This will be an in depth look at the Green Bay Packers’ roster and where they need to upgrade now that we are on to the 2021 season.
The season is over. The Green Bay Packers came up short yet again in their quest to bring home the franchise’s 14th world championship.
Now that the season is over, the roster is going to undergo some construction. Mike McCarthy used to always say that you can expect the roster turnover to come in around 25 percent.
With a potential cap shrinkage and the Packers looking to take the next step, there’s a chance that number is higher.
This series will look into what the Packers currently have, and where they need to upgrade from. That series starts with the game’s most important position, quarterback.
We’re going to break them down into four categories.
Let’s take a look at the quarterback room.
Aaron Rodgers – You may have heard of this guy. He was the league’s most valuable player. It was the third of his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career. After the team drafted his potential replacement, Rodgers went on a tear.
He finished the year with 48 touchdowns and five interceptions. His passer rating this season was second only to his 2011 MVP campaign. He was the best player at his position in the entire league. The Packers may have thought his play was slipping after the 2019 season.
There was at least some credence to that theory. Rodgers was not sharp in the month of December. He was legitimately bad against Washington. He looked average against Chicago and Minnesota. He was bad in the season finale against Detroit. He was sharp in a playoff game against Seattle before putting up numbers largely in garbage time against San Francisco.
This season was anything but average. Rodgers was spectacular. His play has led to some speculation that the team could redo his deal, which would essentially lock him into Green Bay beyond the perceived 2022 expiration date that the Jordan Love pick created.
The Packers typically have not done things like that, but this year is different. Brian Gutekunst has talked about taking risks in order to win now. That could mean that the Packers borrow from future salary caps in order to try and get over the hump.
Re-doing Rodgers’ deal could create more cap space in the short term to bring in a veteran like JJ Watt, or retain players like Aaron Jones or Corey Linsley.
The Rodgers contract situation is a fascinating one both for 2021 and beyond because of what it all means. Regardless, for now, the 12 of old is back, and that should have fans very confident about the situation they are in.
Verdict: Elite Player
Tim Boyle – A favorite of Packer Report’s Andy Herman. Boyle won the backup job this summer after an impressive showing in training camp. Boyle has yet to appear in any regular season games of any substance, but the Packers valued his experience in the offense in a year where they were one nasal swab away from missing their starting quarterback.
Boyle’s contract is set to expire. With a first round pick behind him, it appears unlikely Boyle will be back in Green Bay next season. Honestly, he probably shouldn’t be.
When you spend that pick, someone becomes expendable. In this case, it isn’t the starter because of his level of play, so Boyle becomes the casualty.
Verdict: Replaceable player.
Jordan Love – Perhaps the most volatile draft selection by the team since they picked Aaron Rodgers. The selection of Jordan Love sent shockwaves through the league.
While the Packers may have done their homework on him, nobody really believed that they would pull the trigger on him considering the team was one game away from the Super Bowl the previous season. Surely they were going to draft another weapon for Rodgers or a defensive player to try and get them over the top.
Instead, it was Love.
Love, to his credit has said and done all of the right things since arriving in Green Bay. He was essentially out of sight and out of mind after the season began because of the COVID offseason that eliminated preseason games.
Love may or may not be the future. The Packers have been steadfast in their message. As Tyler Dunne has continued to point out, this is what the Packers do. They want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to the quarterback position.
If you want an example of this being a good strategy, take a look at the situations developing in New Orleans and Pittsburgh at the moment. Those teams have shaky at best plans for their quarterback spot.
It’s possible that Love never plays a meaningful snap for the Packers. It’s also possible that he is the heir to Aaron Rodgers’ throne. That won’t be known for a couple of seasons.
What we do know, is that the Packers would not do anything differently despite how the season ended.
Love was a raw prospect coming out of Utah State and needed time to develop. This season of sitting on the bench was good for him. At minimum, he will make preseason games worth watching next August.