Now that the Green Bay Packers’ 2023 campaign has officially ended and the team has staffed its defensive coaches for the upcoming season, let’s finally turn our attention to the 2024 roster. Obviously, there’s still cap decisions to be made before free agency, but every offseason starts with areas of concern that a team could possibly address.
As far as I see it, the four biggest positions that the team has needs at are running back, the offensive line, linebacker and safety. If you believe another position should be in consideration here, drop us a note in the comment section below.
At running back, co-starters Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon are on shaky ground. Jones is going into the last year of his contract, which carries a $17 million cap hit in 2024, though, general manager Brian Gutekunst did say in his end-of-year press conference that he hopes that Jones is back next season. Dillon is set to be an unrestricted free agent in March, but head coach Matt LaFleur said that he is welcome to come back to the team — presumably if he finds out that he’s not going to rake in the big bucks in free agency. Behind those two, the only other backs under contract for next season are undrafted 2023 rookies Emanuel Wilson and Ellis Merriweather.
On the offensive line, the question marks are at left tackle and right guard. At left tackle, Rasheed Walker played well above his weight as a second-year, seventh-round pick, but is that enough to overlook a loaded tackle class? The status of David Bakhtiari, who has only played a handful of games since his ACL tear in 2020, will dictate a lot at this position. With Bakhtiari set to receive a big roster bonus in mid-March, assume that the team will make a decision — one way or another — by that point in time.
At right guard, starter Jon Runyan Jr., who rotated in and out of the lineup with Sean Rhyan in the second half of the 2023 season, is set to be a free agent. The question now is if the team will allow Rhyan to be the uncontended starter going into next year, or if Rhyan will be used as a player to push either the right guard or center positions.
Linebacker is going to be interesting because the team is converting from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense. This means that the Packers are going to have to go from playing two off-ball linebackers in base packages to three. To say the least, Green Bay doesn’t have three linebackers who are worth being called starters right now. De’Vondre Campbell is a likely cap casualty, which leaves the team with just three players at the position who are under contract for the 2024 season: Quay Walker, Isaiah McDuffie and safety-convert Christian Young, who signed to the team on a reserve/futures contract. Yikes. From a simple numbers perspective, the team may need to add three more bodies at the position.
Safety is another major hole on the Packers’ roster. Darnell Savage, Jonathan Owens and Rudy Ford, the team’s top-three preferred starting players at the position, are all expected to hit free agency in 2024. With that being said, none of them were great in 2023, which led to the turnover of the defensive coaching staff. Next season, the safeties under contract are Anthony Johnson Jr., Benny Sapp III, special teamer Zayne Anderson and practice squadder Tyler Coyle. Like linebacker, this is another position where it wouldn’t be shocking if the team added three or so new bodies between now and the end of the draft.
So what do you think is Green Bay’s biggest need going into the 2024 offseason? Vote in the poll below and comment with your thoughts on our analysis of the Packers’ roster.
What is the Packers biggest need in 2024?
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