Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Green Bay Packers fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.
Due to the holidays, we have an abbreviated poll for this week’s edition of SB Nation Reacts.
While we have you here, let’s talk about 2023 and the list of Packers players who are set to hit free agency this offseason. The big question mark going into next year was supposed to be left guard Elgton Jenkins, who was projected to be a top-10 free agent in 2023. Jenkins signed a $68 million, four-year contract extension with Green Bay last week, which ended that speculation.
At Acme Packing Company, we’ve written about the roster construction of the 2023 team in the past. The short story is that the Packers have a surprising number of players under contract next season and don’t really have their hands tied up by the cap as much as people might think. Green Bay should be more active in the free agent market this offseason than last, as they just have to convert a few salaries into signings bonuses to slash open viable cap space.
Players set to hit unrestricted free agency after the season include receiver Allen Lazard, receiver Randall Cobb, tight end Robert Tonyan, tight end Marcedes Lewis, defensive lineman Dean Lowry, defensive lineman Jarran Reed, cornerback/returner Keisean Nixon, safety Rudy Ford and kicker Mason Crosby. Last week, we pinned down a potential Nixon extension to around a two-year, $12 million contract. Yesterday, we asked what you would pay to keep Nixon around next season.
Let’s expand on that question. Who do you think the Packers should be attempting to re-sign in 2023? Give us a contract comparison or projection for that player(s) as well.
Outside of Nixon, the players I would circle are the offensive skill players. We’ve seen how long it takes quarterback Aaron Rodgers to gel with new teammates and it might just be worth it to bring Lazard, Cobb, Tonyan and/or Lewis back on modest deals. Obviously, that goes out the window if someone overpays for them on the open market, but each one of them plays a specific role on the teams.
It would be tough to find blockers at the level of Lazard or Lewis or a player who could be as much of a third-down difference-marker with Rodgers as Cobb at their respective price points. Tonyan, to me, is also an underrated tight end who is getting better as a blocker and has had to be used in that role with all of the chaos surrounding the tackle positions this season.
What do you say?