contracts simply because they will age out as the new QB ascends and leave the Packers in mediocre land for a long time.

The key is Love and I believe 2022 will be a rough year record wise for the Packers as Love learns the NFL (6 - 11 at best, maybe worse). I also think the Packers will know a great deal more about Love by the end of the 2022 season and whether they have their replacement QB or need to try again. Due to that uncertainty about Love, I am not inclined to keep aging vets as a bridge to the next great Packer team. Trade them if you can get value and take your lumps in 2022. The Packers should have a decent #1 in the 2023 draft (and package their #1 and Bahk to move up) and can draft another QB if the y have to.

I just don't see an intermediate option (keeping the aging vets) working very well. It could leave the Packers in bad shape for a long time unless Love is a star in the making. I saw the 70s and 80s before and don't want to revisit that nightmare again.

Appreciate the dialogue TGR as this helped me refine my thinking about the aging vets. I have been chewing on this for awhile as to what the best course might be. Strategy is always hard and bold decisions get you kudos or fired. Glad I am not doing this for real....:)

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 12:06 pm

PS

Bakh and Clark aren't cuttable, but a lot of people are advocating for dipping into their contracts so GB can be better in 2022 and 2023. I don't really like that. Since I am aiming at 2023 or more likely 2024 for renewed success, I don't like the idea of Bakh having a $33M cap number in 2024 or Clark having a $27M cap number just when GB is getting better. Of course, the cap could explode and they both could still top players then. I might be on board with some judicious dipping into their salaries, but not at the extreme end. Since I am considering prioritizing offense so we can get an accurate and fair read on Jordan Love and for that matter, Matt LaFleur, I am more open to dipping into Bakh's deal since I want Love to have a rock protecting his blind side than I am as to dipping into Clark's deal.

Really, your comment forced me to consider these thoughts which have been more an inchoate philosophy moving forward. I put this forth, but more thinking and tinkering is required, or just considering some responses from other readers.

2 points
2
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:51 am

I am a bit of an outlier on this topic, but financially speaking I don't think AR has much to do with what the Packers do with other players in 2022. As TGR has repeatedly pointed out, whether AR is traded, cut or renegotiated, the cap savings from his current deal will be pretty similar in 2022. If he is resigned, that will impact 2023 and beyond significantly, but not 2022.

Of course, trading him results in more draft choices in 2022 and perhaps a significant shift in how all the draft choices are deployed. But AR's 2022 financial impact is pretty well defined at this point.

I suspect the 2022 cap issue now is more about who else has to get cut or their deal redone to get under the 2022 cap number than what happens with AR.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:14 am

I see what you are saying in terms of the initial cap hurdle in mid March, but I think that the decision on Rodgers has a massive impact on who else is implicated and how we approach getting under the initial cap ceiling (extensions/restructuring/cuts). Rodgers retirement, renegotiation or trade then deeply affects both what we may have as roster priorities and the cap resources available to secure them. Love or another as a year one starter and another year of Rodgers would logically suggest lead to very different priorities this year and also for after that.

2 points
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 05:00 pm

I was talking just financially. The Packers have already made Rodgers a contract offer and given the 2022 cap issue, I strongly suspect that the 2022 contract number closely resembles the cap savings if Rodgers is traded, cut or retires. They must get significant cap savings from Rodgers in 2022, one way or another. That really means that Rodgers' 2022 cap number is pretty well determined all ready - for March or any other point in the year.

Whatever the Packers do with other players, it will be driven by the remainder of the cap issue, not uncertainty around Rodgers' cap number.

Clearly keeping or moving on from Rodgers has huge implications for who stays and who goes as well as the draft selections in terms of fit with the offense. However I think the numbers are already pretty clear and determined for 2022. The unsaid detail is what Rodgers' numbers might look like in 2023 and 2024 if he stays.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 12:25 pm

I agree again. At present, GB has their own 7 draft picks plus an extra 4th and 7th. An AR trade brings more, who knows what. Flipping Aaron Jones and/or Turner (age 31 after all) might bring another 3rd and 4th, or perhaps two 4ths. [I have been surprised by how little some teams got for some of their still good players, so I don't want to go off into crank territory here.] Franchising Adams if the cap space can be found might bring another first and at worst a second. 2 or 3 firsts (AR and DA), one second, 2 or three thirds (ours, one for AR trade, one for flipping Jones), 2 fourths, a fifth, a sixth and 2 sevenths. I skipped flipping Turner. If something close to that is achieved, then it is up to Gute to use the draft picks wisely. [The Raiders got Josh Jacobs and Damon Arnette with the two firsts, Bryan Edwards in the 3rd. Chicago got Mack and a 2nd rounder (Cole Kmet while having to pay Mack) The lesson might be that the plus from getting Mack was far offset by the minus of missing on the QB, Trubisky.]

I am thinking there is a way to get well on the field and as to the salary cap fairly quickly if this is executed well. Right now, I am thinking rip the band-aid off even if that means a dismal 2022 and/or 2023. I'd prefer to have some pieces on offense to evaluate Love.

Players are not suddenly better because the team pays them more, nor are they better just because their cap number rose.

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 13, 2022 at 03:58 am

Oops: the Packers traded their 6th round pick for Cobb. So, they don't have a 6th rounder. I thought they had a 6th round comp for Jamaal Williams, but OTC projects a 7th. GB got a 7th for KaDar Holman from Houston (houston got the pick from Chicago in another trade).

There is some confusion. Draftwire has GB with a fourth round comp plus our own, and 3 seventh rounders (ours, Houston/Chicago trade and a comp pick) and that looks correct to me. Let me know if it is otherwise.

0 points
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croatpackfan's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:20 am

Big thank you TGR.

2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

February 12, 2022 at 09:49 am

Based on what I am reading, it seems like this draft class is loaded at positions of Packer needs: DE, Edge and WR...and given where the Packers sit at the bottom of rounds, having those 3 positions well stocked is helpful.

If Douglas can be re-signed, the CB room has good starters with Alexander, Stokes, and Douglas with Jean-Charles, Ento and a draft choice/FA for decent depth.

ILB, if Campbell leaves, is a serious concern. Barnes can't cover his own shadow and while his run D is solid at times, he gets out of position too often. Burks, Summers have had enough time to show they JAGs. McDuffie may yet emerge in his sophomore year...but this is a position that (again!) needs quality players and a draft choice on day two would be welcome for a change.

At DE, I think Clark will have help from young sophomores Slayton and Hefflin and would not be surprised to see one or two draft choices join the room. I think Lowry is gone (too expensive) as well as Lancaster (JAG).

At Edge, Gary and Preston (if he returns, and I think he will) with Mercillus forms a solid rotation with a high draft choice joining them. And the remaining young guys like Ramsey, Garvin and Gileal still have time grow and earn snaps in the rotation. Coach Smith has shown he is able develop young talent. What he has done with Gary and resurrecting Preston's production is noteworthy.

Gutey and Ball will be working later than usual through draft day.

5 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 10:36 am

As to Lowry, the cap savings for a release ($4.08M) is not that much more than a restructure ($2.96M so almost $3M). I am assuming GB does not need his permission to convert base pay to a signing bonus. If they do, Lowry should say no. He turns 28 in June. He is coming off his best season in years. He has been durable to date. It is much better for him to negotiate his probable last big four year deal now than a year from now, when his play might regress or he might get injured. His dead is $4M this year, and if he is kept his dead money would be about $4.8M but GB gets the value of his play in 2022.

It is funny that I keep seemingly defending Lowry since I wanted him gone last year. That is, I am not a fan of his, not really, but he is more than some JAG. What to do with these guys depends on philosophy and that in turn depends on what AR does.

Also kind of funny that without AR I think I favor prioritizing offense. I want to give Love a fair chance. I want to see what LaFleur looks like without having so many OL injuries that he can't run his motion by TEs and such. I want to see what LaFleur looks like without the skewing of the offense of AR to Davante. I'd like to see what LaFleur does with his coaches without the (heavy?) input of Murphy and Ball. Right now, given that so much of his staff just got promoted by other organizations, it looks like the staff he put together is better than I thought it was. I suppose those guys could all bomb in Denver and Chicago. It is interesting that we heard no reports about interest in Coach Smith. I liked that hiring, but then Joe Barry was a linebackers coach too, right?

Edit: BTW, thumps up from me for your comment. Though we sort of disagree on Lowry, yours was a thought provoking comment. Also: my numbers on Lowry do not include converting his $400K per game bonus or his $500K workout bonus because those would almost certainly need his approval, which looking at things from his point of view, he should not give. If they convert that money too, his cap savings climbs to $3.7M on a restructure and his dead in 2023 climbs to $5.5M. For his 4 year extension if it is at $8M AAV, those numbers don't change so there isn't a lot of cap savings by extending him. And I don't want to extend him at that price!

2 points
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PatrickGB's picture

February 12, 2022 at 02:14 pm

Lowery has the nickname “Rhino”. It fits. Great push and not a lot of pass rushing moves. There is value in that type of play as long as one does not overpay him. He is the type of player that complements other players. Compared to other players discussed here his contract is not that high. However, when trying to figure out was to get under the cap, I can understand the discussion here. But I wonder if simply letting high priced players go and using draft picks and FA to replace those players might be the best way to go?

1 points
1
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Festvangelist's picture

February 12, 2022 at 11:01 am

Hard to project any real strategies until we know about Aaron’s decision which should happen within a month. After that the Packers have something to start the process of trading Aaron for Draft Capital, or keep Aaron, and prioritize who to offer extensions, restructuring, resigning, etc. or release. Then develop a plan for the Draft Big Board.
Unfortunately, at this point I do not see a way to keep Davonte. But if, If we could work a deal to sign and trade for a #1 it would enable us to actually start planning for a new WR. Love him but we have serious cap space issues.
If Aaron request a trade I think we might see what Denver offers…#9 & 40 this year and a #1 + in 2023 and perhaps player might ( cap friendly) get thrown in as well. Please do not pick a QB in this years Draft.

2 points
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PatrickGB's picture

February 12, 2022 at 02:21 pm

Gutie has found good players who were castoffs before and maybe he can do it again. Or he can let lots of familiar players go and start anew.. And by bringing in FA’s he can structure the contract out to where the cap hit occurs when the cap is expected to jump. So, instead of talking about restructuring contracts we might start thinking about wholesale change?

-1 points
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croatpackfan's picture

February 12, 2022 at 04:00 pm

Well there is no Friday every day!

0 points
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SinceLombardi's picture

February 12, 2022 at 07:10 pm

Excellent analysis.
Bad luck schlep rock Kevin king would have cost the 72 Dolphins a couple of games.
The defense will be average again ( at best) next year too.
Really bad offensive teams ( Baltimore/ Detroit/ SF etc) pushed them around when it mattered. Rasul Douglas saved them from being the 4 seed. Not that it mattered, as man buns get tight in the playoffs.

0 points
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