3 trades the Packers need to make to start building for the future

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1. Packers could trade Preston Smith for an offensive lineman or safety

Preston Smith, when not in man coverage on Davante Adams in Week 5's loss, was a bright spot for the Packers' defense.

Smith has remained a mainstay at outside linebacker in Green Bay since coming over in free agency in 2019. He's sustained success as both a pass rusher and sometimes even more so as a run defender.

While he is still playing at starter levels, the Packers could look to move him and open up more snaps for young pass rushers like Lukas Van Ness, Kingsley Enagbare, and Brenton Cox.

Smith can add value to teams like the Raiders, who just lost Chandler Jones, the Rams, who moved on from Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd, or a title contender like the Bills, who lost Tremaine Edmunds in free agency and Matt Milano to a season-ending injury.

In return, the Packers should look to continue to fuel the youth movement and tap into the market for a young safety or offensive lineman to help balance out two units that need the most help on this roster.

With David Bakhtiari out for the season, Elgton Jenkins already battling injury, and less than starting-caliber play from Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, and Royce Newman, the Packers would be wise to make a deal for an interior lineman who can challenge for the starting right guard or center job.

Acquiring a swing tackle could also offer the team more flexibility at the position with Bakhtiari out for the season. After a fast start, Rasheed Walker has struggled at left tackle. While right tackle Zach Tom has held his own, he's wavered at times.

Safety is another position where Smith's trade value could bring in a talented young player to give the Packers a look at another possible piece for the future.

With a contract decision on Darnell Savage hanging over the Packers, there's still been no indication the team plans to retain him long-term.

After a restructure in the offseason, Smith's base salary sits at only $1.17 million, and the cost for another team to keep him would be $12.4 million - a fair asking price for a starting edge rusher, especially one who's a plus run defender.

The Packers would incur roughly $5 million in dead money this year, and $12.3 million in 2024, opening up $4.2 million.

While I wouldn't expect it, the Packers could decide to swing big by packaging Preston with draft capital to bring in a player who will step in as a starter and be a long-term fix.

Trade targets: S Jeremy Chinn, S Tre'von Moehrig, DB Jalen Mills, OG/C James Daniels, LT Jonah Williams

Swing big: S Budda Baker