5 Packers we already know will (probably) be gone in 2024

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers
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4. Preston Smith

With Rashan Gary not yet ready for a full-time role as he returns from injury, the Packers needed veteran pass rusher Preston Smith to make a fast start to the season. He has done the opposite.

According to Pro Football Reference, Smith has zero sacks, two QB hits, two pressures, and zero hurries in the opening four games. That's not good enough for a Packers defense searching for more pass-rush consistency.

Smith has played 186 snaps compared to Gary's 77, yet Gary has 3.5 sacks, six QB hits, 10 pressures, and four hurries.

There's also a financial element to this. Smith's cap hit rises from $6.37 million to $16.51 million in 2024. The Packers will save around $2.5 million by releasing Smith before June 1 and $12.4 million if they wait until after that date.

The Packers have prepared for the future at outside linebacker. Rashan Gary has become one of the league's best and should land a new long-term deal in the coming months. Green Bay drafted Lukas Van Ness with the 13th overall pick in this year's draft, and it's only a matter of time before he moves ahead of Smith on the depth chart.

Smith turns 31 next month and has made a slow start to the season. He could be in his final year with the Packers.