Packers: 3 players they can’t afford to keep in 2021

Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Dean Lowry
Green Bay Packers, Dean Lowry – Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Three Packers who will be too expensive to keep in 2021.

The Green Bay Packers are sitting at 7-2 and atop the NFC. They are having another fantastic season under second-year head coach Matt LaFleur. Aaron Rodgers is returning to MVP form, and this offense, for the most part, has been a machine this season. They stumbled a bit against the Bucs and Jaguars, but more often than not, this offense has been very tough to stop.

While it’s great to enjoy what’s happening now, there’s a lingering dark feeling about what will happen with this team after the season. The Packers have some big free agency decisions to make. They’ve already signed Kenny Clark and David Bakhtiari to long-term contracts, but they still have others to sign.

I thought Corey Linsley would be gone after this season, but with the season he’s been putting together, I think the Packers would love to try to bring him back. Kevin King is another player who is scheduled to hit free agency. Will the Packers try to get him back?

Then there’s the running back duo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. You would assume the Packers would try to bring at least of them one back.

But with the toll the pandemic has taken on NFL teams, the salary cap is not expected to go up and may even drop a bit. This is going to put a lot of teams, including the Packers, in a tight spot next year.

With that in mind, are there players Green Bay could benefit more from cutting than keeping? If that’s the case, which players are candidates for the Packers to cut ties with?

Note: All cap numbers are according to Over The Cap.

1. Dean Lowry

Dean Lowry earned himself a new three-year, $20.3 million contract at the beginning of last season. He was coming off of a nice season in 2018 where he had 44 combined tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble.

Last year went a little differently. He ended the year with zero sacks. Luckily, the Packers didn’t need Lowry to get to the quarterback. They had the Smith Bros. causing havoc in the backfield every game.

This year, so far, has been more of the same. He has one sack on the year, and it was on Kirk Cousins who basically rolled right into Lowry coming off of a play-action.

While Lowry was a nice story in 2018, he just hasn’t been productive. He hasn’t done much in the pass rush. That’s fine. But he sure isn’t doing a ton in the run defense either. Kenny Clark is getting double-teamed consistently and Lowry hasn’t been able to step up and help stop the run. The Packers’ run defense looks iffy again this year, and Lowry is a part of that.

Next year, Lowry is scheduled to make $6.3 million. By cutting Lowry loose at the end of the season, they will take $3 million in dead cap, but saving that $3.3 million next year could still be beneficial for Green Bay.