June 24, 2024

The Green Bay Packers have concluded their NFL playoff journey, and now their focus shifts to the offseason. Their performance in 2023 surprised many, and with Jordan Love beginning to showcase his considerable athletic abilities, the Packers emerge as a team with potential moving forward. However, addressing the roster is necessary.

As they enter the offseason, the Packers are anticipated to have around $8 million in available cap space. Adjustments through contract restructures and cap adjustments will likely increase this figure. Nevertheless, tough decisions lie ahead, with some free agents expected to depart, and roster cuts on the horizon. Here is our assessment of five Packers players unlikely to return to the team in 2024.

Darnell Savage, who showed immense promise with an impressive rookie season in 2019, followed by a solid 2020, has experienced a decline in performance since then. Now, at 26 years old, he is set to enter free agency this offseason. Although he had a decent showing in 2023, it wasn’t at a level where the Packers would prioritize re-signing him. With a Pro Football Focus grade of 66.3 for the year, Savage falls just below the threshold for a compelling retention by Green Bay.

Given the Packers’ need to address the safety position in the upcoming offseason, there are expected to be numerous options available in the market. While rookie Anthony Johnson Jr. may fill one spot, the team still needs to secure another starting-caliber player. Savage’s recent performance might not warrant a return, unless it’s on a cost-effective, prove-it deal, as he could likely find more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

Josiah Deguara, drafted by the Packers in the third round in 2020, did not live up to the team’s expectations. Initially envisioned as a versatile tight end/H-back akin to San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk, Deguara’s career trajectory fell short of those plans. Despite a promising 2021 season with 25 receptions for 245 yards and two touchdowns, his performance dwindled in 2023, amassing only eight catches for 65 yards, accompanied by a rapid decline in playing time.

Unable to fulfill his anticipated role in Matt LaFleur’s offense, Green Bay’s investment in Deguara has been deemed a disappointment. While he may find success in a traditional tight end role with a different team, a change of scenery appears necessary for Deguara’s career to flourish.

Jon Runyan Jr., selected in the sixth round in 2020, has been a starting guard for the Packers for the past three seasons, accumulating 50 starts during that period. However, his performance has regressed over these years. In 2021, PFF awarded him a grade of 65.1, which dipped to 62.6 in 2022 and further declined to 54.7 in 2023. As his contract expires this offseason, the Packers are in need of a more effective option.

At 26 years old, Runyan possesses the necessary size and football pedigree to excel as a guard, but his lack of athleticism and struggles in engaging defenders at the second level have become more apparent as his career has unfolded. While obtaining 50 starts from a sixth-round pick is commendable, the Packers must explore alternative options, and it’s time for Runyan to part ways with the team.

The Packers surprised the NFL by selecting A.J. Dillon with a second-round pick in 2020, despite already having Aaron Jones, to whom they awarded a significant contract in early 2021. Dillon has served as a backup since then. His most notable season was in 2021, where he rushed for 803 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and contributed 313 yards and two touchdowns on 34 receptions. However, his performance dipped in 2023, finishing the regular season with 613 yards, two touchdowns, and a modest 3.4 yards per carry. He also recorded 22 receptions for 233 yards.

As Dillon approaches free agency, the Packers could easily find a replacement through a cost-effective free agent signing or a late-round draft pick. Dillon is likely to secure a spot with another team, given his robust running style resembling a helmeted dump truck.

Royce Newman, a fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft, initially starteROYCE NEWMAN

d 16 games at right guard in his rookie year, demonstrating potential despite receiving a modest grade of 55.7 from PFF. However, his subsequent role as a swingman across the offensive line has not solidified his position. Over the last two seasons, he has only started eight games—six in 2022 and two in 2023—while his PFF grade declined to 57.5 in 2022 and further to 44.3 in 2023. Given these diminishing performances, there may be limited value in retaining Newman.

Although Newman is under contract for the upcoming season, cutting him would result in a cap hit of only $124,836, representing the remaining signing bonus. The move would free up over $1 million in cap space, making it a prudent decision for the Packers.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers

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