The Green Bay Packers have begun the long journey into the 2024 offseason and just like them, we at PackersTalk don’t just stop when the season ends. This past season went much further than most of us expected, and yet it still felt like it ended much sooner than it should have. The Packers don’t just stop operating; we close out the chapter of the 2023 Packers and turn the page to the next one. So let’s begin it with a bang: these are my bold predictions for the Packers 2024 offseason.
Now, some of the bold predictions might not seem that bold, but when you consider the Packers are rarely active at the beginning of the free agency period, you’ll find the predictions extremely bold. So, just hear me out:
Bold Predictions #5
The Packers just hired Jeff Hafley as their new defensive coordinator. Coach Hafley looks to have the Packers defense resemble that of the San Francisco 49ers and he has an extensive background with coaching defensive backs, so it should be expected that he would want to emphasize the defensive back room.
The defensive back room for the Packers is in dire need of some more playmakers. The Green and Gold have All-Pro corner Jaire Alexander and Carrington Valentine who has showed much promise in his rookie season, but behind them the room is looking kind of empty. Yeah, yeah, I know they have Eric Stokes, but he has been injured and when he has played it hasn’t been up to the standards he set his rookie season. The safety position in particular will need an influx of talent with the Packers as the Packers only have Anthony Johnson Jr., Zayne Anderson, Benny Sapp III, Tyler Coyle, and Christian Young under contract for 2024.
This is why my first bold prediction is that the Packers will sign a safety in the first wave of free agency and then draft another safety (or corner-safety hybrid) early in the NFL draft. See what I’m saying? Bold.
The number four bold prediction is this: the Packers will not only sign a safety early in the free agency period, but they will also sign a linebacker. This linebacker won’t be just any linebacker. They will be a mike linebacker or a true middle line backer. The Packers defensive scheme will likely shift to something closer to a 4-3. Now, the base defense that the Packers will run will be out of nickel. So, really the shift will be to a 4-2-5 defense.
I mean, Brian Gutekunst said as much in his presser. However, when the Packers aren’t in base, they could easily employ a three linebacker set.
But even if they don’t view a mike linebacker as a true need, they will still need another linebacker. De’Vondre Campbell is more than likely going to be cut this offseason and will need to be replaced. And I can hear you now: “Well, don’t we have Quay Walker? Wouldn’t he play that mike backer spot?” Well, he could, but with his athletic prowess, he would dominate as the weak side linebacker. Look for the Packers to upgrade the linebacker position early in free agency.
Now this one is sizzlin’. The Packers will for sure add more depth to the offensive line room. That isn’t the bold prediction. No, the bold prediction is that the Packers do bring back David Bakhtiari. Well, why is this bold? David Bakhtiari is an All-Pro left tackle. And yeah, he has been injured. But even injured he was on the field shutting guys down. Why wouldn’t the Packers bring him back? $40,018,311. Is that reason enough? That is approximately 17% of the Packers total cap. With a pre-June 1st cut, Green Bay could save nearly 21 million dollars of that cap hit.
So, everybody seems to believe that Bakhtiari is either going to be traded (not likely because of his injury) or cut. I’m going to say that the Packers find a way to keep Bakhtiari on this roster. I don’t know how they do it, but it will be done. Bakhtiari wants to win the Super Bowl and Green Bay was a couple minutes away from playing in the championship game against the Lions. I think Gutekunst and Bakhtiari figure it out.
I’ve talked about the running back position a couple of times this past season. I’m going to continue to talk about it. First of all, we know that Aaron Jones is going to be coming back. Brian Gutekunst was emphatic about that. But the running back room is still going to need AJ Dillon heading into free agency. Yeah, the Packers have Emmanuel Wilson, but he can’t be considered the long term answer. The bold prediction here is that the Packers will sign a veteran running back who is more of a thumper build in free agency. They will then draft a running back in the early rounds of the NFL draft to be a future replacement for Aaron Jones.
Bold Predictions Honorable Mention
This one is an honorable mention prior to getting to the number one bold prediction. I believe that the Packers will draft another wide receiver. Now, I don’t think that this is super bold, but the Packers finally have depth at the wide receiver position. However, at the wide receiver position, it is always a good idea to keep the cabinet stocked. This gives the team insurance as this young group ages.
#1 of Bold Predictions
This one is bold. I mean very bold. I mean, so bold that it can be proven wrong as soon as this article is published. This bold prediction is fairly simple and the Packers wouldn’t have to do a thing to make it happen. I mean, quite literally they wouldn’t have to do a thing. My number one bold prediction is that the Packers will not bring back any of their unrestricted free agents.
I can see a world where the Packers do not bring back any of their UFAs. AJ Dillon, gone. Darnell Savage, gone. Keisean Nixon, gone. Jon Runyan Jr., gone. And so on, the Packers have the players or have the capacity to bring in players that could replace their unrestricted free agents.
The guys I mentioned above are the ones that I think the Packers could bring back, at the right price. But they don’t necessarily need to. If these guys aren’t brought back, then none of them will be.
These are my crazy-bold predictions for the Packers offseason. I’m sure they will be all proven wrong in due time. Honestly, if I get even just one right, I’m gonna feel pretty good about myself. Either way:
Go Pack Go!