3 Packers contracts that need immediate attention ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers believe in the draft-and-develop philosophy. While Brian Gutekunst has shown a willingness to make bold moves in free agency, the Packers will always be a draft-first team that prioritizes signing their own free agents.

If draft-and-develop is the plan, all three phases are important: Drafting, developing, and re-signing. Nothing crushes hopes of long-term success more than a poor draft class that leads to no second contracts. The Packers' 2015 class set them back for years—none of their picks stayed in Green Bay beyond their rookie deals.

The Packers have drafted well under Gutekunst, but he has big contract decisions to make in the near future, especially with these three former first-round picks.

Packers need to make a decision on these contract situations

Jordan Love

There's no longer a question of whether the Packers will offer Jordan Love a new contract. It's happening. The question is when a deal gets over the line and how much Green Bay pays Love.

The earliest the Packers can sign Love to a new contract is in May, as they have to wait 12 months after signing him to a one-year extension last offseason. Once we reach that deadline, the countdown clock is on. It doesn't help either side to have negotiations drag out over the summer and become a distraction in training camp.

Love is projected to become one of the league's highest-paid quarterbacks. He could make over $50 million per year. Now is not the time for the Packers to make a low-ball offer. They know Love deserves a massive contract, and it benefits everyone to get the deal done sooner rather than later.

Hopefully, they can get a deal done before training camp begins in late July. The sooner, the better.

Kenny Clark

The Packers technically don't have to make a decision on Kenny Clark's future until next offseason, but they need a plan. Clark has one year remaining on his contract and is scheduled to become a free agent next March. If Green Bay is planning for a future without Clark, it would make sense to add a defensive lineman early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

If Clark is part of the team's long-term plans, there is far less urgency to upgrade the defensive line as the Packers already have good depth.

However, if the Packers want to sign Clark to a long-term extension, they shouldn't wait too long. Clark's asking price will only increase the closer it gets to his contract expiring, especially after Christian Wilkins and Justin Madubuike signed big deals.

The Packers need a plan. If they want to sign Clark long-term, they should aim to get a deal done sooner rather than later. If not, it's time to start searching for a replacement in the draft.

Eric Stokes

As the great Andrew Brandt says, deadlines spur action.

Said deadline is fast approaching for Eric Stokes' fifth-year option. The 2021 first-round pick only has one year remaining on his rookie deal unless the Packers exercise the option to give them an additional season.

That may sound like an easy choice, but the additional season would cost the Packers $12.47 million in fully guaranteed money, per Over The Cap's projections.

Stokes showed promise as a rookie by deflecting 14 passes and allowing a completion percentage below 50. However, he struggled in year two by allowing a completion percentage of 80 and a passer rating of 123.5 before suffering a season-ending injury. Stokes only played three games in 2023.

Can Stokes stay healthy? Can he get back to how he played in 2021? These are questions the Packers will be asking while making a decision on Stokes' fifth-year option.

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