June 15, 2024

The Green Bay Packers are officially out of the NFL playoffs and their attention must turn to the offseason. They surprised a lot of experts in 2023 and with Jordan Love starting to live up to his immense physical talent, the Pack are a team to watch moving forward. But the roster does need some fixing.

Entering the offseason, the Packers are projected to have about $8 million in cap space available. Obviously some contract restructures and cap tweaking will make that number bigger. But some hard decisions will have to be made, some free agents will be allowed to walk and cuts will happen. Here’s our look at five Packers who won’t be back with the team in 2024.

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Darnell Savage
Savage looked like a potential All-Pro after a stellar rookie season in 2019. He followed that up with a solid showing in 2020, but hasn’t been the same player since. The 26-year-old is hitting free agency this offseason and he hasn’t been good enough for the Packers to make re-signing him a priority. He was decent in 2023, but just below the level where Green Bay has to retain him. Pro Football Focus gives him a grade of 66.3 for the year.

The Packers do need to address the safety position this offseason. Luckily, there should be plenty of options on the market. Rookie Anthony Johnson Jr. might be the answer at one spot, but Green Bay will still need to find another starting-caliber player. Savage hasn’t played well enough to come back, unless it’s on a cheap, prove-it deal. He can likely get more elsewhere.

Josiah Deguara
The Packers drafted Deguara in the third round back in 2020 and, boy, that didn’t turn out how they wanted it to. He was supposed to be a utility tight end/H-back in the mold of San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk. That didn’t happen. Deguara caught 25 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns in 2021 and that was the high point of short career. In 2023 he has eight catches for 65 yards and his playing time has diminished rapidly.

Green Bay wasted a pick on Deguara as Matt LaFleur could never turn him into a useful, versatile piece for the offense. Maybe Deguara can catch on elseEverything that has gone wrong around Packers QB Jordan Love through 5 games

 

Jon Runyan Jr.
A sixth-round pick back in 2020, Runyan has started at guard for the Packers over the past three seasons, making 50 starts in that time. He has gotten progressively worse over those years. Back in 2021, PFF gave him a grade of 65.1, that dropped to 62.6 in 2022 and has bottomed out at 54.7 in 2023. His contract is up this offseason and the Packers need to search for a better option.

Runyan is only 26 and has the requisite size and bloodlines to be a good guard. But he’s not particularly athletic, doesn’t find defenders well at the second level and has struggled more and more as his career has progressed. Getting 50 starts out of a sixth-round pick is a great return on the investment for the Packers, but Runyan has to go.

A.J. Dillon
The Packers shocked the NFL when they selected Dillon with a second-round pick in 2020. They already had Aaron Jones, who they then proceeded to give a big contract to in early 2021. Dillon has been a backup ever since. His best season came in 2021 when he rushed for 803 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, while adding 313 yards and two touchdowns on 34 receptions. But in 2023 he has struggled. He finished the regular season with 613 yards and two touchdowns while averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry. He has 22 receptions for 233 yards as well.

Dillon is set to be a free agent and he is fully replaceable with a cheap free agent or a late-round pick. He’ll likely find a home elsewhere. Surely there’s a team out there that could use a guy who runs like a helmeted dump truck.

Royce Newman
Newman was a fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft and started 16 games at right guard that year. He showed promise, though he only earned a grade of 55.7 from PFF. The Packers made him into a bit of a swingman after that and he hasn’t really stuck anywhere on the line. In the two years since he’s started eight games, six in 2022 and two this season. In 2022 his PFF grade was 57.5 and in 2023 it bottomed out at 44.3. I’m not sure there’s any value left here.

Newman is under contract for next season, and if the Packers cut him his signing bonus of $124,836 will be the only cap hit from doing so. It would clear more than $1 million to let him go. That seems to be the smart move.

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