The Packers’ top offseason needs and how they are addressed will drastically affect the outcome of their next season.
Green Bay expected to be a Super Bowl contender once again this season but fell short of even making the playoffs. According to a recent ESPN report from Adam Schefter, the Packers “prefer to move on” from Aaron Rodgers this offseason. If Jordan Love is the starting quarterback next season (which he undoubtedly will be if Rodgers is gone), the Packers will likely – at best – get a similar season to that which Rodgers had in the 2022-2023 campaign.
Evidently, that isn’t good enough to carry the current version of the Packers to the playoffs. Here are the key areas that must be addressed for the Packers to head in the right direction for the start of the 2023 season.
Despite rookies Christian Watson coming on strong in the second half of last season and Romeo Doubs showcasing legitimate potential, the Packers still don’t have the firepower of the top teams in the NFL. Adding another receiver in the draft, even if not in the first round, is a must for Green Bay.
It’s pretty much a sure thing at this point that Allen Lazard won’t be on the team next year, leaving the ghost of Randall Cobb or the unproven Samari Toure as the third receiver on the roster next year, as it stands right now. That’s… Not ideal.
In particular, the tight end position needs help, as it has for the last 10+ years. If the Packers do start Jordan Love next season, a reliable security blanket in the form of a tight end would be extremely beneficial to the offense. Robert Tonyan appeared as if he could be primed for a breakout just a couple seasons ago, but his lack of elite athleticism and issues with injuries make it so that the Packers will strongly consider moving on from him this offseason, especially if the price tag is too high.
Throw running back into this conversation as well. If Aaron Jones is on the team next year, he’d rank 14th on the list of highest-paid quarterbacks. Jones is one of the best running backs in Green Bay’s history, but the absurd cost of keeping him on the team means there’s no guarantee he’s on the roster next season, especially with the Packers strapped for cap space as it is.
Generally, good offense is so much more reliable and consistent than good defense in the NFL. The Packers were expected to have a great defense last year and look how that turned out. I’m all in on the Packers going offense-heavy this offseason and either building around Jordan Love, or loading up their offense for him to start the season after next.
The Packers’ run defense was shockingly atrocious this year, even with Kenny Clark and first-round pick Devonte Wyatt. Wyatt hardly saw the field and wasn’t all that impressive in the snaps he did get, and Kenny Clark was unusually, wildly inconsistent.
Coming into the year, the Packers’ defensive line appeared to be one of their deepest positions. This last season proved work is yet to be done. Despite Clark remaining and Wyatt having the potential for a much better 2023 season, the performance of the run defense in 2022 demands attention on the defensive front.
The Packers had better hope Wyatt steps up in a big way next season, and/or that they hit on someone in the draft. If not, they’ll probably stay as one of the worst run defenses in the league, especially since Joe Barry is officially returning as the defensive coordinator.
A couple of Packers’ safety duos have teased so much greatness over the last decade or so. From HaHa Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett to Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, they’ve shown potential, but none have proved to be a true long-term solution for Green Bay’s secondary.
Amos has been a very solid Packer since coming from Chicago, but his play noticeably dipped last year as his age began to show. Savage, the former first-rounder, fell off a cliff, being benched during the season.
Amos has a voiding contract, meaning he’ll make a steep $8 million if he’s not extended early this offseason. The Packers probably don’t want to pay that $8 million, and I doubt another team would want to take on that contract either. I can even more confidently say that Green Bay has no interest in extending Amos.
The Packers picked up Savage’s fifth-year option last offseason, greatly raising his salary before the worst year of his career. No team will want to trade for that contract. Even worse, Ford, who stepped in for Savage this year, is an unrestricted free agent.
Running it back with Amos, Savage and Ford next year will produce the same – if not, worse – results as 2022, but it’s likely that at least one of them will be off the team. Savage and Ford won’t cut it. The Packers should look to sign a veteran as well as draft someone in at least the middle rounds.——————