While the Green Bay Packers wait for a trade to be finalized for superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, general manager Brian Gutekunst continues to clear cap space by restructuring contracts of key veterans.
Gutekunst has been busy clearing cap space, restructuring as many contracts as possible, most recently clearing up to $12 million with All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. Other veterans who has seen their contracts tweaked have included Kenny Clark, Preston Smith, Jaire Alexander, and even Aaron Jones, who agreed to a $5 million pay cut to stay in Green Bay.
Now, the Packers are making another contract adjustment, with ESPN’s Field Yates reporting that Green Bay cleared another $2.6 million in cap space by resctructuring the deal for All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.
According to Over the Cap, the Packers were $17.2 million under the cap prior to the Campbell move. With that kind of space, the Packers could afford to take on the dead cap hit that would come with trading Rodgers before June 1.
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While Gutekunst is busy with contract restructures, the Packers are still trying to finalize a trade that would send Rodgers to the New York Jets.
The two sides entered into trade discussions a week before the NFL’s legal tampering period, which began on Monday, March 13. Green Bay’s interest in a trade began after granting Rodgers permission to meet with the Jets as he contemplates his future.
While Rodgers has yet to publicly announce his decision, the four-time MVP stated that a decision would be coming soon when speaking at a celebrity flag football game on Saturday, March 11. Meanwhile, Packers president Mark Murphy heavily implied that the team would prefer to move on from Rodgers in order to usher in the Jordan Love era.
It also appears that Rodgers is preparing for a trade, with the 39-year-old attempting to lure free agents like Odell Beckham Jr. to the Jets. The Packers quarterback has also pushed to help Green Bay teammate Allen Lazard sign a four-year, $44 million deal with the Jets.
No news has come out about a trade being finalized despite free agency kickoff off. However, that could change on Wednesday, March 15, with Rodgers appearing on The Pat McAfee Show at 1 P.M. ET.
The entire NFL world will be tuning in to hear what Rodgers has to stay, especially if there’s still no announcement about a trade to the Jets before his appearance. Regardless, all signs are still pointing towards Rodgers playing for the Jets in 2023.
A Down Year for De’Vondre Campbell
After a breakout season for Campbell in 2021, the All-Pro linebacker took a big step backwards this past season.
Campbell was picked up by Green Bay late into the 2021 offseason as a flier. The former fourth-round pick had previous experience with the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals, but never had a major impact for either team.
That changed when Campbell arrived in Green Bay. Playing in 16 games for the Packers, Campbell finished the year with 146 combined tackles, 102 solo tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles, earning his first ever first-team All-Pro selection.
That unexpected jump in play helped Campbell earn a five-year, $50 million extension from the Packers. Unfortunately, Campbell struggled staying healthy, missing four games and looking significantly slower on the field when playing.
Packers fans are hoping that Campbell can return to form in 2023. If not, it will be up to first-round pick Quay Walker to take a big step forward to ensure that Green Bay still has a formidable inside linebacker in the middle of its defense.