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Skibrett's 6ers Style Rebuild - Keep Mason Crosby Edition


skibrett15
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If you are going to comment with specifics, you must include who you would/wouldn't sign instead/how you would include it in the cap.

The premise
: a Sam Hinkie style 76ers tank and rebuild over the 2023-2024 seasons

Reasoning/Justification: Packers have a lot of void years on guys like Amos, dean lowry, etc.  This is the NFL not the NBA so the rebuild can happen faster.  2025 gives 2 drafts to build up young players for a first competitive season, with the goal of being a playoff team in 2026, and contending in 2027.  That means you have 4!!! years to find the QB, and the outside chance that Love is already him.

The Philosophy:  The team will be as competitive as possible with the players provided.  The players provided will not be adequate to win NFL games at a sustainable rate.  First round picks in 2023 will be dealt for multiple first round picks in 2024/25/26 if possible.  2nd round picks will always be dealt for future 1sts.  Good rookie players we draft in 2023 will be dealt in the 2024 season for picks if it's good value.  Outside of QB, great players in 2023 are not as important as great assets because they will become expensive players in 2025/26 which is when we want to be ascending, not plateauing!

The Macro Plan: 2023 and 2024 will be years of pain.  The moves outlined (except Rodgers, he needs to be dealt asap or the dead cap goes up and up) can be done any time the value feels right.  For example, with a player like Bakh, I think waiting for the 2023 trade deadline might make sense to see if he might heal and then deal him when healthy.

The goal is to mostly clear the books for 2025, and use any cap space in 2023/2024 on short term deals which are front-loaded.  We are happy to spend useless non-competitive cap on players who do 1 of 2 things

1) result in a 2025/26 comp pick

2) become a tradeable 2024-2025 NFL player because of said frontloaded contract.

The Micro Plan:

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/tools/roster/green-bay-packers/2023/eef584dfb5af1a997a429c43f10bd2b7/

 

Here are the major moves, resulting in 28M in cap space 2023 with $96M in dead cap.  There are other minor moves similar to Amos that I won't detail.

Move 1: Trade Aaron Rodgers.  Or he retires.  It's one or the other and the cap implication is the same.  Costs $9M to trade or retire.  If you trade him, you can get a 1st and a 2nd.  Ideally you get picks in the 2025/26 drafts rather than the current ones.  That is when the team you traded him to will be fully cooked and bad.

Move 2: Trade David Bakhtiari.  You trade him for whatever you can get.  Maybe you get nothing.
Move 3: Trade Preston Smith.  Still a fine player, you can get a 4th for him, probably more from a contending team after an in-season injury.
Move 4: Trade Aaron Jones.  His contract is rough, but if CMC gets that haul, I think Jones has real value around the league, even at $20m salary.  You have to hold him until the deadline, but there's no reason to cut Jones when you don't really care about 2023/2024 cap space.  Worst case you maybe recoup a 2026 comp pick once he expires in 2025.  You have 2 years to deal him.  Be patient here, but he's a RB and will be playing, so his fuse is burning.
Move 5: Trade Rashan Gary.  Brian Burns got a 2x 1st round pick offer this trade deadline.  Gary will be 28/29 and expensive, and we don't have the cap space in 2023/24 to frontload him.  This is another 2023 deadline guy for me.  Good player, just doesn't fit with the timeline and his value is pretty high as a guy who we haven't committed to but has league value as a top player.  The injury is rough to this plan, but if you get him playing next year then deal him, I think it's a happy ending.
Move 6 : Amos released (this is just procedural but its in the link above so it's here.)  he has a void contract, he costs 7.9M for nothing, he will not be on the team and isn't under contract.  May as well accelerate these into 2023 rather than spread it over 4 years.
Move 7: Trade Darnell Savage.  Jabrill Peppers got traded, Savage can too.  You do this for pretty much anything because you need the 8M cap savings.  Has to happen early in the league year.  Worst case you cut him, but there is no cap savings with a cut.   Maybe you split the difference and eat half the salary in the trade.
Move 8: Release Amari Rodgers

The Young Core:

These are who you are counting on for long term:

Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, Christian Watson, Josh Myers, Zach Tom, Romeo Doubs. Plus an assortment of TBD guys.  Alexander is a trade candidate too - he's already been paid, isn't likely to play to that contract, and might fetch a huge haul.  But you don't give him up easy and you're more than happy to keep him. 

In total there are 37 players on the roster, and you added 3-5 extra picks from the trades.  There are several other highly paid players who need handling, but are less clear-cut trade options because of the salary implications, which brings me to:

 

The Question Marks:

These are guys who have value, but are harder to move, or are guys you might just let expire and collect comp picks on:

1) Rasul Douglas.  You can and should trade 'Sul if you can.  But he's pretty cheap and under contract for 2 more years.  Might be a guy you move on from in 2024 rather than this offseaon.

2) Kenny Clark. You only save 3m by cutting/trading clark, and if you do it post 6/1 you still have 13M dead in 2024.  If you get a godfather offer for him, make it.  But keeping this defense somewhat together during the rebuild is very possible, and Clark would be the only highly paid guy who isn't 100% part of your 2025 and beyond plan.   Even then, he *could* be, so Clark is on here because I don't think it's a slam dunk he's not part of the future even though he is in that age range with Gary.

3) De'Vondre Campbell.  This guy is a bit of an albatross with his contract.  Costs money to cut now, but doesn't cost much to just wait and cut him later.  Maybe he can recover his value more by playing than by getting out of the way.  Possible to trade him in 2024, or release him then.  He'll be gone, just a question of when for me, and I don't have a good answer.

The Signings:

All of the 2023 and 2024 signings should be either 1-2 year deals, or deals with no 2025/2026 commitments beyond base salaries.  This makes them tradeable to any team with any cap situation during the season or offseason.  You only have $28M in 2023, so 1-2 guys who can net future assets is the idea, or 1 guy internally who you feel really really good about.  Not even sure who that would be, but maybe an OL like Myers.

Rest of the team are rookies, minimum vets, and 1-2 guys just above the minimum who are 24 or 25 years old but had a bad rookie deal for whatever reason that you want to take a flier on.

SO the major outcome is you are set up for a huge amount of cap space in 2024 which you want to use to do the front-loading thing so that you have the same major cap space in 2025 when you are looking to contend.  110M in 2024 is very achievable with this plan, and this is where the fun begins.

 

 

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No reason for a total gut job until we know what Jordan Love is or isn't. We can probably get him locked up long-term mid-season for 25-30m per, which in early year cap hits won't be much different than a rookie deal. 

Eat Jones, Bakh, Rodgers cap in 2023, draft some skill guys for Love, see where the chips fall.

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12 minutes ago, Old Guy said:

Love your ideas but I think the idea of a 1st for Rodgers has sailed, much less anything additional to that. 

The league is so desperate I could see a handful of teams falling all over themselves to add Rodgers.  It only takes one.

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10 minutes ago, Packerraymond said:

No reason for a total gut job until we know what Jordan Love is or isn't. We can probably get him locked up long-term mid-season for 25-30m per, which in early year cap hits won't be much different than a rookie deal. 

Eat Jones, Bakh, Rodgers cap in 2023, draft some skill guys for Love, see where the chips fall.

what guys don't you want to move on from? Gary?

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1 minute ago, skibrett15 said:

what guys don't you want to move on from? Gary?

Gary and Preston, no reason to punt 2023 picks for future years just for the sake of rebuilding. If we aren't good, we'll have plenty of draft capital in corresponding years. You just saw the Eagles actively seek to move one of their three 2022 firsts because no team wants to be on the hook for more than two 5th year options. That strategy just makes no sense to me.

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3 minutes ago, {Family Ghost} said:

The league is so desperate I could see a handful of teams falling all over themselves to add Rodgers.  It only takes one.

If Rodgers wants to play, the price tag will start at what Wilson's was.  I put a 1 and a 2 as a conservative thing because his deal is so wonky and his intentions on playing are unclear.

 

To me, this is Brady 2.0 except he's under contract whereas Brady was a FA.

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1 minute ago, Packerraymond said:

Gary and Preston, no reason to punt 2023 picks for future years just for the sake of rebuilding. If we aren't good, we'll have plenty of draft capital in corresponding years. You just saw the Eagles actively seek to move one of their three 2022 firsts because no team wants to be on the hook for more than two 5th year options. That strategy just makes no sense to me.

I can see the pushback on not deferring picks.  I don't get wanting to keep Smith at all though.  He's not a valuable piece in the future, and there's no reason to retain him given his age.  I don't really understand what you mean about not wanting to be on the hook for a 5th year option?  How is having an option a bad thing?

 

19 minutes ago, Packerraymond said:

No reason for a total gut job until we know what Jordan Love is or isn't. We can probably get him locked up long-term mid-season for 25-30m per, which in early year cap hits won't be much different than a rookie deal. 

This is a sort of half-measure I'm not sure will work out in our favor.  Why do I want Jordan Love at 25-30m per even if he's pretty good?  Instead I can build around a different QB on a rookie deal and give myself a 4-5 year window where he's not eating a lot of cap.  Obviously if Love is top 3-5 QB getting him on that deal is great and it's huge value, but that's so unlikely at this point that it seems like a pipe dream.  If he's good-average starter (which is the high side of his expected career) then you're just building a vikings clone I think.

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3 minutes ago, skibrett15 said:

I can see the pushback on not deferring picks.  I don't get wanting to keep Smith at all though.  He's not a valuable piece in the future, and there's no reason to retain him given his age.  I don't really understand what you mean about not wanting to be on the hook for a 5th year option?  How is having an option a bad thing?

 

This is a sort of half-measure I'm not sure will work out in our favor.  Why do I want Jordan Love at 25-30m per even if he's pretty good?  Instead I can build around a different QB on a rookie deal and give myself a 4-5 year window where he's not eating a lot of cap.  Obviously if Love is top 3-5 QB getting him on that deal is great and it's huge value, but that's so unlikely at this point that it seems like a pipe dream.  If he's good-average starter (which is the high side of his expected career) then you're just building a vikings clone I think.

Teams don't want three different guys in 5th year options or up for extension in the same draft class. It's too much cap and cash burden.

We'll see, we brought in a coach with a scheme that has done great things with lesser QBs, I think Love has the talent to be plenty good for this team to win playing true Shanahan style offense with a solid defense behind it.

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1 minute ago, Packerraymond said:

Teams don't want three different guys in 5th year options or up for extension in the same draft class. It's too much cap and cash burden.

It's no burden whatsoever when you have no veterans.  Those 3 extensions are still miniscule compared to a vet QB cap hit and a 29 year old star WR cap hit and a starting LT cap hit. 

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3 minutes ago, Packerraymond said:

I think Love has the talent to be plenty good for this team to win playing true Shanahan style offense with a solid defense behind it.

Even if I agree with you here 100%, and I'm not sure that I do, the timing of Love's window and the Packers cap situation are heavily at odds.  We would be like the anti-Philadelphia with Love as QB.  All the downsides of the inexperienced QB but none of the cap benefits to make the AJ brown moves and none of the defensive roster strength.

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I think you are a bit optimistic about the trades

  • Don't think anyone would take Bak's contract
  • Gary has just done his ACL, nobody will give you what you want
  • Re Jones - what would be the cap hit for the buyer ? Is it 15m  if so I doubt he has trade value given his age and position

And keep Mason Crosby ???

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6 minutes ago, mikemike778 said:

I think you are a bit optimistic about the trades

  • Don't think anyone would take Bak's contract
  • Gary has just done his ACL, nobody will give you what you want
  • Re Jones - what would be the cap hit for the buyer ? Is it 15m  if so I doubt he has trade value given his age and position

And keep Mason Crosby ???

I think Bak can be moved.  In any event you have a long while to see because you don't save much by releasing him.  He's been in and out of the lineup this year, but if he's playable and can manage the injury he's been very solid when on the field.

Not saying it's a big return for him, but all-pro LTs are moveable even if overpriced

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