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Cheese Curds, 2/24: Packers facing tough decisions on Tonyan, Jones, Linsley

There are no great answers for the Packers with their unrestricted free agents, but the path seems clear on their top RFA.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers Appleton Post-Crescent-USA TODAY

Some of the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming decisions involve several millions of dollars in compensation and cap space. Some may end up coming down to parsing a million dollars or less. But each decision is difficult in its own way, as Packers fans can likely understand.

In the cases of Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley, the financial questions are enormous. A top-tier deal at his position for either player will likely pay them more than $10 million per year, even in a depressed cap year. That’s money that the Packers certainly don’t have right now, even if they backload cap hits into future years.

In the case of tight end Robert Tonyan — a restricted free agent — the decision comes down to which tender to give him, with the tenders separated by a million dollars or so. That’s probably money worth spending to give him a second-round tender and effectively ensure that he stays with the team for 2021 at a manageable price tag. After all, if the team uses a low tender, another team could stick the Packers in a much more difficult position to match a painful offer sheet or face no compensation if he were to leave.

In a year when every penny of cap space will be closely scrutinized, moves like these will take on added importance.

Packers' 2020 season-ending Dope Sheet | Packers.com
Here's a deep dive into all of the stats that made up the Packers' excellent 2020 season.

Packers' Robert Tonyan likely will have to wait to get paid (big) - ESPN
Here's another look at Tonyan's future, which poses a tough question for the Packers. A right of first refusal tender at just over $2 million will almost certainly result in him getting an offer sheet, so the second-round tender is our suggestion.

Will Packers use franchise or transition tag on RB Aaron Jones? | Packers Wire
The Packers haven't used a franchise tag since 2010, when they slapped it on Ryan Pickett to keep the big nose tackle in town. That likely won't change, even if the tag for running backs is around $8.5 million.

Ranking Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley and the Green Bay Packers’ Unrestricted Free Agents - Sports Illustrated
Still, Jones is the team's most critical free agent, according to one list, with center Corey Linsley close behind. Those two are the clear top priorities, though the order can be debated.

NFL free agency WR rankings: Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin lead loaded class – The Athletic
Perhaps the Packers could make a run at Demarcus Robinson of Kansas City again? Or maybe Dede Westbrook could give the Packers some production out of the slot? There are plenty of receivers set to hit the market at all price points.

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BRB, gonna go find a breakfast pizza and chow down on the whole thing.