The Green Bay Packers are coming off a very good season but they were not quite good enough. Taking risks to get Aaron Rodgers weapons is the only option.
For a team that just went 13-3 and made the conference championship, it sure feels like the Green Bay Packers have a lot of work to do this offseason. And that is true for both sides of the ball. We normally pencil in the offense in Green Bay as something not worth worrying about, but even that is up for debate.
Aaron Rodgers was good but not his normal self a season ago. Is this a sign of steady career decline or a blip? If the former, the Pack may be doomed regardless of other moves.
We’re not ready to go there with Rodgers just yet, but he does need help. Improving the offense and getting him another playmaker can push Green Bay over the top. Its time to take risks before its too late.
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Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, debate the Green Bay Packers in today’s NFL Sports Debate.
Perhaps more than ever before, Green Bay needs to get Rodgers more help. The team will be losing depth along the offensive line and, more importantly, Brian Bulaga is set to hit free agency. If it isn’t able to re-sign him, it will be hard to replace what Bulaga brings.
This is also likely the end of the Geronimo Allison era. He never materialized as a second banana at receiver; a microcosm of the entire receiving corps. There hasn’t been anyone to compliment Davante Adams. The names keep cycling through fantasy circles but never pan out. I can only imagine how frustrating it has become for folks in Green Bay.
Finding pass catchers should be one of the Packers’ main offseason priorities. That seems even more pressing because disappointing tight end Jimmy Graham is the most likely cap casualty on the roster. Cutting him will save $8 million, added to the roughly $24 million in space the team has now.
On defense, it is easy to see the main area of need. Yes, Tramon Williams is a free agent, but he wasn’t the piece he used to be anyway. Instead, inside linebacker is where things get dicey. Both Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson are free agents. If neither comes back, there will be multiple holes to fill alongside the team’s edge rushers.
Besides Graham, there aren’t many other clear-cut releases to free up space. There are a couple starters in the trenches who could save a good amount of money, but releasing either Corey Linsley or Kenny Clark would just open another major hole. Clark is probably more likely to be extended rather than released.
After re-signing Mason Crosby earlier in the month, Green Bay can now focus on Bulaga and adding pass catchers, the latter of which perhaps through the draft as well as free agency. If these issues aren’t addressed, Rodgers will again have to do too much heavy lifting of this unit. That brings me back to Rodgers. If he has lost a figurative step and the Packers’ identity isn’t on offense anymore, how high is the ceiling of this team really? 2019 could have been the best we can expect.
It certainly feels like the Green Bay Packers exceeded realistic expectations in 2019. Rodgers returned to be very good, but not out of this world great. A team should not and cannot need its best player to be out of this world great. Expecting anyone to maintain that level of play is ludicrous. Green Bay should be able to win the NFC with a very good Aaron Rodgers. This is exactly what San Francisco just pulled off, with a significantly less talented quarterback.
Where does this leave the Green Bay Packers in 2020? I would put tight end at the top of their list, as this position gains notoriety as perhaps the most crucial to offensive success. Tom Brady excelled with a Pro Bowl tight end and then fell flat last season without one. San Francisco just rolled through the NFC on their way to the Super Bowl with a Pro Bowl tight end and Kansas City just won it all with a Pro Bowl tight end of their own.
Quarterbacks need big and strong security blankets in the passing game. Offenses need dual threats and tight ends can block on running plays, be the ideal play-action decoy, or simply go down the field and dominate against smaller defensive backs. The lack of a dominant tight end truly hurt Green Bay’s offense last season, so finding one to replace Jimmy Graham is crucial. Having that type of X-factor will open up the offense for everyone else to succeed.
Most of the time a single player is not enough to make a huge difference on a football team, especially if its any position other than quarterback. But the Packers just went 13-3, so we know that most of the team is working well. Maintaining the offensive line will be crucial. Keeping the defense together will be too. But get Rodgers one weapon and he may turn back into that out-of-this-world great player again next season.