The Green Bay Packers are at the precipice of a monumental crossroads in 2022. This offseason they will have to make some franchise altering decisions. Each one will be criticized and the effects immediate. The direction that Mark Murphy, Brian Gutekunst, and Matt LaFleur choose to take the franchise this year will have enormous consequences for not only the upcoming season but foreseeable future. This is one Packers offseason roadmap the team could take.
Much has already been written about the Packers salary cap situation. Currently the Packers must shed nearly 40 million dollars of salary in order to be in compliance with the projected 2022 cap of $208.2 million. All options are going to be on the table, so expect the Packers to be busy in the next month. Contract extensions of players like Jaire Alexander and Adrian Amos are good places to start and are likely. Beyond that, there are many players Green Bay may move on from. A subset of Mason Crosby, Preston Smith, Dean Lowry, Za’darius Smith, and/or Billy Turner. The real question is: What combination of talent do you let walk out the door versus keep?
Two of the biggest choices are undoubtedly linked. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adam’s future in the Green and Gold is in the balance. The Packers have publicly stated repeatedly that they expect both players to return and will do whatever it takes to keep the two in Green Bay. What that might cost is a combined $70 million for the two per year. While the cap can be manipulated with bonuses and void years, there’s no avoiding that the two likely would eat up almost a third of the cap. If the leadership intends to do this, then it would lead to even more of a salary related exodus of veterans from the roster.
After the Packers determine the direction of their own veterans, as well as Rodgers and Adams, next would be how to fill out the roster. The Packers will have to look under every nook and cranny in free agency to find players to fill out their roster and play significant roles in 2022. Gutekunst will need to strike gold as he did last season with De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas. Both players cost minimal in comparison to their play on the field.
In the draft, they will likely look to maneuver around the board to acquire additional draft picks. This is for a couple of reasons. One, it’s likely that they will have many holes on the roster to fill. The draft is one of the best ways to fill in the backend of the roster. Secondly, rookie contracts are extremely affordable, so the more of those that can been on the roster, the better. Finally, with the need for the Packers to completely revamp special teams, the draft is an excellent place to acquire young, hungry players.
While this is clearly not the only roadmap they could take, thus far in the offseason it seems to be the most likely scenario. Without a doubt, the path that they take will affect both the present and future for the entire Green Bay Packers organization.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.