Packers Pro Bowler is being connected to a trade (and it makes no sense)

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

So much has changed for the Green Bay Packers over the past year.

Last summer, they entered an uncertain new world. Some believed the Packers would remain playoff contenders, with Jordan Love making a fast start while playing alongside a talented roster. Others thought they could finish with a top-five pick and hit the reset button. Either was possible. Nobody knew.

Green Bay's unpredictable situation also made it challenging to project which star players would stick around long-term, including Pro Bowl defensive lineman Kenny Clark, whose contract expires at the end of the 2024 season.

The picture is far clearer now. Love is the man, the Packers made a playoff run, and belief is growing about how far this team can go.

But it hasn't stopped the conversation about Clark's future.

Bleacher Report names Kenny Clark one of Packers' top trade candidates

Clark only has one year remaining on his contract, leaving the Packers in a difficult spot. Will they hand out a third contract to a star player, something they don't always do? If not, they will lose him in free agency next offseason.

Bleacher Report's Alex Ballentine went a step further. Forget free agency. Ballentine believes trading Clark this summer could work for the Packers.

"If Clark's terms for a new contract are too rich for what the Packers want to pay, it could make sense for them to move on and re-stock their draft pick coffers," writes Ballentine.

To be fair, Ballentine stresses that he isn't arguing why the Packers should trade Clark, but rather why they could. And his points are fair. If Green Bay is unwilling to match Clark's demands over a new deal, trading him now instead of losing him for nothing next year could be a smart approach.

However, the only solution that makes sense is to offer Clark an extension. The 28-year-old has made three Pro Bowls, including last season, and the best is still yet to come. Jeff Hafley's scheme is all about getting to the football and making plays. It is perfect for Clark and gives him a realistic shot at shattering his career-bests in sacks and quarterback hits.

The Packers are a playoff team. If things go well, they could become a championship team.

Trading Clark would significantly hurt their chances and limit the effectiveness of Hafley's defense in year one.

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