The main goal for the Green Bay Packers this season is to evaluate which players will be part of their long-term future and which ones will not. After falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-19 on Sunday, Green Bay is 3-6 and looking more like a team that will get a top-10 draft pick (they currently are slotted to have the seventh overall pick) than one that is threatening to nab a NFC playoff spot.
Obviously, the record is not good and there have been more frustrating moments than bright spots. However, the loss to Pittsburgh saw the Packers’ offense play its best game in weeks. In fact, it has been quite obvious for a while which players are worrisome and which ones have bright futures.
Of course, many of the team’s woes, particularly on offense, have been “excused” due to their youth. However, there are some younger veterans on the team that should know better, yet continue to make mistakes that cost the team wins. On the other hand, there are others that have proven by their play thus far this season that they deserve to be a part of this organization for their next competitive window.
2 Green Bay Packers Offensive Players That Deserve Contract Extensions
The quarterback position is arguably the most important position in all of team sports. Green Bay has been fortunate to have back-to-back Hall of Fame quarterbacks prior to Jordan Love taking over this season. Prior to the season’s start, Love signed a two-year contract with the Packers that keeps him under team control until the end of next season.
Green Bay’s goal, of course, is to determine whether or not Love is worth a long contract that will tie him to the Packers for years to come.
That answer should be “Yes.”
Look, Love is not putting up prime Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre numbers, but expecting him to be is unfair. The expectations of him should be to play well enough to win games.
And he has.
While Love has not been perfect, he has shown plenty of promise, has made some impressive throws, and would look so much better if his pass catchers didn’t drop so many passes.
With his 289 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions on Sunday, Love now has 2,009 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. The front office certainly did him no favors by giving him the lowest-paid group of pass catchers in the NFL to work with. One has to wonder how much better his numbers would look if he had more experienced players to work with.
But the fact of the matter is that Love has done fairly well overall with the hand he has been dealt. While the Packers have lost six games, he is certainly not the primary reason they have done so. In fact, he is one of the reasons why this team can be competitive in the future. The Packers should extend him now while his value is still low.
Let’s make one thing absolutely clear: this is not a call for AJ Dillon to be the Packers’ primary running back. He is best as a change-of-pace bruiser that can compliment a speedy back like Aaron Jones.
Despite a slow start (which was the case for Dillon last season as well), he has put together a really good string of games over the past few weeks. Including his nine carries for 70 yards on Sunday, Dillon has 103 rushes for 376 yards on the season.
Now, those numbers do not look great on paper, but one has to consider how slow his start was. Over his past five games (Sunday included), Dillon is averaging a very respectable 4.4 yards per carry. Additionally, he is averaging 9.9 yards per reception in his last four contests.
Dillon is in the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent when the season ends. As mentioned, he is by no means a primary running back, but he is a more than serviceable second-option.
Add in the fact that, should the Packers decided to cut costs and, therefore, part ways with Aaron Jones, having Dillon back would ensure that they do not have an inexperienced running back room in 2024 like they did wide receiver and tight end in 2023.
And all of this does not even take into account that Dillon has an above average pass block grade (PFF).