Packers: 10 key players who could be gone after playoff loss

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

6. Preston Smith

Credit to Preston Smith. He struggled last season and was considered a potential cap casualty in the spring. But the Packers stuck with him and, needing someone to step up without Za’Darius Smith out, Preston Smith did exactly that.

Smith didn’t miss a game all season, finishing with nine sacks and 17 quarterback hits. He formed a strong pass-rush partnership with Rashan Gary.

Smith is under contract in 2022 but his cap hit is $20.97 million. If the Packers move on, they will save around $13 million.

5. Rasul Douglas

One of the stories of the entire NFL season, the Packers signed Rasul Douglas off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad in October and he would become a star in Joe Barry’s defense.

Douglas defended 13 passes and had a team-best five interceptions, two he returned for touchdowns and two more were game-winners. Simply phenomenal.

Without Jaire Alexander for most of the season, Douglas stepped in and helped the secondary play at a high level.

With a great season, Douglas has earned himself a new deal somewhere. He should get a big contract, but will it be in Green Bay? If they do re-sign him, a trio of Douglas, Jaire Alexander, and Eric Stokes would be something to build around.