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Cheese Curds, 12/8: 2023 season may be on fans’ minds, but Packers stay focused on 2022

Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball will have some very difficult decisions to make in February and March.

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Syndication: PackersNews Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK

One way or another, the 2023 Green Bay Packers should look very different from the team taking the field in the late stages of the 2022 season.

Sure, Aaron Rodgers’ status is a big part of the equation. But beyond the quarterback, the team faces several major roster questions amid a tight situation against the salary cap. The Packers will almost certainly have to move some money around to stay solvent for next year, which likely means a few painful cuts and restructuring a few players’ contracts to push back cap money into 2024 and beyond.

The latter might be the path forward with players like Aaron Jones and Kenny Clark, both of whom have large base salary and/or roster bonus numbers that could be spread out through conversions to signing bonuses. With the bye week hitting this weekend, we’ll take a closer look at some of these options in the coming days here at Acme Packing Company.

Although questions like those are swirling around many Packers fans’ minds — and probably through cap guru Russ Ball’s mind as well — the rest of the organization remains focused on trying to win out the final four games and have a chance at the postseason. The team’s playoff chances rely on significant help from a few teams, most notably in the NFC East (Giants and Commanders) and West (49ers and Seahawks), but the possibility still remains for at least another week or two.

Stay tuned for a rooting guide for the bye week to illustrate who to root for if you’re still holding out postseason hopes for this team and keep it here through the weekend for more bye week content.

Winning on top of Packers’ mind entering final stretch |
With four games to go, the Packers are focusing on winning out and trying to get into the postseason, but a tough offseason and a weird 2023 looms on the horizon.

Aaron Jones? Allen Lazard? Which current Packers will be back in 2023? - The Athletic ($)
Jones is a better bet to come back next season than Lazard, if only because the running back is still under contract. Here's a look at every player on the Packers' current 53-man roster, categorized by how likely it is that they return for next season.

Packers GM likes long-term outlook of wide receiver room | Packers Wire
Lazard's status remains a question mark, but with Christian Watson's recent explosion and Romeo Doubs' early-season impressions, there are reasons to be optimistic. Still, the team will need to find a few more bodies with those two plus fellow rookie Samori Toure being the only wideouts under contract for next year.

Top NFL rookies 2022: Ranking 10 best first-years | ESPN
Watson ranks 8th on this list and behind two other wide receivers, but he’s rising fast.

Packers give $1.5 million to Wisconsin civic, charitable organizations | Green Bay Press Gazette
In yesterday's curds, we discussed Pat O'Donnell's charitable efforts; today we find news of a huge number of grants provided by the team to organizations around the state.

Man Arriving At Courthouse For Hearing On Meth Case Found With Bag Of Meth In His Pocket -
Props to this guy for really committing to his craft.