With left tackle David Bakhtiari and defensive tackle Kenny Clark both having just received long-term contract extensions for big money, the salary cap tightens immensely for the Green Bay Packers as they look to secure their future. With two players down, it looks like running back Aaron Jones, center Corey Linsley, and cornerback Kevin King are last on the board for potential contract extensions, something that may be tough especially with the type of money that was already spent.
Of the three remaining bigger names, Linsley certainly looks to be the most unheralded option that also seems to be the biggest player left for an extension. Replacing offensive line talent is a very hard task to do, especially when that player is the center that has a great rapport with the quarterback, so Linsley’s role on this team certainly would be very tough to replace.
With Bakhtiari just having gotten a deal done, GM Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball obviously are not worried about letting their OL go, so it would make the most sense to prioritize Linsley the most moving forward. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but putting Linsley next up on the list would certainly be the smartest way to conduct business.
Jones is obviously the biggest name of the group of three, as starting running backs certainly garner the bigger headlines. But a big-time caveat comes with handing out extensions to starting RBs, something that has proven to be very costly for teams.
When the Rams gave Todd Gurley his big extension, it was only a matter of time before that contract was seen as a negative, and all it took was a series of knee injuries and Gurley was out of town without having fully proven that extension to be worthy. Now, Jones has obviously been much healthier than what Gurley was, but the fact still remains that he has a ton of mileage on his body and certainly will make it tough for the front office to justify a long-term, big-money deal for him.
Finally, King has put together an impressive season this year, but injuries have derailed his professional career to this point so far, making it tough to think that a market-value extension would be handed out to him at any point this season. Now, a deal during the offseason could very easily be doled out if his value were to drop, but King certainly will be looking for his biggest cash-in opportunity and Green Bay most likely will not be that option for him.
The writing seems to be very much on the wall for what moves are next up for Green Bay, it is all just a matter of time to see if they actually happen. The likelihood of Jones and King not returning next year grows as the days go on, something that also can help boost the odds that Linsley returns as well.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23