For years, fans have clamored for the Packers to go “All In.”
The phrase “All In” means something different to everyone, but the general consensus is that it means taking a big risk to try to win it all in one year with the consequences to be felt later. Most proponents of going “All In” seem to feel it’s worth ramping up for one big push even it means the team won’t be able to compete for a few years (at least) after that.
Well, friends, this may not be what we had in mind, but the Packers have gone “All In.”
Let’s start with the quarterback. Aaron Rodgers, by all reports, seems to entering his final season in Green Bay.
If he is gone, Davante Adams – who stopped contract negotiations with the team because he wants to surpass DeAndre Hopkins’s ludicrous deal to become the highest-paid receiver in the league – will also almost certainly be gone, as well (I could think of at least 3 reasons why, actually).
The “Last Dance” social media posts from Rodgers and Adams earlier this offseason are more than enough to suggest the duo could be done in Green Bay after this season.
But it’s more than just replacing a QB1 to WR1 passing duo.
Becuase of the moves the Packers made this offseason, they will almost certainly have more roster holes to fill next year.
The Packers made the curious move to re-sign Aaron Jones despite having AJ Dillon apparently ready to take over as the lead back. They re-signed Kevin King, despite his injury history, poor showing in the playoffs, and a deep cornerback draft. They brought back Marcedes Lewis, they even brought back Will Redmond.
They did everything they could to bring back as many players as possible for another title run after two straight seasons ended at the doorstep of the Super Bowl.
In order to do that, the Packers had to restructure a number of deals, pushing out cap hits to the point that OverTheCap has the Packers effectively at nearly $50M over the cap for 2022, dead last in the NFL by a wide margin.
Given that they already pushed out so many guaranteed cap hits (and that the dollars that were restructured cannot be moved again), the Packers will not have nearly as many options for pushing out money again next year.
The only way they will be able to get under the cap is to cut players.
Lots of them.
The 2022 offseason will be a painful one for the Packers. They won’t be able to restructure their way out of their cap situation because they restructured so many contracts this year and are simply running out of dollars to move. As a result, they will need to cut multiple starters to get under the cap – even if Rodgers and Adams have already moved on (if either of them stay, the situation only gets more complicated).
Removing that much talent from the team will make it harder to compete for a title.
That’s what going “All In” is: taking a chance to win it all this year even though it makes it harder to compete for a title in future years.
Most fans wanted a bunch of short-sighted trades and big-name free agents to go “All In,” but that’s not how this one worked out.
This is what going “All In” looks like.
The Packers have a serious shot at a Super Bowl this year.
The prospects are grim after that.
Be careful what you wish for.
And enjoy the ride.
Bruce Irons has played, coached, and studied football for decades. Author of books such as A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft, A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap, and A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits And Misses, Bruce contributes to CheeseHeadTV and PackersForTheWin.com.
Follow Bruce Irons on Twitter at @BruceIronsNFL.