A Rollercoaster Of Emotions

No doubt about it, this was the wildest free agency tampering period in recent memory. I usually just wait to hear which wide receivers weren’t signed, while subsequently wondering if our franchise quarterback is going to lace up the cleats again. This year felt more like the top brass got triple dog dared to make a splash. To which they quickly shouted back “Hold my beer!”

I dont know anyone who had snatching up an elite top tier safety and the best running back in the NFL in 2022 on their bingo card. The Packers have certainly picked up players via free agency in the past, but it’s no secret that they don’t tend to give the bag to a vet and make a big splash.

Do you remember 59 months ago when it was March 11th and we were just hoping for a decent safety pick up….?!

A Collective Deep Breath

I know, I know, it’s been a lot, but it’s going to be OK. We all need to take a collective deep breath and keep in mind that we lovingly refer to our team as the “Heart Attack Pack”. They just happened to do it off the field this week.

As the dust is settling, it’s certainly revealing a brand new landscape for 2024. With only Kenny Clark remaining from the Ted Thompson era, Gutey more or less has his team in place. I’ve certainly been up and down on Brian’s style of management. At this point, it’s hard to deny that there’s a method to his madness.

The Heartbreakers

The Packers kicked off the annual changing of the guard at 1265 Lombardi this week in grand fashion. They said good bye to some players you may feel are leaving too soon. Some may have you asking why they were still with them in the first place. Deep down though, we all know the two that pulled on our heartstrings more than the rest.

Aaron Jones and David Bahktiari are names that we will one day see in the Packer Hall of Fame. The outpouring of love for both of these guys has been bittersweet to read.

Aaron “Showtyme” Jones was the embodiment of a Green Bay Packer.

So many amazing memories of this man running over defenders on the field while overcoming adversity off the field. I could probably gush for an entire article and be another in an ocean of people who have posted, written, and spoken about his incredible talents and inspirational actions. I just never in my wildest dreams thought this was going to be the move after that golden hour. You know, where we all smiled and shouted how he and Josh Jacobs were gonna be a tandem wrecking ball. I guess we just flew too close to the sun…

I know the reports coming out about the pay cut and signing with Minnesota has ruffled feathers in the fandom. However, it’s important to always keep in mind the human and business sides of these scenarios. Most of us that have been cheering for mutliple decades have often seen players go that we felt were leaving before their time.

Aaron is a 1 of 1 person with a life to live and money to make for the well being of his family. He deserves to get paid, regardless of who signs the check, and we should be happy for him even while fighting the urge to vomit when he dawns the purple get up. We are better off staying in our armchairs cheering and letting the front office make the hard decisions.

33 will always be dear to our hearts.

David Bahktiari will go down as one of the best left tackles not only for the Packers, but the NFL at large.

I was lucky enough earlier this week to be part of a Cheesehead TV Zoom call with David. The genuine love he has for the fans and the culture of Packer nation is palpable. I was overjoyed to hear him say he wants to see someone hoist the Lombardi while walking down Lombardi again, and that he looks forward to properly tailgating finally. He 100% left me with the feeling that he still has gas in the tank. I absolutely hope he overcomes his injuries and finds success with a new team. He’s a down to earth guy that speaks his mind and LOVES playing ball.

Parting Ways With Others

I don’t mean to downplay the talent and the role that others had with the team. I am happy to see players who have been released finding a payday in a new home. Players coming and going is the price of admission with the league. I hope that those who haven’t been signed find their place on a roster somewhere ahead of training camp.

The List So Far

At the time of writing this article, here are the fellas the Packers have parted ways with.

Darnell Savage
Jonathan Owens
Jon Runyan Jr.
De’Vondre Campbell
Aaron Jones
David Bakhtiari
Yosh Nijman
Josiah Deguara
Rudy Ford
Eric Wilson
Patrick Taylor
Robert Rochell

While we may see a couple of the guys come back, it’s pretty clear the Packers have a vision for the future. Having another stellar QB on a cheap deal to build around doesn’t much hurt much either.

Players Pulled Back In

Gutey and the team have worked out terms to bring these guys back into the fold for 2024.

AJ Dillon
Kristian Welch
Keisan Nixon
Tyler Davi
Emanuel Wilson
Caleb Jones
Daniel Whelan
Corey Ballentine

I am stoked to hear about all of these re-signings. It’s also great to see special teamers get priority during roster building as well. To nobody’s surprise, I’m very happy to see Caleb Jones being tendered. I have not been quiet at all about naming him as someone to watch this season.

Coaching Adjustments

It’s also worth noting the overhaul of the coaching staff overall for the upcoming season.

Check out a detailed breakdown of the new staff here

Packers Announce 2024 Coaching Staff ChangesPackers.com Mar 12, 2024

Shiny New Weapons

With all the sad sap news out of the way, there’s 2 massive reasons to be excited for 2024!

Xavier Mckinney

The Packers went and got themselves the cream of the free agent saftey crop! Jeff Hafley’s one high saftey defense can be anchored with ease by this 24 year old stud.

I just about cried when I saw that after years of punting Rodgers’ cap hit down the road, the Packers went and landed Xavier. I guess I’m too used to saying, “We could have had him but nooooo, we never do anything in free agency!”

Josh Jacobs

I’ll let my Tweet speak for itself when I read the news from Rapoport on Monday…..

This guy is an absolute BEAST in the backfield. At 26 years old he has plenty of gas in the tank and can more than handle the lions share behind Jordan. There’s dozens of write ups on this guy, so I’ll just leave it to the tape…..

Josh Jacobs Highlights 🔥 – Welcome to the Green Bay Packers

We’ll see if Quadzilla can return to form after it was announced Thursday afternoon that he will be re-signing. I have been saying that with the departure of Josiah, AJ would be a great fit for the FB flex role as he has worked hard to develop his pass game. He and Jacobs can punish the defensive front with their north to south run styles. I also think Emanuel Wilson is going to compliment Jacobs style very well and have a big year.

I’m intrigued to see who the Packers pick up in the draft. I expect the competition in the running back room to be amazing!

And Now We Wait For The Draft….

Free agency tampering was insane this year. Now it’s time to let the market settle down while we wait for the draft. I have held pretty firm in my belief that the Packers are going after a top tier talent in this draft. I don’t see them making another big splash with a vet player, but there are certainly some players that I wouldn’t hate seeing in green and gold.

Gutey and company just have so much draft capital to spend touting 11 total picks, with 5 of those being in the top 100. They are in a great position to work the board and target another marquee name like Cooper DeJean or maybe even Jackson Powers-Johnson. I am fully prepared for a return to normal with the selection of an offensive or defensive lineman to start out the day.

No matter what, it needs to be mentioned a million more times how quickly we went from rebuild to competing. I can definitely concede that the diehard fan inside of me always has eyes on the Superbowl for Green Bay. Last year I think we were all ready to accept our fate and give them time to find their way. Low and behold, Jordan is that guy and we have a roster that is young, extremely talented, and hungry. The sky is the limit, and the championship window is WIDE open!