10 Packers Who Won't Be Returning Next Season

Here are ten players the Green Bay Packers will cut or not re-sign in free agency.

Green Bay Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) celebrates his fumble recovery with linebacker
Green Bay Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) celebrates his fumble recovery with linebacker / Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis / USA
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Preston Smith

Smith has been productive in sacking the quarterback for the Packers since his arrival in Green Bay back in 2019 with 41.5 career sacks for the team. He was solid last season with eight sacks.

Smith is also 31 and the Packers need salary cap space. They can get some by cutting his $16.5 million cap hit. The Pack will only save around $2 million but can get $4 million in savings if he is cut after June 1. While the cap savings this year are minimal, it takes his 2025 and 2026 massive cap hits off the books.

The Packers have made an effort to get younger wherever they can so moving on from Smith makes sense. It will allow for more playing time for last year's first-round pick Lukas Van Ness to get more reps.

In addition, new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley is switching the base defense from a 3-4 front to a 4-3. Smith is better suited as a 3-4 edge rusher despite most defenses playing nickel. It would be better to reshape the defense with younger players who fit into a 4-3 front than keep Smith to see if he can consistently rush the passer with his hand in the ground.

Smith has reworked his deal once before so maybe he will be open to another restructure. The direction the defense is going and Smith being 32 during the 2024 season, it is better to see if Van Ness and a draft pick can do even better at getting to the quarterback.