Even though the 2021 NFL Season just started, it is never too early to talk about the offseason. Here is a mock Packers off-season for your reading pleasure.
Most of us know that teams do this stuff all through out the season. They work many different scenarios to prepare themselves for the offseason and also to work out their plan A, B, C, etc… Now obviously these change throughout the season due to injuries, trades, resigning’s, etc… So I will periodically update this through out the season and the coming off season to give you guys an idea of what the Packers are probably planning. Its too soon to go through the probably 50 plans they have right now so I will just go over what I think are the top two.
The cap numbers I will present in this article are not exact. They are ball park/rounding up or down. This is just to give an idea what the plan could be. I did use cap numbers from overthecap.com. You could also look up Ken Ingallas on twitter at twitter.com/keningalls
Heading into the 2022 season the Packers are projected to be about 40 million over the cap. So to get under here are the moves I feel the Packers will do.
Trade Aaron Rodgers post 6/1. This will give them a cap relief of about 27 million.
Preston Smith pre June 1 which saves 7.25 million. Billy Turner post June 1 which nets them another 3.14 million. Kevin King post June 1 as well, which saves them another 750k. Marcedes Lewis which saves 2.08 million. Dean Lowry which takes off another 2.1 million and Randall Cobb which saves about 2.8 million.
I feel the Packers will extend Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos, and Za’Darius Smith to the maximum salary cap savings for 2022, than take a big hit on ’23 and ’24 when the cap is expected to go up a lot. The most they can save on Z is 12.2, Jaire would be 10.64, and Amos would be 6 million.
I feel in this scenario they let Issac Yiadom, Tyler Lancaster, MVS, Lucas Patrick, Oren Burks, De’Vondre Campbell(he is technically under contract), Dennis Kelly, Robert Tonyan, Will Redmond.
They resign Davante Adams, Allen Lazard(who is a restricted free agent) and any other lower tier free agents and or restricted free agents like Bojorquez, Nijman, Malik Taylor, Dafney, Black, etc…
Before those signings they would have about 26 million in cap space, which seems like a decent amount; but its not. You need space for your draft class, undrafted free agents, your practice squad, and any restricted free agents as well. You also want to leave yourself a few million of space in season in case you need to sign a free agent due to injuries or move a few guys up from the PS to the active roster. Davante and Lazard would take up most of the space. There would probably be a few million let to sign one or two lower tier free agents like a Dennis Kelly or De’Vondre Campbell level player. They would not have the space to sign Tonyan or MVS unless they did more restructuring.
With that being the roster entering the draft this would be how I would think Gutekunst would approach the draft.
29. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami-Fl
Right tackle of the future. His style of player. Young, athletic with tons of upside. Could move to left tackle down the line.
61. Deslin Alexandre, DT, Pittsburgh
Clark needs more help. Slaton helps against the run. They need more help getting after the QB.
93. George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Pickens is MVS’ replacement. He’s not not as purely physically talented, but he has higher upside. Way better hands. He needs a lot of work on his release package. Perfect guy to learn from in Adams. If he develops he’s a #1 receiver.
129.Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
Replacement for Tonyan. Similar skill set. Great hands. OK blocker. Good route runner. Decent athlete.
161. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State
Athletic freak to replace Campbell as the weakside backer. He could be the dime backer by year two.
196. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Perfect fit for the star spot. He can play inside, outside, safety, defend the run, can even blitz a little. Has good size too. Like a poor mans Charles Woodson.
224. Zamir White, RB, Georgia
Freakish explosion. Could return kicks and is just a value pick.
Everything is the same as above but Davante walks and they resign both Lazard and MVS.
28. George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Lazard and MVS are both great #2/#3 receivers but neither is a true #1. This mock draft didn’t fall the way the last one did. Receivers went a lot earlier.
60.Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
Similar to Nelson. Athletic freak with tons of upside. Last year was his first as a starter.
92. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State
Same as above
130. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
another athletic freak with upside. Packers will need a 3rd pass rusher.
135. Bubba Bolden, S, Miami
Packers finally get their 3rd safety. High RAS guy. Lots of upside, still a bit inconsistent.
170. LaRon Stokes, IDL, Oklahoma
Similar to Alexandre. a DL to help with the pass rush.
206. Jammie Robinson, CB, Florida State
South Carolina transfer that has upside.
219. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
Blocking TE with some receiving upside to replace Marcedes.
248. Zacch Pickens, IDL, South Carolina
Another DL with upside