Losing to the 49ers in the Divisional Round surely hurt, but fans should be excited to think about the Green Bay Packers offseason plans. After all, the Packers went 6-2 down the stretch and beat the Cowboys on the road in the Wild Card Round before falling to the 49ers. The Packers’ season review is surely a positive one, setting up a bright future.
Packers Offseason Plans for the 2024 Season
Keep in mind that the Packers were one of the NFL’s biggest overachievers in 2023. Before the season, some believed Green Bay could be among the worst teams in the NFL. The team’s 2-5 start to the season didn’t help. But from mid-November until the end of the season, the Packers were among the best teams in the league.
If they can continue to build on that this offseason, one could argue the Packers pose the biggest threat to San Francisco’s dominance in the NFC. The 49ers have now reached the NFC Championship Game four times in the last five years. However, the Packers could be set up to replicate that type of success starting in 2024.
All About Love
There was a world of questions about Jordan Love heading into the 2023 season. Even at the midway point of the season, many of those questions lingered. But those questions don’t exist anymore. Love ended up throwing for over 4,100 yards with his 32 touchdown passes ranking second in the league. Over the final 10 games of the season, including the playoffs, Love limited himself to just three interceptions, with two of them coming in the playoff loss to the 49ers.
In other words, Love grew up quickly after finally being given a chance to start. He sat behind Aaron Rodgers for three seasons but needed just half a season of experience on the field to find his groove. Presumably, the Packers will lock him up to a long-term contract that will keep him in Green Bay for the foreseeable future.
If he can build off of the second half of the 2023 season, Love has a chance to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFC for many years to come and make the Packers one of the conference’s elite teams yet again.
Of course, Love didn’t take the Packers to the playoffs on his own. He had plenty of help from a young and surprisingly productive supporting cast. The wide receiver position was a huge question mark for Green Bay heading into the season. But much like the quarterback position, that’s no longer the case.
Rookie Jayden Reed ended up leading the Packers in receiving yards and touchdown catches, setting the stage for a promising future. Second-year receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs also took impressive steps forward in 2023, giving the Packers a potent trio of receivers that only promises to get better moving forward. The same can be said of the rookie tight end tandem of Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. Not only did the receivers around Love perform far better than expected, but the familiarity that group has with Love should benefit Green Bay for years to come.
Building Upon the Foundation
With Green Bay’s quarterback quandary solved and a young core on the offensive side of the ball to build around, the Packers have a strong foundation heading into 2024. Outside of safeties Darnell Savage and Jonathan Owens, backup running back A.J. Dillon, and veteran guard Jon Runyan, the Packers aren’t at risk of losing anyone indispensable in free agency. Plus, with young players emerging on offense, it’s obvious what areas the Packers need to address in 2024 and beyond.
Heading into the offseason, Green Bay has a little more than $8 million in cap space. Releasing or restructuring the contract of a few veterans to create more space is also a feasible idea. That will give the Packers some money to spend this winter on top of having five draft picks in the first three rounds of the 2024 Draft.
In other words, the Packers can expect an infusion of talent this offseason to complement the young talent already on the roster. If they play their cards right, Green Bay will be well-positioned to challenge the 49ers, Eagles, Lions, and others for NFC supremacy in 2024 and beyond.