The Green Bay Packers have been waiting patiently for a decision from superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers about his future, but that apparently is stopping general manager Brian Gutekunst from making moves.
With the legal tampering period kicking off at noon on Monday, March 13, the Packers quickly made their first move of free agency by bringing back a key contributor from the 2022 season. Ian Rapaport from NFL Network was the first to report that the Packers were bringing back first-team All-Pro return specialist Keisean Nixon.
While not the biggest move, the Packers bringing back Nixon gives them their exciting playmaker on special teams for at least one more season. A max value of $6 million indicates that the actual cap hit for the deal could be much less depending on the details and incentives of the contract.
Nixon replaced a disappointing Amari Rodgers as the team’s return specialist and had a breakout season doing so. On 35 kickoff returns, Nixon had 1,009 return yards and a 105-yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings, making him easily the most productive kickoff return man in the NFL.
Now, the former undrafted free agent will be staying in Green Bay.
Latest on Aaron Rodgers
The Packers are no longer waiting for Rodgers to make his decision, but the fans are eagerly waiting for a resolution on the situation.
Reports surrounding Rodgers hit a fever pitch after the 39-year-old quarterback met with the Jets, indicating that Green Bay and New York had officially entered into trade discussions around the four-time MVP.
Since then, no movement has been made, but both sides have been busy clearing cap space for a potential trade. The Packers most recently cleared as much as $12 million by restructuring the contract for All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari.
While quiet for most of the process, Rodgers spoke publicly for the first time since his meeting with the Jets while at a celebrity flag football game on Saturday, March 11. Rodgers didn’t say much, but did indicate that a decision is coming soon.
Many Packers fans thought that the decision would come before the NFL’s legal tampering period, but now it appears that the decision will be coming before the official start of free agency on March 15.
Other Pending Packers Free Agents
Bringing back Nixon was a huge boost for Green Bay’s special teams in 2023. However, Nixon may only be one of the few pending free agents that the Packers end up bringing back.
Both Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard will be hitting free agency, leaving the Packers with only rookies at the position in Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure. Lazard made it clear after the team’s Week 18 loss that he plans to leave, while Cobb is 32 years old and unlikely to draw much interest from Green Bay unless his friend Rodgers also returns.
At tight end, former third-round pick Josiah Deguara is currently the only player at the position under contract. Tyler Davis is an RFA while Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis are both unrestricted free agents. Tonyan could be seeking his first real NFL payday, while Lewis could seriously be considering retirement at 38 years old.
There are plenty of moves to come for the Packers, even if most are minor, but all eyes will mostly be on Rodgers until he makes a decision about his future.