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We only have one question for you this week, and it’s a big one. Who do you think will start at quarterback in 2024? I’m sure you all have opinions about it, so now is the time to call your shot.
Question: Who do you think will start at QB in 2024?
Here’s the situation:
At the moment, the Green Bay Packers are set to have about $19 million in cap space going into 2024, according to Spotrac. That doesn’t include rookie contracts or the potential re-signings of safety Darnell Savage, slotback Keisean Nixon, outside linebacker Rashan Gary, running back A.J. Dillon, right guard Jon Runyan Jr. or punter Daniel Whelan (who will be an exclusive rights free agent.)
The three big ways the Packers can clear cap space are by releasing left tackle David Bakhtiari and running back Aaron Jones. The releases of both, though, will still come with a $31.3 million cap charge due to the team reworking their contracts during the “all-in” seasons at the end of the Aaron Rodgers era.
Veteran quarterbacks with contracts set to expire this season include Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield and Drew Lock, all players that the Packers have ties to in one way or another. Cousins and Tannehill were both coached by head coach Matt LaFleur at one point. Mayfield was picked up last season by Sean McVay, a close friend and colleague of LaFleur’s. Lock was brought in on a pre-draft visit to Green Bay, and there were rumors that the team was going to select him in the 2019 NFL Draft.
If you’re looking at the draft market, there are only really two sure-fire first-round picks in USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye. If you’re a betting man, I’d say you can bank on those two passers coming off the board in the first two picks of the draft. At the moment, even after losing four of their last five games, the Packers are still only slated to pick seventh overall in the 2024 NFL Draft today. For context, the Carolina Panthers had to trade two first-round picks, two second-round picks and receiver D.J. Moore, who the Panthers reportedly turned down a first-rounder from Green Bay for at the deadline last year, to move up for Bryce Young last draft. Both Williams and Maye are considered better prospects than Young was.
With Jordan Love’s current contract, the Packers will only have to pay a $7.8 million cap hit in 2024 to roster the quarterback next year, but that number rises to $12.5 million if they release him. To move on from Love, Green Bay will probably need to find a trade partner who is willing to take on his $5.5 million fully guaranteed salary.
Love, and the Packers’ offense overall, hasn’t played well lately. With that being said, I see few options, either in the veteran market or the draft market, that makes me think that anyone else will be under center for Green Bay next season. The vocal minority calling for Sean Clifford looks might just need to accept that Love is their quarterback for the next few seasons, as LaFleur stated this week that the team’s confidence in Love “is not wavering.”