Position-by-position breakdown of Packers’ roster before free agency

Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Defensive line

Under contract in 2022: Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, TJ Slaton

Offseason need: Yes

The Packers’ defensive line actually looked better this season than in recent years, but it’s still far from a dominant unit. Tyler Lancaster struggled and will now hit free agency.

Kenny Clark dominated all season and Dean Lowry had possibly his best year with a career-best five sacks.

Still, you should never stop adding to the front seven, and the Packers lack depth behind their starters. More help is needed for the defensive line to become a strength of this defense.

Inside linebacker

Under contract in 2022: Ty Summers, Isaiah McDuffie, Ray Wilborn

Offseason need: Yes

OK, then. We’re back to reality. It’s worth noting that Krys Barnes is an exclusive-rights free agent so we should expect him back.

First-team All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell is a free agent and it seems close to impossible the Packers will be able to re-sign him. Campbell is going to earn a huge deal somewhere and with limited cap space, how can the Packers afford to bring him back?

Campbell showed the importance of having a star player in the middle of the defense, but if he’s gone, it’s back to square one for the Packers.

Outside linebacker

Under contract in 2022: Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin, La’Darius Hamilton

Offseason need: Yes

It’s time for the Packers to build their pass rush around Rashan Gary. Za’Darius Smith’s cap hit is $27.66 million in 2022. He only played two games this season due to injury. Preston Smith’s cap hit is $20.97 million. He improved this year but that cap number is far too high.

The Packers might have no choice, given their cap situation, but to move on from the Smith Bros.

The good news is Gary has developed into a superstar pass rusher. The bad news is that he wouldn’t have much help. If the Smith Bros. are gone, strengthening the pass rush might be the top priority.