Many expect the Green Bay Packers to move on from Lane Taylor to create cap space, and if they do, it should be via trade rather than cutting him.
Just before the beginning of the 2016 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers made the surprising decision to move on from left guard Josh Sitton, which meant that it was Lane Taylor’s job for the taking. And despite having made only two starts over his first three seasons, Taylor filled in quite well.
During the 2016 season he would play 100 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps and then 90 percent in 2017. Over that span he’d also record 1,481 pass-blocking attempts and gave up only four sacks and four quarterback hits.
However in 2018, things would turn south real quick for Taylor as he fought through injuries that season, and as a result, his play really suffered. According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor allowed five sacks, eight quarterback hits and 36 total pressures.
Then just this past season with the emergence of rookie Elgton Jenkins, Taylor lost his starting spot at left guard and was eventually placed on IR after Week 2 with a bicep injury.
Now with the offseason here, a number of needs to address, and Green Bay’s budget much tighter in 2020, most are expecting the Packers to move on from Taylor who is in the final year of his contract. And it does make a lot of sense.
Currently the Packers have just under $22 million in available cap space according to Spotrac with needs at tackle, inside linebacker, wide receiver, and others. Meanwhile, Taylor comes with a cap hit of $5.9 million, but if the Packers move on from him, they suffer a dead cap hit of only $1.4 million. Thus creating an additional $4.5 million in much-needed cap space.
I think most will agree that this is the move that needs to be made. Having $5.9 million sitting on the bench as a backup at guard isn’t the most financially responsible thing to be doing. Especially given Green Bay’s tight cap situation.
And while most think just cutting Taylor is the best way to go about it, instead, the Green Bay Packers should be shopping him around and seeing what they can land on the trade market.
For one, Taylor’s contract for a starting guard is very affordable and even though he had a rough 2018 season, Taylor still is a starting caliber player in this league. Not to mention that in today’s NFL, finding good offensive lineman isn’t an easy task, so I imagine that there will certainly be a market for his services.
It’s also worth noting that Green Bay did swap seventh-round draft picks with Cleveland last summer for Justin McCray. So I certainly expect them to be able to net a Day 3 pick from a team for Taylor, who is a much more proven player with more experience.
At this point the writing appears to be on the wall and Taylor won’t be a member of the Green Bay Packers in 2020. And if that is in fact the case, hopefully they found a trade partner, rather than just flat-out cutting him.