Green Bay Packers Free Agents 2022: Davante Adams, De’Vondre Campbell, and salary cap hell

The Green Bay Packers' salary cap situation will make signing free agents a challenge in 2022. What players are at risk of leaving?

The Green Bay Packers have a significant number of players set to be free agents in 2022. Their most pressing situation is their wide receiver room, where nearly every WR on the roster might hit the market. The Packers have a truly horrendous cap situation, which presents a monumental challenge for their front office.

Green Bay Packers free agents in 2022

Following the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season, the Packers have 24 players with expiring contracts. 15 of them will be unrestricted free agents, seven are exclusive rights free agents, and two are restricted free agents. All players are unrestricted free agents unless stated.

Top Packers offensive free agents

The Packers have a lot of issues offensively. Although Aaron Rodgers is under contract for one more year, he’s not going to play another season with the Packers unless they work out an extension. It will be a tall task to pay Rodgers as well as his five top wide receivers, all of whom are currently without a contract. Let’s take a look at the most prominent free agents on offense.

Davante Adams | WR

Normally, I’d discuss all the wide receivers together. However, Davante Adams’ status as a top-five NFL receiver warrants its own section.

Adams made $14.5 million in 2021 on the last year of the $58 million extension he signed in December 2017. The Packers are not going to let Adams walk. If they can’t agree to a new deal, which seems unlikely at the moment, he’s getting slapped with the franchise tag. I do not think Adams has any desire to play out the 2022 season under the franchise tender.

There’s also the matter of Adams’ bond with Rodgers. The two made it no secret they have an interest in playing together, either in Green Bay or somewhere else.

Given how intertwined Adams’ and Rodgers’ contract situations are, I don’t see this getting resolved anytime soon. The most likely scenario is a return to Green Bay, but there are too many moving parts to make any confident predictions right now. Regardless of what happens with Adams, he will likely become the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL this offseason.

The rest of the Packers’ wide receivers

In addition to Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Malik Taylor, and Equanimeous St. Brown are all without contracts as well.

Lazard is the most talented of the four and is a restricted free agent. The Packers likely want to bring him back and have the right to match any offer, but their cap situation presents serious problems. According to Spotrac, they are currently $48 million over the cap. Wherever Lazard ends up, he should have a chance to produce as at least a WR3.

MVS has flashed at times over the past four years, but he never developed into a reliable receiver. The Packers will have to make some tough decisions this offseason. I anticipate Valdes-Scantling ending up on another roster.

Taylor and ESB are nothing more than role players. As an ERFA, the Packers can retain Taylor for the veteran minimum. With their cap situation, that makes too much sense not to do. As for St. Brown, it could go either way. There won’t be much of a market for him, so if the Packers want him back, he will probably take the deal to return.

Robert Tonyan | TE

The Packers are in a tough spot with Robert Tonyan. He’s clearly their best tight end. Marcedes Lewis feels like he’s 50 years old at this point, and Josiah Deguara is not the answer. However, Tonyan is coming off a midseason ACL tear and wasn’t particularly productive prior to going down.

Given Tonyan’s injury situation, the most likely scenario is that he signs a one-year deal somewhere to prove he is healthy. The hope would be for a longer-term contract in 2023. It’s entirely possible that happens in Green Bay. But, again, the salary cap is a huge issue.

Top Packers defensive free agents

Half of the Packers’ free agents are on the defensive side of the ball. They have a lot of work to do to retain some of their key players.

Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, and Rasul Douglas | CB

The good news is the Packers have Jaire Alexander locked up for 2022. The bad news is he needs an extension. That’s a problem because Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, and Rasul Douglas are all free agents.

It’s difficult to predict how anything with the Packers will play out because of their awful cap situation. Between possible extensions for Rodgers, Adams, and Alexander, as well as the cap situation, it seems unlikely that all three of King, Sullivan, and Douglas will return. They represent the Packers’ entire cornerback depth.

Sullivan and Douglas will be cheaper than King. The team definitely wants to re-sign King, but they simply may not be able to afford to do so.

De’Vondre Campbell | LB

De’Vondre Campbell made $2 million in 2021 and was one of the better linebackers in the NFL. The Packers would be wise to extend him if, of course, they can find a way to make it work with the cap.

Campbell will be 29 years old this season, but he was a stabilizing force for their linebacker corps. I expect him to command a two- or three-year deal. Ideally, for Green Bay, it’ll be with the Packers.

Tyler Lancaster | DL

At 313 pounds, Tyler Lancaster is a big run-stuffing defensive lineman. Unfortunately, his performance hasn’t matched the hype surrounding his size. He didn’t do a whole lot of run-stuffing in 2021.

The Packers have been trying to upgrade on him for a couple of years now. I would be surprised if they worked their cap magic to find a spot for him on the roster.

The Packers’ other free agents in 2022

What other Packers players are free agents in 2022? Some of these players inevitably won’t return next season.

  • Lucas Patrick | G
  • Dennis Kelly | RT
  • Corey Bojorquez | P
  • Oren Burks | LB
  • Isaac Yiadom | CB
  • Jack Heflin | DT
  • Randy Ramsey | LB (ERFA)
  • Krys Barnes | LB (ERFA)
  • Henry Black | S (ERFA)
  • Dominique Dafney | TE (RFA)
  • Chauncey Rivers | DT (ERFA)
  • Yosh Nijman | T (RFA)
  • Kurt Benkert | QB (ERFA)

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles