Offseason Roster Moves:
With the Packers coaching staff and front office continuing to shape into form, it is time to start looking towards the potential upcoming player personnel movement that could happen this offseason. Clearly, there are some players that will be and need to be moving on from the Green and Gold. The question is, will these much-needed changes take place this offseason? Judging from the last few seasons, you can understand my skepticism.
The speculation is that Brian Gutekunst will continue to try to build and develop through the draft, but will be much more active in the free agent market. In order to be a serious player in this year’s free agent market, Packers cap guru Russ Ball will need to get creative and restructure some contracts, cut some players, and negotiate some lower cap hitting free agent deals.
Highlighting Roster Needs:
After completing a dismal 7-9 season, the Packers need a change of philosophy when approaching the construction of their 2018-2019 fifty-three man roster. One of the very few things that I will ever agree with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix about is the fact that the Packers need to have veteran players on both sides of the ball who can fill in for injured players in the starting units.
Each of the last few seasons, the Packers have had young and inexperienced players fill significant roles in key positions in which members of the staring units were injured. As a result of this, key areas of the roster was compromised and productivity was hampered.
1. More Veteran Depth on both sides of the ball
2. More talented players on both sides of the ball to create fierce competition in training camp and provide the team with a suitable replacement for when a starting player misses significant playing time.
Current Positional Needs:
1. Offensive Line
Ways to Free up Cap Space:
1. Cut Brian Bulaga
2. Restructure Randall Cobb
3.Restructure Clay Matthews
4. Do not overpay Morgan Burnett
Addressing Specific Positional Needs (Some Potential Solutions):
1. Offensive Line: Resign Jahri Evans, Draft a right tackle, and sign more veteran depth.
2. Edge Rushers: Make a splash! Go all in and sign either DeMarcus Lawrence or Ezekiel Ansah, beg Julius Peppers to come back on a cap friendly deal, and draft Harold Landry (BC) or Clelin Ferrell (Clemson).
3. Corner Back: Use draft picks to trade for Patrick Peterson. 2018 is Peterson’s final guaranteed season under contract (spotrac.com).
4. Safety: Offer Morgan Burnett a fair contract that is team friendly, draft another Saftey, and try to sign Kenny Vaccaro.
5. Tight End: Bring back Lance Kendricks on an incentive heavy one year deal, include Richard Rodgers more in the offense, and draft a tight end.
If the Packers are serious about being a playoff contender, they must break from the old ways of Ted Thompson and intelligently spend money on free agents that can make an impact. This team needs a new culture and an infusion of energy. Hopefully, this offseason will accomplish this and land the Packers back in the playoffs next season.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave