Which Packers entering contract years need to deliver big in 2023?
The Packers have nine players returning from 2022 that now enter their contract seasons. However, some have more at stake this year than others.
Though Jordan Love's development as a quarterback sits at the center of the Green Bay Packers efforts this season, several of his teammates face considerable pressure entering 2023. In particular, those entering the final year of their current contracts face the highest degree of uncertainty.
The Packers have no shortage of such players. The current roster features nine contract-year veterans who played over 400 total snaps for Green Bay last season. That list doesn't even include names like Pat O'Donnell who only sees the field on punts and when holding for kicks or edge rusher Justin Hollins who didn't join the team until Thanksgiving.
Of course, not every one of those players has the opportunity to determine his future. Some, like tight end Tyler Davis, already appear earmarked for reserve roles at best. But several others could realistically earn a lucrative, multiyear extension with quality on-field performances or play their way out of Green Bay entirely. For these veterans, 2023 carries huge financial ramifications.
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When the Packers selected Josiah Deguara in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they envisioned the former Cincinnati Bearcats standout developing into a moveable, do-everything piece in the NFL. Deguara offered the skill set of a tight end in the body of a fullback, a combination that seemed well suited for the "F" role in Matt LaFleur's offensive system.
Though Deguara has credibly served in that capacity when called upon, he hasn't received as many chances as his skills suggest he should. An ACL tear wiped out most of Deguara's rookie season and, following his recovery, he never truly won Aaron Rodgers' trust. As a result, Deguara has topped out at 25 receptions on 33 targets for 245 yards and two touchdowns, his production from 2021.
After the Packers spent two top-100 picks on tight ends earlier this year, Deguara's role seems as defined as ever. But with Love now at the controls, perhaps he can increase his workload and earn another deal with Green Bay.