Saying the word frenzy might actually be underselling the week that the Green Bay Packers just had. I personally felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster on Monday and Tuesday. This was probably the most exciting week of free agency for the Packers since 2019, and probably more so than even that year. So, let’s do a quick review of all that went down this past week, player by player.

Free Agency: Packers Who Have Been Released

De’Vondre Campbell: The first bit of news that we received actually occurred the Sunday before the legal negotiating period began, and that news was that the Packers intend to cut De’Vondre Campbell with a post-June 1st cut. Campbell’s age has been showing the past couple of years after being named all-pro in 2021; he will be 31 later this year.

By giving Campbell a post-June 1st cut, the Packers will free-up 10.6 million dollars worth of cap savings, although this won’t take affect until after – you guessed it – June 1st. Because of the post-June 1st release, some of the cap penalty will appear on the 2025 cap.

Of course, he signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

David Bakhtiari: This news was the first news to break on a rollercoaster of a day on Monday. Bakhtiari posted this:

free agency: david bakhtiari's farewell

This one wasn’t a surprise, although I still held out hope. I mean, I predicted in my bold predictions article that he would somehow return. (I got that one wrong as well as a few others.) Bakhtiari was a cornerstone piece for the Packers for over a decade but received a terrible knee injury on New Year’s Eve 2020. Even though his play hadn’t regressed, his availability had.

Pair his health and age with the fact that his cap hit hit was higher than most quarterbacks in the NFL, this release was a forgone conclusion. Green Bay will save a little over 20 million dollars on their cap.

Thank you #69!

Free Agency Sadness…

Aaron Jones: The surprise release that hurt the most has to be this one. Aaron Jones was the heartbeat of this team. However, the Packers continue to look to get younger. Jones missed a lot of time in 2023 and as contract talks began to fall, the Packers decided it would be in their best interest to move on.

The Packers cleared under five million of the cap with Jones’ release, but this wasn’t about the cap. This was about the cash. Jones was due 12 million dollars in 2024 and the Packers weren’t looking to pay an almost 30-year-old, oft-injured running back that amount of money.

Now he is a Viking. Which, of course, makes me sick to say.

Free Agency: New Packers

New Packers RB Josh Jacobs

Josh Jacobs: Surprise free agency move! The Packers had to be in a position to release Aaron Jones. Signing a 48 million dollar contract over 4 years, Josh Jacobs will effectively replace Aaron Jones in the Packers backfield. Jacobs will receive 14.8 million in his first year.

Jacobs was the best back in the NFL in 2022 as he was the league’s lead runner in rushing yards. His productivity dipped in 2023 as the productivity of the Raiders as a whole dropped as well. Josh Jacobs is in a much better situation in Green Bay behind a much better line.

Xavier McKinney: The Packers caught the big one here on the first day of free agency. After having a need at the safety position for what seems like forever, Brian Gutekunst and company finally paid a premium price for a premium player at the position. With a change looming over the Packers defense, the safety position has taken on a new role for the Packers. New defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley described the type of safety he looks for for the post safety position:

hafley's description of post safety

Xavier McKinney is that guy! Well, no one is perfect, but McKinney is pretty close. The Packers will pay McKinney 68 million dollars over four years.

Returning Packers

Tyler Davis: Davis suffered a season-ending ACL injury during a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals back in August. Davis was beginning to come on as a player and was one of the Packers best special teams players in 2022. His injury definitely impacted the special teams unit in 2023. The Packers are bringing him back to be the 3rd string tight end and core special teamer.

Corey Ballentine: Corey Ballentine played in some crucial spots last year when Jaire Alexander went down with a should injury. Ballentine played well and certainly earned a spot back on this Packers team heading into the 2024 NFL season.

Surprising Resignings

Keisean Nixon: Keisean Nixon, receiving his second 1st team all-pro 2023, was resigned to the Packers for three years worth up to 18 million dollars. He led the NFL in return yardage yet again but was not that good at the nickel corner position. Moreover, I expect him to be more than just a return man but probably not solely the nickel corner anymore. The Packers must have a plan for him that we don’t know about yet.

AJ Dillon: Running back AJ Dillon is coming back to the Pack with a rarely-used contract structure known as the four-year qualifying contact. This is only eligible to players who have played four consecutive years for a team and were never put on the practice squad. This allows for a player to be paid up to $2,742,000. Furthermore, the most the player will charged toward the cap is $1,292,000, which is an extremely great deal.

This is a great deal for the Green Bay Packers. They get a backup running back for Josh Jacobs at an affordable price. And if the Packers draft a running back who beats out AJ Dillon in training camp, it won’t hurt any to cut him. This is a huge win for the Packers.

All of this has already happened this offseason and it was just the first week of free agency. It feels nice to have an active Packers offseason that isn’t full of drama. I mean, could you imagine if we had to worry about our quarterback abandoning us to be Vice President or something?

Thank goodness we don’t.

Go Pack Go!


Damon is a diehard, fully-immersed cheesehead who currently lives in southern Missouri. He teaches at a local high school and has a family YouTube channel about all things Packers. You can follow him on twitter at @packersfamily and on YouTube at The Packers Family.