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Cheese Curds, 8/6: Opt-out deadline today; projecting the Packers’ 2020 offense

While players decide whether to commit to the 2020 season today, It’s tough to tell what to make of the Packers’ offense heading into Matt LaFleur’s second season.

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NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

4:00 PM Eastern this afternoon. That is the official deadline for NFL players to opt out of the 2020 season, barring something unexpected taking place during the season.

The Green Bay Packers have seen just one player, Devin Funchess, step away for 2020. If there are others seriously considering doing the same, the team seems to be unaware of it, but as former team executive Andrew Brandt likes to say, “deadlines spur action.” For the 80-plus players on the current roster, this afternoon presents one of the most significant deadlines they will have all year.

If no other players elect to step away for the upcoming season, we have a pretty good idea what the team’s offense will look like — at least from a personnel perspective. There appear to be few roster spots up for grabs on that side of the ball and even fewer questions about which players will be manning the key roles, particularly at the ball-handling positions.

The questions primarily revolve around how the team will deploy those weapons to create an identity. The run game will continue to be a major part of that philosophy for head coach Matt LaFleur, but a more versatile tight end and backfield group may make it look a little more like the 49ers’ offense than the Packers’ offenses of the past.

In today’s curds, we look at a lot of the separate individual pieces on offense and one attempt to assess the unit as a whole.

Corey Linsley projects Packers’ ground game will continue making strides |
The Packers' center is excited to see what improvements the team makes in the run game. He also weighs in on his contract, which is up at the end of this season, and the prospect of wearing a face shield under his helmet (not a fan).

Dexter Williams contending with crowded backfield |
One of the running backs fighting for playing time is Williams, who never seemed to get out of Matt LaFleur's doghouse last year. With the Packers acquiring AJ Dillon in the second round of the draft and bringing back Tyler Ervin, the prospect of earning a job seems slim, but the second-year player is determined to show what he can do to earn a spot on a roster somewhere in the NFL.

Allen Lazard led all Packers WRs in passer rating when targeted in 2019 |
Lazard's 117.9 rating when targeted was tops on the team, beating out Davante Adams' 101.4.

Packers 'back to square one' with their WRs unless … | ESPN
We won't dignify the Antonio Brown suggestion with any more commentary than this sentence. What's somewhat interesting here is the thought that the Packers should have signed Robby Anderson in the offseason and the analysis of each of the Packers' current wideouts not named Davante Adams.

Ranking every NFL offense from 1 to 32 going into the 2020 season – The Athletic (subscription)
This analysis puts the Packers in 13th, five spots below their 8th-place finish in DVOA last year.

He Was an Olympic Speedskater. Now He’s a Major League Baseball Player. - WSJ
He was a skater boy, but he said see you later to his entire sport and recently made his major league debut for the Marlins, helping to pitch in with much of that team sidelined with the coronavirus.