Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers are heading into what is expected to be one of the most intriguing offseason periods that the team has had in a long time. After making the shocking move to fire Mike McCarthy in the middle of the season, it became apparent that upper management is not messing around anymore.
Heading into this offseason, the Packers are going to have some tough decisions to make. There are some fan-favorite players heading into free agency and also holes in the roster that need to be filled.
Aaron Rodgers is seeing his prime move past him quickly. There is no doubt that he has to shoulder some of the blame for the issues in Green Bay behind the scenes, but he is one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. The rift he had with McCarthy was unfortunate, but perhaps it was needed.
Green Bay is not far away from getting back into Super Bowl contention. A good offseason in free agency and the draft could be enough to get them back to that point.
All of that being said, what five bold predictions can be made for the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming offseason?
5. Green Bay Decides to Re-Sign Randall Cobb
Bringing back Cobb was something that was touched on deeper in a previous Clutch Points article.
Despite the link to a more in-depth article, Cobb is a very integral part of the Packers’ offense. His absence this season hurt in a big way, but the team should bring him back. When he is healthy, he is one of Rodgers’ most trusted targets.
Cobb and Davante Adams are a solid one-two punch, but the Packers could use another legitimate target. Just a few short years ago, Cobb passed up on bigger contracts to return to Green Bay. If he is willing to do that again, the Packers need to give him a competitive offer.
4. Clay Matthews Does Not Return in 2019
Even though he is one of the top fan-favorite players on the roster, Matthews is not going to be back in 2019. Matthews may have shown flashes during the 2018 season, but too often he was a step slow and also was penalized way too much.
Green Bay needs to get younger, quicker, and more athletic on the defensive side of the football. There is no denying that Matthews will go down as one of the best defensive players in Packers’ history, but it’s time to part ways.
Unless Matthews is willing to take a major pay cut to remain in Green Bay, the Packers will have to make the difficult decision to let him sign elsewhere in free agency.
3. Green Bay Signs a Star Pass Rusher
In order to replace Matthews, the Packers will need to go out and sign a big name pass rusher. Dee Ford, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Jadeveon Clowney are three names that come to mind. Even if they can’t get one of those three, there are still players that they can target.
While there are other players outside of the “big three” available, the Packers are going to get one of the top pass rushers available.
Ford seems like the best bet, although Clowney and Lawrence would both fit well. Kansas City could choose to franchise tag him, but if they don’t, it would not be surprising to see Brian Gutekunst aggressive pursue a deal with him.
2. The Packers Make An Aggressive Trade Offer for Antonio Brown
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has reported that the Packers are one of the teams expected to have interest in making an aggressive move for Antonio Brown. That would be a move that Rodgers and company would be more than happy to see happen.
Brown may have a lot of drama surrounding him right now, but the media has built it up into something that it isn’t. Green Bay cannot afford to let the media perception of Brown make them forget about pursuing him.
Green Bay has two first-round picks this season, which could make for an intriguing trade offer. Brown would give Rodgers the best target that he has ever had and would completely change the Green Bay offense.
Matt LaFleur is the type of coach that wants weapons and Brown is the ultimate offensive weapon.
1. Bashaud Breeland Is Re-Signed in Free Agency
Finally, the Packers made a big move to sign veteran cornerback Bashaud Breeland in the middle of the season. It was a move that paid off, with Breeland showing flashes of being exactly what Mike Pettine’s defense needed.
In the seven game that he played with Green Bay, Breeland ended up with 20 total tackles to go along with a fumble recovery, two interceptions, a defensive touchdown, and four defended passes.
Green Bay has a very talented cornerback duo in Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, who they drafted in the first two rounds of last years draft. Kevin King has talent, but has dealt with quite a few injury issues.
Due to King’s injury track record, the Packers will re-sign Breeland this offseason and he will end up being a leader and cornerstone for the Green Bay defense in 2019.