It may not seem like it, but the Green Bay Packers' future is worrying. Green Bay will face a tough cap situation next year and still needs to solve the madness surrounding Aaron Rodgers. The franchise has little idea whether he'll play in 2021 amid the holdout.
In addition to key players in the final year of their contract, the team will have to make tough decisions to fit the salary cap. All things considered, here are five players most likely to be out of Green Bay this year.
Five Green Bay Packers stars likely to be on the move
#1 - Aaron Rodgers, QB
Rodgers' time at Green Bay appears to be inching closer to the end. Although his contract lasts until 2024, the star quarterback's discontent with the front office has become public in recent months and it seems unlikely that he'll take the field for the Packers in 2021, let alone the following year.
Regardless of what the Packers decide to do with Rodgers if the relationship is unrepairable, the financial loss will be tough on them as they'll have to deal with a dead cap of $17 million if Rodgers is cut or traded.
Of course, Green Bay doesn't have any reason to move its main main, but if Rodgers is totally sold on the idea of never playing for the Packers again, the outcome will weigh heavy on the salary cap, regardless of which way this goes.
#2 - Devin Funchess, WR
Funchess is an interesting case. He has hardly been on the field since 2018, but in terms of talent, he's the second-best receiver on the Packers roster. He signed a one-year contract in March 2020, but opted out last season due to the pandemic, after which he extended his contract for another year.
Even if Funchess has a good year, it will be tough for him to stay with the Packers in 2022. Green Bay is in cap hell and, on top of that, they selected Amari Rodgers in the last draft, a receiver whose rookie contract will cost much less than the veteran's. He may be a good complement to Davante Adams, however, his stint with the organization probably won't last long.
#3 - Kevin King, CB
King's poor performance in the NFC Championship Game is the most recent memory of basically every Packers fan. The decision to re-sign the cornerback for $6 million came as a surprise, to put it mildly.
The move has drawn some backlash from the fan base, considering the salary cap issues the Packers will face in the coming year. King likely won't be back with the team. In addition to his inconsistency on the field, Green Bay will have to invest a lot of money in a new contract for Jaire Alexander, the team's number one cornerback, making King an expendable contract.
#4 - Preston Smith, EDGE
Unlike King, Smith is a player who makes a difference on the field, but the financial side will be decisive in a cut or trade. His cap hit will be $19.7 million next season and the Packers can recoup $12.5 million if he's cut.
Since signing with Green Bay in 2019 and forming the pair known as the Smith Brothers with Za’Darius, Preston Smith has added 16 sacks. Brian Gutekunst will have to make a tough decision between keeping just one of them, but Za’Darius' will likely edge this contest.
At 31, Preston Smith will probably have to look for a new team.
#5 - Billy Turner, G
Another player who may have his days numbered in Green Bay due to the team's cap problems is Billy Turner, who'll cost $9 million next season, of which $4 million could be saved if he were cut. It's a relatively easy decision for the Packers, all things considered.
Although Turner has more experience playing guard, he will be the team's right tackle in 2021 after Ricky Wagner's departure. The Packers have drafted several offensive linemen in recent years, and need to develop them in order to have cheaper options.