Nothing lasts forever. Not in the NFL. We've seen franchise legends like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers go on to play for other teams, so there's no reason to believe that the Green Bay Packers would be stuck on other players currently on the roster. And in 2024, a number of fan favorites could be on their way out of Green Bay, especially in the name of salary cap savings.
The Packers are 5-6 at the time of this post being written, still very much in the playoff hunt. Depending on how the rest of the season goes, things can still change with guys currently under contract for 2024, even some with huge cap charges, but there are some figures on next year's books that will either have to change, or players will be let go.
Which fan favorites could end up getting cut in the 2024 offseason because of their massive salary cap charge combined with on-field play no longer justifying the investment?
1. Preston Smith, EDGE
2024 cap hit: $16.5 million (Dead cap: roughly $14 million)
Preston Smith has been a really strong addition for the Packers off the edge, but the team has been planning for his departure with some of the investments they've made in the NFL Draft, and the writing could be on the wall for him in 2024. Smith will be 32 years old next season, and the Packers will need to be ready to usher in the Lukas Van Ness era.
Smith's cap charge of $16.5 million is one of the biggest on the team next season, and with a dead cap of nearly $14 million, you might be wondering why it would be any sort of a good idea for the Packers to flat-out cut him. Well, if the Packers designate Smith as a post-June 1 cut, they would save $12.4 million in cap space (after June 1, of course).
Smith is due $5.4 million fully guaranteed on the third day of the new league year in 2024, so the Packers will likely have to make a decision on him quickly after the season. Again, luckily for them, they've already got pieces in place for a succession plan.