Brian Gutekunst drops a hint Packers will be aggressive in free agency 'to win a championship'

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY

The Green Bay Packers typically aren't big spenders in free agency.

Ted Thompson preferred to build through the draft and resisted making free-agent signings that would drastically impact the salary cap. Brian Gutekunst has followed Thompson's path, but he is more open to making moves when he feels necessary.

In 2019, the Packers uncharacteristically spent big, signing Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith, Adrian Amos, and Billy Turner in the opening week of free agency. Gutekunst believed it was time to add pieces to help push for a championship.

All four became major contributors, helping Green Bay reach the NFC Championship Game two years in a row.

Salary-cap issues have limited the Packers in free agency of late, but they could have additional flexibility this offseason.

Packers won't 'shy away' from free agency moves to 'win a championship'

Gutekunst answered several big-picture questions during his end-of-season press conference on Thursday. One topic was player acquisition this offseason. Gutekunst noted that more salary-cap flexibility will allow them to make moves in free agency.

"We're getting to a little bit better spot than we have been in the past," said Gutekunst. "It's never perfect, but I do feel whatever opportunities are out there to improve our team in free agency, we'll be able to do that. So I feel good about that."

Would the Packers be willing to push money into future years if it helped them land a top free agent?

"Oh, I think it depends on the player. It depends who that is and how he can impact our football team. I don't think we'll shy away from adding any impact players if we have to push things down the road," said Gutekunst. "We'd prefer not to do that, but at the same time, this is about winning and trying to win a championship. If it's something that makes sense, we'll do it."

Gutekunst also discussed the Packers entering the 2024 NFL Draft with five picks in the top three rounds and hinted at the possibility of trading for veteran players.

"It gives us flexibility. Whether it's staying and picking, trading, moving around, maybe trading those picks for veteran players," said Gutekunst.

One way to sign players for big money is to restructure contracts, which lowers cap hits in the short term but increases the issues later on. The Packers had to make moves like this after the salary cap was reduced a few years ago.

With the Packers in a healthier position, it's notable that Gutekunst is open to making aggressive moves to add "impact players."

Gutekunst proved five years ago that he will make bold decisions in free agency if he feels it's the right time. With a new Super Bowl window opening, the Packers could take their roster to the next level by adding a piece or two in free agency.

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