Aaron Rodgers has a new reworked contract with the Green Bay Packers and it opened up around $10 million in cap space. Let’s dive into 5 likely candidates that we could see the Packers spend that extra money on.
It’s been no secret about the news and rumors about the conversations between the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, and Davante Adams, and neither player has any certainty in their future with Green Bay past this upcoming 2021 season. With $13 million still in cap space and moves like signing Randall Cobb and Dennis Kelly already made, it seems likely that they will try and make at least one more significant move to really go all in for this potential “Last Dance” as a group.
These are the 5 players that the Green Bay Packers could potentially target to take this team up another level from just NFCCG appearances to super bowl champions. Note, these players will be linebackers and defensive lineman since those positions tend to be the agreed upon weak spots of the roster at this moment.
Geno Atkins has played in every single game each season since coming into the league in 2010 except for the 2013 season, and he made 6 straight pro bowls from 2014-2019. In 2020, he started training camp off with a shoulder injury and tried to play through it until eventually getting put on the injured reserve after having surgery to repair it.
Despite being 33 years old and only recording one tackle all of last year, Atkins still brings a dominating presence to a defensive line against the run or passing. Lined up next to Kenny Clark, the addition of Atkins could give the Green Bay Packers one of, if not the toughest front four in the NFL.
Reminder: Geno Atkins is unfair. pic.twitter.com/0raugAKizz
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 28, 2018
At 32 years old, Kawann Short has just seen the field in 5 games over the past two seasons, two games in 2019 that was cut short by a torn rotator cuff, and three in 2020 for a surgery to repair his shoulder. It’s no question that Short is due for a pay cut with whoever he signs with next after missing so much time and questions about how much he has left in the tank.
Despite these concerns, Short was still in a pro bowl in 2018 and has been relatively healthy other than the past two years. He might not be able to bring much as a pass rusher anymore, but he is still a dominant force in the run game and can serve as a good two down defensive lineman if the prices were to align to match that.
Jurrell Casey is personally my favorite potential candidates for the Green Bay Packers. Casey is now 31 years old and saw 5 straight pro bowls from 2015-2019 before only getting to play in three games in 2020 before going on the injured reserve with a bicep tear. Other than 2020, Casey has remained a healthy player and still played very well before his injury, registering a 74.4 PFF grade in his time in Denver.
Casey would bring help against the run and passing game and could serve as a 3-down lineman and a stout partner to pair with Kenny Clark. Casey’s price tag would potentially be the highest of the three-lineman named but with no real signs of regression it is a price that would still be worth it.
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 15, 2020
Kwon Alexander is the youngest player on this list as he approaches 27 years old, it would be great to continue the Green Bay Packers trend and continue to fill their defense up with younger and electric talent. Alexanders price tag is a big question and a big factor on his potential landing spot.
He was set to be a $13.2 million cap hit this year with the Saints before getting released by them, and it’s hard to imagine he will see that same amount since he has only played one full season since entering the NFL in 2015.
K.J. Wright is now 32 years old but he has been the epitome of consistency and underrated since coming into the league in 2011. Wright has only missed significant time during one season throughout his career and he could bring veteran experience and leadership to a young Green Bay Packers defensive locker room.
The Packers depth at linebacker is still very thin and at this time they lack the experience that can elevate them to a great core. Spotrac currently has Wright’s market value at $7 million per year, and that could make him potentially the best candidate on this list when you look at it from a value standpoint.
KJ Wright with the one-handed PICK 😱
— NFL (@NFL) October 12, 2020