3 Biggest Free-Agent Decisions for Packers' GM and Coach in 2023 Offseason

Jake RillJanuary 17, 2023

3 Biggest Free-Agent Decisions for Packers' GM and Coach in 2023 Offseason

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    Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst during a preseason NFL football game Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
    AP Photo/Mike Roemer

    For the first time in the Matt LaFleur era, the Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs in the 2022 season. After reaching the postseason in each of LaFleur's first three years as head coach (2019-21), the Packers' 8-9 record wasn't enough to extend that streak.

    Now, an interesting offseason has arrived for Green Bay. It may be difficult for the team to know what moves it will make until it finds out whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be back or if the 39-year-old decides to retire.

    Once the Packers learn that, they should have a better idea of what they want to do. That includes the decisions they'll face with some key members of their roster who could be hitting free agency.

    Here's a look at several key Green Bay players set to become free agents who the team will need to decide whether to try to bring back or to let go.

WR Allen Lazard

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    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard catches during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
    AP Photo/Duane Burleson

    After spending his first five NFL seasons in Green Bay, Allen Lazard is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. That's happening at a good time for the 27-year-old wide receiver, as he recorded career highs in catches (60) and yards (788) this past season, and he also scored six touchdowns in 15 games.

    It's possible the Packers may have expected more out of Lazard in 2022, though, considering they needed receivers to step up following their trade of Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. Lazard led the team in receiving, but his numbers weren't quite up to par with the top wideouts around the league.

    There will surely be teams with interest in Lazard, who could be a solid No. 2 or No. 3 wide receiver in certain offenses. He's proved he can get into the end zone at a high rate, too, having scored 14 TDs in 30 games over the past two seasons.

    Green Bay will need to decide how much it's willing to pay Lazard, or if it would like to fill his spot with an even more productive playmaker. That could depend on the future of Randall Cobb, who is 32 and may consider retirement.

S Adrian Amos

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    Green Bay Packers' Adrian Amos plays during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    AP Photo/Matt Slocum

    Adrian Amos hasn't missed a game over his four seasons with the Packers. He's also coming off a 2022 season in which he collected a career-high 102 tackles while also notching one sack, one interception and five passes defended.

    However, there are reasons why Green Bay may want to consider parting with Amos, whose contract is set to void. He's turning 30 in April, so his most productive years could be behind him. Also, his Pro Football Focus grade this past season was 54.2, which is below backup quality.

    If the Packers can bring back Amos on an affordable deal, perhaps it will do so. At the least, he could still be a reliable depth player to have, especially because of his long track record of being able to stay healthy.

    But Green Bay could be in the market for an upgrade in the secondary. And if that's the case, Amos may be on the move this offseason.

TE Robert Tonyan

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    Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan runs during an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
    AP Photo/Morry Gash

    Green Bay has two tight ends whose contracts are about to void: Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis. Of the two, Tonyan has the higher ceiling and seems more likely to still be with the Packers next season.

    Tonyan got off to a slow start in 2022, as the 28-year-old was coming off an ACL tear that ended his 2021 season. Yet he still recorded a career-high 53 catches and finished with 470 yards and two touchdowns in 17 games.

    In the past, Tonyan has been even more productive. The Indiana State product had 586 yards and 11 touchdowns for Green Bay in 2020, so he's capable of putting up even bigger numbers than he did in 2022.

    If the Packers decide to part ways with Tonyan, then they'll need to address the tight end position in free agency or the NFL draft. Because, as of now, they don't have a lot of guaranteed depth at that spot.