The Green Bay Packers have spent the past several months building an “all-in” roster for the 2021 NFL season, but might there still be an impactful veteran worth adding off the trade market prior to next month’s training camp?
Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling recently surveyed the league’s 32 teams and concocted one trade offer he believes each of them should make before players are required to report to training camp on July 27. While the Packers were involved in a few — because NFL media’s Aaron Rodgers trade fever hasn’t broken yet — there was one proposal that assumed Rodgers would return and focused on getting him more help.
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Breaking Down the Trade Proposal
Packers receive: OG Andrew Norwell
Jaguars receive: 2022 second-round pick
There are some basic aspects of Roling’s proposal that make sense for the Packers. While there are some obvious challenges in getting it done, the deal would allow them to add another veteran to their trenches to help account for the departure of All-Pro center Corey Linsley and the potential absence of left tackle David Bakhtiari, who is still recovering from tearing his ACL on New Year’s Eve.
Here’s how Roling tried to justify Green Bay trading for Norwell:
Addressing the offensive line after losing star center Corey Linsley would make droves of sense. Green Bay added a few linemen in the draft, but an immediate, guaranteed upgrade would be a welcome thing to add.
The Packers might find it via trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, too. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the rebuilder wants to move Norwell over salary reasons, something that just isn’t as big of a concern for an all-in team trying to win it all around an MVP passer.
Norwell, going on 30 years old, only allowed three sacks last year on 800-plus snaps and could play even better in a quicker, better offense, making almost any trade offer acceptable.
Could Packers Make Norwell’s Contract Work?
As Roling noted, Jacksonville was trying to move on from Norwell at the beginning of March, and while it remains unclear whether they still have him on the trade block after restructuring his contract into a one-year deal, it is hard to imagine they wouldn’t at least talk business if the Packers came knocking with a 2022 second-round offer.
Unfortunately, Norwell’s contract would still be a difficult thing for the Packers to work around, even in its restructured state. He is due to make a maximum of $12 million next season with $9 million fully guaranteed, which Green Bay cannot fit on their books as things currently stand. Resolving things with Rodgers could free up some cap space, as could an extension for star wide receiver Davante Adams, but it is still quite the price tag for a player who would effectively be a one-year rental.
Roling doesn’t totally ignore the facts of the situation. The Packers restructured the contracts of numerous veterans (Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Billy Turner, David Bakhtiari, Adrian Amos, etc.) to ensure their roster remains primed for a Super Bowl run in 2021, but doing so also heavily implies they are anticipating parting ways with a great deal of that talent during the 2022 offseason. After all, the bill has to come due at some point.
But trading a future second-round pick and paying as much as $12 million for an offensive guard who is nearly 30? Even with the expectation of getting a solid compensatory pick for Norwell signing elsewhere in 2022, the logic simply isn’t there.