Aaron Rodgers is back! Reports surfaced yesterday that Rodgers has agreed to a record setting four-year $200 million dollar contract. While there has been murmurs that the numbers of the contract aren’t accurate, this confirms Green Bay is going to push for a championship in 2022. Rodgers is not coming back to be a part of a ‘cap cleaning’ season so every move the Packers make, whether its franchising Davante Adams, what players they resign or acquire, and who they draft will all be focused on building a roster that will result in a Packers championship run. Let’s consider some of the moves that are up next this month.
This is the start of a busy week for the Packers. They will need to make numerous decisions to get their salary cap in order. It’s widely believed that the Packers will cut Za’darius Smith in a cost cutting move. Others will likely meet a similar fate. Other candidates under consideration could include Billy Turner and Mason Crosby. Additionally, some combination of Adrian Amos, Preston Smith, and Jaire Alexander could be looking all be looking at salary cap saving extensions. There is already rumblings for both Smith and Alexander, and Amos could be a third option. All three have clearly earned extensions and the Packers would be wise to lock all three of them up. Each contract signed would lead to millions coming off the 2022 salary cap.
Starting next week is the new league year, which also marks the start of free agency on March 16th. While the Packers will likely not be day one buyers, they are definitely going to be looking for ways to augment their roster with proven depth. Early reports have Green Bay linked to numerous pass rushers, including Von Miller and Uchenna Nwosu. At least at this point, both look to be out of the Packers price range. However, it’s clear that they want to bolster their pass rush. Other areas they are likely to be shopping for tight ends, safeties, wide receivers, as well as special teams players as they rebuild that unit.
Beyond outside free agents, they will monitor their own free agents, trying to see if they can strike deals with their own players after they hit the open market. Some of these include De’vondre Campbell and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Green Bay would absolutely hate to lose players of their caliber, but it’s possible that they will get an offer or offers that outmatch anything the Packers can hope to match. However, if at first they don’t get what they are looking for, Green Bay may be able to convince them to return in 2022 and beyond.
The next two to three weeks will define the Packers roster for 2022. The moves they make and don’t make will help guide their vision for the NFL draft as well as what type of team they will field this season. One thing is abundantly clear after the dust has settled with Rodgers: the Packers are in win now mode. The rest of their offseason prove that.
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.