The Green Bay Packers have a lot of work ahead of them in the offseason as they attempt to improve their team’s dire financial status with the salary cap. To put the team in compliance with the salary cap, Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball will probably need to make changes to a number of contracts. That might entail roster cuts, trades, or merely restructurings.
Green Bay was one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl ahead of the 2022 season, however, the team disappointed in the regular season and couldn’t even clinch a spot in the playoffs. Nevertheless, the Packers are always strong contenders, and the team will certainly be a betting favorite in the next season. Therefore, you can make the most of your online betting experience with the latest sports news to back the Packers in the 2023 NFL season betting market.
Packers in 2023: Options for Restructuring the Roster
According to Over The Cap, the Packers are currently -$16.28 million on the 2023 salary cap. The Packers’ best chance of keeping their existing personnel while simultaneously addressing the salary cap is through restructuring. This is the most likely course of action because no one in the franchise is willing to go on a complete reconstruction. The contracts of the following players are realistically likely to change in the 2023 off-season.
Preston Smith, a nice complementary outside linebacker, performed admirably for Green Bay. But after Rashan Gary’s injury, he had trouble when the offense concentrated more of their attention on him.
It would be extremely tough for the Packers to completely replace Smith at outside linebacker given the dearth of other options in that position. The $13 million cap hit he now has is also difficult to accept – and his contract will only rise in the coming seasons. For 2023, a restructuring could almost cut that cap hit in half, saving the team $6.25 million.
David Bakhtiari, a former star left tackle, has to fight his body each week just to participate in the game. Near the course of the season, he settled into a rhythm and improved how he handled injuries. Unfortunately, it seems he will continue to have trouble with it throughout his career.
His cap hit increased to $29 million this season, matching that of franchise quarterbacks, and it will rise once again the following year. The moment to cut him off is now, but doing so would cost them $23 million. A restructuring that lowers his cap impact to about $21 million is a more realistic course of action.
In 2022, Jaire Alexander wasn’t performing at his peak, which was a common issue among the Packers’ star defenders throughout Joe Barry’s time as the defensive coordinator. Although the Packers’ soft zone defense does not suit his skills, he was still Green Bay’s best cornerback throughout the entire season.
This season marks the beginning of a four-year, $84 million agreement he signed. Over the next four years, his cap hit will increase to $20 million, staying in the low to mid-20s. He will probably be approached with a restructure that will save Green Bay over $9 million because they can’t afford to lose him.
Kenny Clark hasn’t performed at his best since Barry took over as the defensive coordinator, just like Alexander hasn’t.
His contract has two years still to run, after which there are a few void years. The players on this list all have this issue, but his cap hit is also rising into the low 20s. With a straightforward restructuring, Green Bay can knock down a sizable portion of that.
Running backs are no longer in demand in the NFL, and they hardly ever stick around as long as Jones has with the Packers. Given that, Green Bay cannot realistically anticipate being competitive the following season while losing Jones in the offseason.
Although he struggled with some serious injuries in the second half of the season and wasn’t at his best, his tenacity is undeniable. His contract has two years left, and this season, his salary cap will increase to $20 million. With a restructure, the Packers can reduce that by more than half, and they most likely will.
Free agents that are likely to come back
If the front office is able to restructure the above-mentioned contracts, it should put the team in a more comfortable position in financial terms. That brings us to the free agency market.
The Packers may struggle to sign too many free agents, but there are a few players they should seriously consider bringing back.
That’s the case of Keisean Nixon, a first-team All-Pro as a return specialist this season.
He made kick returns a strength for the Packers, and led the league in kick return yards. He also provides good cover at cornerback, so Green Bay needs to ensure Nixon is back in 2023.
Allen Lazard was the Packers’ leading receiver in 2022, but he’s also a skilled blocker. Green Bay’s receiving corps is young, so Lazard’s return would ensure the Packers retain a reliable veteran at wide receiver.
This season, Dallin Leavitt appeared on just under 72 percent of Green Bay’s special teams snaps. Only Tyler Davis featured in more. Leavitt was a key member of the Packers’ much-improved special teams unit, and he is expected to return next season.