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Green Bay Packers 2021 free-agency outlook

While the Packers have tried to quell the notion of Aaron Rodgers departing Green Bay this offseason, the team faces the potential loss of several players integral to their 13-3 season.

Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball in the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on January 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Following yet another disappointing NFC Championship Game, the Green Bay Packers must turn their attention to the upcoming offseason and the reckoning that awaits. Not only must the team internally address the concerns presumptive 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers raised at his postgame press conference, but the front office must also figure out how to retain as many of its top free agents as possible. Those tasks look challenging given the financial issues facing the entire NFL in the coming months.

Lost revenue due to COVID-19 will impact every team. However, with so many free agents, the league-wide drop in salary-cap space could make things difficult. The 2020 number came in around $198 million with the 2021 number potentially falling to $180.5 million, according to Over The Cap, but is subject to change.

Options for franchise/transition tags

With the Packers in need of significant salary-cap relief before the start of the new league year, the franchise and transition tags don’t hold a lot of appeal. Even if the salary cap comes in higher than currently anticipated, the team will need to make several moves and possibly restructure some contracts in order to become cap compliant. That leaves nearly no wiggle room for the eight-figure cap hold that either tag would require.

Even if the Packers carve out the requisite space, they don’t have a clear target for the franchise or transition tag. Prior to signing a record-setting multiyear deal in November, All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari might have received consideration for the franchise tag. That leaves a group headlined by Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley, and Kevin King, none of which seem likely to receive the tag. Green Bay spent a 2020 second-round pick on Jones’ apparent replacement (A.J. Dillon), has multiple options to cover for Linsley (Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick), and King struggled mightily down the stretch and in the playoffs (most notably at the end of the first half in the NFC Championship Game).

Salary cap

Estimated 2021 cap space (Jan. 28): -$28,444,726

2021 transactions

Free-agent signings

TBD

Free-agent departures

TBD

Trades

TBD

Notable unrestricted free agents

Packers 2021 Free Agents

Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
QB Tim Boyle* Packers
RB Aaron Jones Packers
RB Jamaal Williams Packers
RB Tyler Ervin Packers
WR Tavon Austin Packers
TE Robert Tonyan* Packers
TE Marcedes Lewis Packers
RT Jared Veldheer Packers
LG Lane Taylor Packers
C Corey Linsley Packers
DT Damon Harrison Packers
DE Billy Winn Packers
IDL Tyler Lancaster* Packers
IDL Montravius Adams Packers
LB James Burgess Packers
CB Chandon Sullivan* Packers
CB Parry Nickerson* Packers
CB Kevin King Packers
S Raven Greene* Packers
S Will Redmond Packers

* Denotes Restricted Free Agent (RFA)