As the 2022 season continues to go down the drain, the Packers are going to pick up the pieces and rebuild in 2023. What happens in the remainder of this season will go a long way towards which players deserve to be a part of next year’s team. There are three Packers players who have the most on the line if they want to be in Green Bay next season. While many of the games they play will likely have no significance on the result of the 2022 season, they could define their future in the Green and Gold.
This season has been forgettable for Adrian Amos. After three years of consistent, assignment sure play, Amos hasn’t been the same in 2022. A part of the problem is clearly his lack of a consistent partner at Safety, but too often Amos has been out of position or a step too late. The safety position has been a sore point, regardless of who is lining up in the deep third of the field.
With an expiring contract after the season, Amos will need to show that he isn’t slowing down and deserves an extension with the Packers. It’s possible that Green Bay will want to burn the position group down and start from scratch in 2023, but Amos could make that decision a hard one with a surging finish to the season.
Finally looking fully recovered from his ACL injury last season, Robert Tonyan hasn’t been bad this year. As a matter of fact, he’s leading the team in catches so far. He is a trustworthy target of Aaron Rodgers and has significantly improved his blocking ability, from terrible to serviceable. However, Tonyan simply hasn’t been the game changing tight end that the Packers had hoped he would blossom into.
Similar to Amos above, Tonyan has an expiring contract and is likely looking to transition to a multi-year deal. To warrant any type of significant investment into him by the Packers would require him to show some ability to consistently win routes and get open. Additionally, he will need to highlight his season with some game changing plays, particularly in the red zone. A reliable red zone threat is something that they have been missing this year and if Tonyan can show he can be that for them, they may need to bring him back in 2023.
TJ Slayton is in a different situation than either Tonyan or Amos. A second-year player, he was expected to take a big second year jump and he simply hasn’t. While it’s true that he has improved overall, the Packers expected him to be an unmovable object against the run, with a little hustle in pass rush. What they got was a player that is still fairly inconsistent and is often pushed around by opposing offensive linemen.
If Slayton wants to persuade the Packers that they do not need to make significant investments into the defensive line this offseason, he will need to play his butt of the rest of this year. He will need to show consistent hand placement and playing with better leverage. This will demonstrate to the Packers brass that they can trust him to be a key part of what will likely be a remade defense.
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.