Five Packers potentially playing their final season in Green Bay in 2022

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed with every passing season in the NFL, it’s change.

Roster turnover is part of life in a salary-cap restricted league, and the Packers are no exception. Key players have left Green Bay in recent offseasons, either as a drop from the salary cap or due to a decline in their game.

In March, Za’Darius Smith and Billy Turner were released as the Packers moved under the salary cap, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling was allowed into free agency. In 2021, Corey Linsley and Jamaal Williams left Green Bay, and in 2020, Bryan Bulaga and Blake Martinez moved on.

The Packers face tough decisions each and every offseason as they push the financial envelope in search of another Lombardi Trophy. The same challenge will greet them in 2023, and that means several key players could be about to play their final season in Green Bay.

Aaron Jones

It came as a surprise when Jones signed a four-year extension on the eve of free agency in 2021, as many expected the Packers to let him on the open market rather than shell out a running back.

Examining Jones’ contract more closely, it became clear that it was actually a team-friendly deal, giving the Packers a clear “out” after the 2023 season.

Jones’ salary cap will skyrocket from just $5.9 million in 2022 to $20 million next season, and the star running back will also earn $16 million in 2024. With Jones turning 28 this year, it would be a huge shock if he played at Green. Bay in 2023 on his currently structured contract.

In AJ Dillon and Kylin Hill, the Packers have two other talented running backs on the roster, and Dillon is likely to receive an extension after his rookie contract expires after the 2023 season.

A restructuring would certainly be an option, but Jones is a clear candidate for next offseason.

Adrian Amos

Amos has been a mainstay of Green Bay’s defense since he came on board in 2019, but the Packers may struggle to retain security beyond 2022.

He’ll have plenty of suitors in free agency who would be happy to pay top dollar, and it could be tough for the Packers to compete in that regard.

Green Bay will no doubt have an interest in keeping Amos in town, but they’ll have to draw a line in the sand at some point for a player entering the 30-year-old season in 2023.

The Packers are already on the hook for fellow safety Darnell Savage’s fifth-year option in 2023, which will pay him $7.9 million, and if Savage can bounce back this season and become a key member of Green Bay’s secondary, the team may feel better about moving out. of Amos.

Randall Cobb

Cobb cut his 2022 salary through a restructuring to stay in Green Bay for another year, but it looks like this season could be the wide receiver’s last, not just with the Packers, but in the NFL.

Turning 32 this year, Cobb’s presence on the team is due solely to Aaron Rodgers, but even so, his veteran leadership will be sorely needed in a room of young, inexperienced wide receivers in 2022.

However, Amari Rodgers was recruited in 2021 specifically to fill the kind of role Cobb vacated when he left for Dallas in 2019, and if Rodgers can step up in his second season, Cobb may simply not be needed anymore. beyond this year.

At some point, Cobb being on the roster is unfair to Rodgers, and it seems unlikely the Packers will keep him in 2023 if it just serves as a roadblock to progress for younger players.

jordan love

Aaron Rodgers’ new contract means he’ll almost certainly retire a Packer, and it also remoted the possibility that Love would ever suit up as Green Bay’s QB1.

The Packers must make a decision on Love’s fifth-year option after the 2022 season, and it’s hard to imagine GM Brian Gutekunst committing to the large salary-cap number that comes with that designation at quarterback. field as a substitute.

Assuming Green Bay declines the option, 2023 would be Love’s last year under contract with the team, and if he can impress during the 2022 and 2023 preseason, the Packers can cash in on Love and trade him before they lose him for nothing.

Of course, if Rodgers decides to retire after 2022, the keys may be handed over to Love, and he could continue to play for the Packers for many years to come, but it seems more likely that the young quarterback will never really get a chance to be the guy. ‘ in Green Bay.

dean lowry

Much has been made of the contract extension Dean Lowry received in 2019, which few would argue he has actually delivered.

Lowry actually enjoyed a much better 2021 season than his previous two years, in terms of quality and consistency, and has more than earned his place as a stable and dependable part of Green Bay’s defense in 2022.

Still, it’s hard to imagine Lowry getting another extension after his current contract expires at the end of the season. He would enter his 29-year-old season and the Packers drafted a running mate for Kenny Clark with more upside in Devonte Wyatt earlier this year.

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