5 Joe Barry replacements Packers need to start thinking about

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Jim Leonhard

Jim Leonhard turned down the Packers' defensive coordinator job in 2021, choosing to stay with the Wisconsin Badgers instead. He said it wasn't the right time to coach in the NFL. Three years on, would he reconsider?

Leonhard has since moved on from Wisconsin. This season, he was a senior football analyst for Illinois. If Leonhard wants to coach again in 2024, returning to Wisconsin to lead the Green Bay Packers defense could be the perfect landing spot.

Leonhard led some dominant defenses during his time in Wisconsin. According to Badgers Wire, between 2017 and 2021, Wisconsin had the No. 1 defense twice and a top-eight unit four times.

LaFleur clearly had interest in hiring Leonhard three years ago, so it's possible he would be on the list again. The Philadelphia Eagles had interest in hiring Leonhard last offseason, but he decided to take a year away from coaching.

If Leonhard is ready to coach in the NFL next year, there could be a perfect opportunity to return home to Wisconsin. He turned down the Packers' job before, but perhaps the timing works better for him to lead Green Bay's defense in 2024 and beyond.

If LaFleur moves on from Barry, he should have plenty of options.

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