As the Packers minicamp wraps up today, the league year transitions into somewhat of a dead zone. Players are studying their playbooks and keeping in shape for training camp. Coaches similarly are preparing to run camp as well as developing strategies for the upcoming season. For the front office, Brian Gutekunst is undoubtedly looking to improve this years team, but is also having an eye to the future. Green Bay is fortunate to have multiple players deserving consideration of an extension. This pre-training camp dead zone is the perfect time for the Packers contract extension candidates to negotiate with the team without any distractions.
Since joining the Packers in 2019 from Chicago, Adrian Amos has been the picture of consistency and stability. He knows exactly when and where he needs to be on every snap and improves the play of the players around him. He’s a strong leader on and off the field and has helped transform the defensive culture on the Packers.
Additionally, in his three seasons with the Packers he has flashed the playmaking ability that was missing while he was with the Bears. He’s had two interceptions each season and multiple passes defensed. Pro Football Focus has consistently graded as one of the top players at his position. He is playing in the final year of his deal this season.
The Packers don’t have a clear plan of succession for life after Amos, if they even want that. The did not take a safety in the draft until Tariq Carpender the 7th round, whose best fit may be special teams or linebacker. Amos may turn 30 after this season, but his skillset is one that should age very well. At Safety, players often play at a very high level well into their mid-thirties. While an extension would not free up much cap room this season, the Packers should still look to lock up Amos with a 3 or 4 year extension.
After been tagged with a 2nd round tender as a restricted free agent, Allen Lazard signed his contract week, guaranteeing him nearly 4 million dollars this year. Lazard is a player that would be a classic extension candidate for the Packers. He’s young, talented and looks like he could be in line for a breakout season.
He’s grown in his role on offense each year and has built a good relationship with Aaron Rodgers. Lazard is a good route runner and has developed into one of the best run blocking receivers in the league, which is a huge bonus. He seems to relish the opportunity to block and force his will onto defenders.
With a revamped wide receiver core, Lazard has the opportunity to explode on the scene this season. If this happens, he could quickly price outside of the Packers range. Signing him to an extension now would require some projection by the Packers and Lazard taking some money now, rather than betting that he can get more later. It would not be a surprise at all if they work out a two to three year extension, giving Lazard one more contract to negotiate prior to him turning 30.
This extension is the least surprising of the list. Elgton Jenkins has developed into one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL. The only thing that complicates matters is his ACL recovery. How quickly he is able to return to form will impact his ability to cash in to be one of the highest paid offensive linemen in the league. This extension will get done, the question is when it will.
Jenkins likely would not be very interested in an extension at this point, as the Packers would likely want to have safety nets in place if he doesn’t return to form. He will want to play this season and then negotiate next offseason with a body of work post-ACL recovery. However, if he is wanting the security of a contract right now, the Packers should absolutely jump all over it, as they may be able to lock up one of their best young talents at a more affordable rate, rather than the premium it will take next year.
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.
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