Green Bay Packers: 10 Items on Brian Gutekunst’s Offseason To-Do List

Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst talks on the phone during practice on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in Ashwaubenon, Wis.Gpg Packerspractice 091218 Abw158
Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst talks on the phone during practice on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in Ashwaubenon, Wis.Gpg Packerspractice 091218 Abw158 /
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Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (85) celebrates a second half touchdown reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Championship game on Sunday, January 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinApc Packers Vs Bucs Nfc Champ 2268 012421 Wag /

Add veteran depth in free agency at positions of need

Much of the offseason has been focused on what the Green Bay Packers can’t do because of their cap restrictions–and understandably so. But it’s not as if they have to be bystanders once free agency begins either. With many teams facing the same financial hardships that the Packers are, it’s going to affect player contracts this offseason.

Sure, the big names will still get their money, but many of the middle-tier veterans are going to end up on shorter deals with less money than what they’d likely receive in a normal offseason. This creates an opportunity for the Packers to make an addition or two. And when asked about free agency on Tuesday, Gutey told reporters that they can make something work if the right player is there:

Related Story. If able to Make Free Agent Addition, CB Makes Most Sense. light

"“I do think if the right particular player is out there,” said Gutekunst via Packers Wire. “And we think it’s the best thing for the Green Bay Packers, we’ll be able to do it. We won’t be able to do  a lot and I do think there are some restrictions, but if the right guy is there, I think we’d be able to do what we need to do.”"

As far as who Green Bay brings in, to me, they have to target either a cornerback or an interior defensive lineman. Cornerback is just way too big of a need to have heading into the draft and still looking for CB2–it’s too risky not knowing how the board is going to fall. And when it comes to the interior defensive line, as a whole, this class is lacking the overall talent — in fact, some draft analysts have called it the worse position group in this year’s draft — and the Packers could end up not addressing the position until Day 3–if at all.

Bring back Robert Tonyan

Robert Tonyan is a restricted free agent (RFA), but he’s not your typical restricted free agent as he’s coming off an 11 touchdown season where he caught 88 percent of his targets. If the Green Bay Packers don’t want to lose Tonyan, they’ll likely have to assign him a first-round tender, which comes with a contract of $4.7 million, according to Over the Cap. Or perhaps a second-round tender, which comes with a payday of $3.3 million–both much more than what I’m guessing the team anticipated paying a year ago.

The way that free agency works for an RFA is that other teams can sign Tonyan to an offer sheet, but the Green Bay Packers have the right to match the deal, or if they choose not to, they will receive a first or second-round pick in return–depending on how they tendered him.

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Green Bay could also choose to by-pass this process and offer Tonyan a two-year deal, for example, but according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, no such discussions have taken place. With the tendered contract only being a one-year deal, the Packers have to recognize 100 percent of the cap hit in 2021, which only adds to the cap deficit that they have to climb out of.