David Bakhtiari uttered the word “rebuild” and the new twitter world was all a flutter. How could he say this? He’s creating controversy for the team! Oh no, the sky is falling above Lambeau Field. Look at the plain facts.
The Packers have jettisoned their 17 year former MVP quarterback. Their 16 year former All-Pro kicker. Add on their 12 year wide receiver, a 5 year wide receiver, 5 year tight end, 7 year defensive end. All of these players were either Packer draft picks or UDFA signings.
In addition to draft picks add to this list a 17 year vet at tight end who is acknowledged as a clubhouse leader, a seven-year veteran at safety and 7 year vet on the defensive line that were free agent signings after stints with other clubs.
That adds up to 93 years of NFL experience to the tune of just over 57 million in dead cap money, approximately 25% of the available dollars an NFL team can use to sign players. Kicked to the curb. Take David Bakhtiari and Preston Smith out of the equation and you see a lot of wide-eyed young starters with less than 2 full seasons under their belts.
Packer fans, that is the definition of a rebuild. A rebuild aimed at producing in 2024. If your NFL game plan is to compete for a Super Bowl in 2023 with 25% of your financial power tied behind your back, you need to re-examine your game plan. If you went all in financially two years ago and even one year ago, but came up short, you have a choice.
Play out 2023 with an old quarterback who is more focused on his battle for supremacy in the building than on the field, or bite the bullet and regroup. The Packers have bitten a mighty big slug, but it was the only way back to financial stability and player development.
They cast off every receiver that may have doubted Jordan Loves’ ability to succeed, The Rodgers bandwagon crew that produced nothing in 2022. They have been replaced by eager young athletes that overshadowed the old guard with athleticism and speed but still need to learn the NFL game.
Yes, the coaches continue to refuse to use the word “rebuild”. It is their job to coach players to win and to expect to win every game they step on a field to play. To coaches, the word is dirty, taboo. But any honest observer can see this team is aiming for 2024 and that wins in 2023 are an added bonus.
This is not an attempt to say the Packers won’t be competitive. But if the Packers make it to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII, they will have exceeded every expectation and bankrupted a few sport-books in the process.