Packers 2021 Offseason Needs
After another disappointing end to their season where should the Packers go from here?(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Packers 2021 Offseason Needs

After a tough loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game, the Packers look to retool for next season. Green Bay is sitting around negative $28 million in cap space, so it may take some tough decisions and cuts in order to get Aaron Rodgers the proper help that he needs to finally get over that hump and make it to the Super Bowl. The public has been very vocal about getting Rodgers help at WR outside of Davante Adams and I think this is the offseason where Green Bay gets it done.

Roster Needs: WR, CB, LB, IDL

Offense

Packers 2021 Offseason Needs
The Packers should look to target WR Will Fuller V in free agency (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Wide Receiver has been a position of need for quite some time when it comes to the Packers; besides Davante Adams, the receiving core is extremely weak and if Green Bay wants to get over the hump they are going to need to sign a solid number two behind Adams. The top option here should be Will Fuller V, he would be a perfect fit in Matt LaFleur’s offense as well as being a perfect complement to Adams.

There were rumors during the regular season that the Packers were interested in trading for Fuller but were not able to get a deal done before the trade deadline. Fuller is the perfect vertical threat that the Packers lack and would instantly upgrade the offense. While Fuller would be a great addition there would be some concern with this signing as well.

Firstly, Fuller has a history of injuries, as he has yet to play a full 16 game season throughout his career. Secondly, Fuller was recently suspended for PED’s cutting his 2020 season short, which is ab obvious cause for concern. Thirdly, the asking price to sign a WR like Fuller is not going to be cheap, PFF is projecting Fuller’s free agent value to be around 5 years $87.5 million which may cause Green Bay to do some salary cap gymnastics in order to offer this kind of money. If the packers are not able to do this, some cheaper options that would fit well would be T.Y. Hilton, Sammy Watkins, or John Ross.

The two biggest decisions when it comes to the Green Bay offense has to do with players who are on the roster already. Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley are the biggest question marks when it comes to upcoming free agents for this Packers offense.

First, I believe the Packers should let Aaron Jones walk in free agency. As talented as the young RB is, I don’t think it is worth it for the Packers to invest big money into bringing him back. PFF is projecting Jones to want a 4 year $56.17 million-dollar deal. As we have seen in the NFL over the past few seasons, many RB’s are replaceable with the exception of some like Derrick Henry or Christian McCaffrey.

I don’t see Jones being on the same level as either of those guys so therefore it would be smart to let him walk. The team also drafted A.J. Dillon in the second-round last year for a reason, this move seemed to be an obvious succession plan for this upcoming offseason and leads me to believe that it was Green Bay’s plan all along to let Jones walk. Dillion also looked great in the limited time he played this season showing he is poised for a feature role in the Green Bay backfield in 2021.

The biggest order of business for the Packers this offseason should be to re-sign star center Corey Linsley. Linsley was rated as one of the top centers according to PFF and losing him would be a big hit to the Packers ability to run the football. The team must re-sign him if they look to replicate their success running the football and opening up play action which are two key factors in Matt LaFleur’s offense. Re-signing him will not be cheap and there is a decent chance he may leave in free agency but the Packers need to do everything in their power to try and bring him back.

Defense

Packers 2021 Offseason Needs
Asante Samuel Jr. would be a great selection for the Packers with the 29th overall pick in this years draft (Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

After Kevin King’s performance in the NFC championship game, it is clear that Green Bay should look in another direction at the #2 CB position. King is also a free agent which is even more of a reason to let him go and find a replacement. I think the perfect replacement for him is in the draft by selecting CB Asante Samuel Jr. out of Florida State with the 29th overall pick. Samuel Jr. is a bit undersized but is an extremely physical corner that is very good against receivers in the slot. He would have plenty of room to grow alongside star corner Jaire Alexander.

Linebacker was not a position of strength for the Packers defense this past season and the team should look to make some moves in order to form a more respectable linebacking core. Firstly, there has been much talk about the idea of cutting linebacker Preston Smith this offseason. Smith had a phenomenal 2019 season with the Packers totaling 12 sacks in his first season with the team on a big contract.

In 2020, he fell off from that production totaling only 4 sacks throughout the season. There is a legitimate argument to whether he should be cut or not due to the fact that his contract is very back loaded and if he continues to decline the Packers certainly would not be getting their money’s worth. If the Packers were to cut Smith they would be saving around $20 million in cap space over the next two years which could help them benefit the team in other ways.

I think Green Bay should look in another direction and cut Smith. A perfect replacement for him would be free agent linebacker Avery Williamson. Williamson is a versatile linebacker and through his 2020 season showed that he can still be productive. The linebacker would be a much cheaper option than Smith, which could help the Packers in terms of their cap space.

Outside of Kenny Clark, the interior of the defensive line struggled for Green Bay, the team looked to plug up that hole for the playoffs by signing Damon Harrison but it was to no avail. The Packers would be smart to target a player like Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency. Tomlinson is extremely effective against the run and would fit perfectly alongside Kenny Clark in the trenches. Green Bay tried to acquire Tomlinson at the trade deadline so I don’t see why the team would not try to go after him again in free agency.

The 2021 season will be a big make it or break it year, assuming the team retains QB Aaron Rodgers. If they do, this could be his last chance to bring a Super Bowl back to Lambeau as Jordan Love looks to take the reigns at some point. Green Bay cannot afford to keep making it to the NFC championship game and losing. The holes of this team must be addressed and I think the front office realizes that and will make the necessary moves to get Rodgers the help that he needs in order to make that jump to the Super Bowl.

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