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PGwingman's Bye Week Offseason V1.0


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2024 PACKERS MOCK OFFSEASON: VERSION 1.0

OK folks, with the bye week in full swing, I’ve decided to look into a crystal ball to help discern the next offseason. I’ve said in the past, I don’t foresee a scenario where Love is not QB next season, so I’ll be operating from that situation.

Cap Situation

Spotrac currently lists the Packers with $19M in 2024 cap, with 40 players signed. Green Bay Packers Roster Manager | Spotrac (It shows 42, but Savage and Nixon are on void year deals and will be UFAs)

Overthecap is predicting $15M for the 2024 draft class (7 original picks, Jets 2nd round, 3 comp picks). NFL Draft Resources and Contract Estimates (overthecap.com)[$4M available, 51 players signed]

The last two guys would be a million a piece. So $2M cap going into the season with 53 signed.

So now begins the real discussion. Teams realistically need $5M for an in season piggy bank. So now you’re $3M over. Rashan Gary has earned an extension, and it’s safe to say he wants a top of market deal or similar. Spotrac estimates his value at $26M/year, which the Packers will almost certainly backload. I’m going to assume His 2024 cap hit comes in around $15M, which is just a guess. So why hasn’t this deal been done yet?

My guess, it revolves around the knee of #69. Bakh has been a cornerstone at LT, and I weep when I think about what could have been if his knee had held up. But how does this affect Gary?

Bakh is currently on the roster in 2024, scheduled for a $40M cap hit ($19M dead). People have naturally assumed that Bakh will be cut next season to make cap room, but there’s a hitch. You can’t cut injured players without an injury settlement.. So if Bakh does not pass a physical next spring, he could theoretically hold the Packers to most/all of his $40M cap hit. The Packers will be desperate for his $20M in savings ($40M cap hit-$19M dead-$1M replacement), but until you look at Bakh’s knee, it’s hard to know where you’ll get the cap space for a Gary extension. It’s also possible/likely  that Bakh takes a pay cut to remain a Packer. He’s due $21M in 2024, which even if he was traded would still make him the 3rd highest paid Tackle in the league, which is rough considering he’s played a handful of games in the past few years.

So what are the other options to free up cap space? Well, here’s the candidates:

Player

2024 Cap Hit

Max. Restructure w/Voids 

Avail. via release

Dead Cap if Released

Aaron Jones

$18M

$11M

$5M

$12M

Elgton Jenkins

$14M

$6M

$0

$14M

Kenny Clark

$27M

$11M

$3M

$24M

Preston Smith

$17M

$6M

$3M

$14M

De’Vondre Campbell

$14M

$6M

$3M

$11M

Rasul Douglas

$12M

$5M

$7M

$5M

Jaire Alexander

$24M

$9M

-$3M

$27M

Wingman’s take: With Dillon set to reach UFA, I’d hate to release Jones as well. I’d also hate to restructure him, his dead cap hit is already $7M. Jenkins’s restructure makes sense. Kenny Clark probably already wants a new deal, so I'm hesitant to push out cap hits on a player looking for a third contract. Preston’s play has dipped and he’s somewhat redundant with Lukas Van Ness, but cutting him to save $3M seems like spending dollars to make dimes. Same with Campbell, and even though he’s been injured he’s graded well. Douglas is the 4 best CB in the league per PFF, so I don’t want to release him (especially if Stokes struggles). Jaire’s restructure makes some sense.

Tough decisions remain if Bakh’s knee doesn’t heal.. Since I need to create $18-20M, I’ll restructure Jaire, Jenkins, and Douglas. The point I would emphasize is that this is the bare minimum cap space needed. If Love’s play picks up and you extend him, you’ll need every penny. This also assumes you sign no other free agents. 

DEPARTURES

Yosh Nijman

Keisean Nixon

Darnell Savage

Rudy Ford

Dallin Leavitt

AJ Dillon

Justin Hollins

Eric Wilson

Josiah Deguara

Zanyne Anderson

Jon Runyan

SPENDING

As noted above, only Rashan Gary. In my opinion, Rudy Ford would be one guy I’d really like to retain if I can. There’s no safeties on the roster in 2024 aside from Antonio Johnson Jr, who hasn’t even been active this year. Ford is also 4th best defender on the Packers per PFF playing very well for a guy who’s making $1.5M on a one year deal.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Zayne Anderson is the only eligible RFA, he’s not tendered

DRAFT NEEDS NFL Draft Resources and Contract Estimates (overthecap.com)

An interesting note, Packers have the third most draft capital to use per overthecap, behind the Bears and Cards

2023 TRADES

-So in my mind, there’s really two candidates for trade: Rasul and Keisean. A team acquiring Rasul would get a boundary corner for roughly $500k in 2023, $9M in 2024. It saves the Packers $1.5M this year, but still costs $5M next year. So I’d need a pretty big pick to make this deal work, and I’d also have to have faith that Stokes can fill in. But like I said earlier, I’m very hesitant to trade away the highest graded player on our defense. For now, I’m going to consider this move as “possible but unlikely”

Keisean Nixon makes a little more sense. He’s already scheduled to be a free agent in 2024, so might not be in long term plans. As a kick returner, he would make a nice piece for a team making a playoff run. I’ll classify this move as “possible”.

NFL DRAFT

-Packers receive 4th and two 6th round comp picks, projected by Overthecap

-Packer receive the Jets second round pick

Draft strategy: Gutey already has most of the defensive spots filled. With 8 DL/Edge players signed (9 if you include Gary), 3 ILBs, 5 CBs. Outside of safety, you mostly like what you have. CB a possible need to replace Douglas/Stokes in 2025. ILB to replace Campbell.

Offense has obviously been a problem. I’d assume WR is set for now. But Gute’s likely shopping for 2 RBs, TE, OG, LT, C. Tom has been a lone bright spot on the line, 

My only real observation here: Gute has done a remarkable job filling in premium positions. This team “needs” an LT, but if Bakh were to come back you could theoretically move your OT pick over to RT and kick Tom inside. If the Packers end up in a spiral and move into the top 5-6, but Gute still thinks Love needs another year in his audition, it might set up well for a trade down for future picks.

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ROUND 1, PICK 8 OVERALL

Joe Alt, LT, Notre Dame

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 2, PICK 8, 40 OVERALL

Calen Bullock, S, USC

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 3, PICK 11, 43 OVERALL

Blake Corum, RB, Michigan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 3, PICK 8, 72 OVERALL

Cedric Van Pran, C, Georgia

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 4, PICK 8, 108 OVERALL

Christian Mahogany, OG, Boston College

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 4, PICK 36, 135 OVERALL

Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(remaining picks ignored, PFF’s simulator limits to the 4th round)

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

The main purpose of the mock was to mock out the cap constraints Gute faces going into the 2024 season. For all the people who thought “well we’ll just trade Rodgers, bottom out in 2023, and but ready for a run in 2024”, you’re wrong. The 2025 offseason carries a little pain as well, but the light is at the end of the tunnel. If this team loses its next two games (Broncos, Vikings), I’d strongly consider trade offers to help speed up the rebuild. 

Bakh’s knee will hang over this team like a dark cloud until his physical next February. 

This will be a great draft for OTs. However, this is a terrible draft for OGs. I’ll be watching this area.

 Comment below with your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

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That's not how the rookie cap works, you bump someone out of the top 51 every time you sign a pick, so you can subtract about 750k per higher pick until you get guys that are about even with the low salary players.

Last year's class was about 8.5m against the cap, this years should probably be a little higher, maybe 9.

Don't see the Bakh situation unfolding with how loyal they've been to him regarding his knee. If he cannot pass a physical by next season, odds are his career is over anyway.

Our cap situation is mildly healthy next year, and majorly healthy going into 2025. There should be room to add a nice RB, S or IOL or two in FA should we choose.

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18 hours ago, AlexGreen#20 said:

Get a different RB than Corum.

 

17 hours ago, Old Guy said:

The reason it is too early for this type of thing is you have us picking too early. I don't want Corum tbh. He's not special, he's behind a very good college O-line and has been since he's been there. 

Yeah I've still barely started scouted prospects. For now I was just pondering position and draft slot. I'm just curious who's in the 3rd-4th round draft slot that we might be interested in.

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17 hours ago, NFLGURU said:

Love Stover, but cant see them going TE that early with last year's crop in the fold.

Yeah I'm curious about that as well. If Deguara is gone and Kraft doesn't show you much, I would argue that we'd still need a mid round pick invested into the position. But certainly a long way to go until we know for sure.

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On 10/14/2023 at 4:22 PM, spilltray said:

I don't think that's how it works with Bakh. At that point it's a 4 year old injury that he's become chronic. There are no injury guarantees in the NFL like that.

Well I don't think it's that simple. As I understand it, players on IR cannot be released. So even though his salary is not guaranteed for injury, if Bakh can't pass a physical he'd unable to do his job and could file a grievance with the Packers before being released.

 

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On 10/14/2023 at 4:48 PM, AlexGreen#20 said:

You need to bring back some of the roster fodder.

 

 

On 10/14/2023 at 9:28 PM, Packerraymond said:

That's not how the rookie cap works, you bump someone out of the top 51 every time you sign a pick, so you can subtract about 750k per higher pick until you get guys that are about even with the low salary players.

Last year's class was about 8.5m against the cap, this years should probably be a little higher, maybe 9.

So I tried to simplify that a little bit. Obviously we'll have a bunch of futures deals and whatnot after the season for all the roster fodder, which will go away once we sign the draft class. But a simpler way would be just to take the total cap for the draft class, add it to the guys you already have signed for 2024, and go from there. I don't think the math is perfect, but this is just me making a rough forecast of what will be needed and what options are available for Gute. 

 

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