Madden 19: Green Bay Packers Free Agents, Salary Cap, & Roster Needs
The Packers are not the all-powerful team they once were. Where should you improve to get them back to the Super Bowl?
The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. They claimed victory in the first two Super Bowls and have a total of 13 league championships in their career.
However, the modern history of the Packers is one of frustration and missed opportunities. For the last 27 years they have had an extremely talented quarterback at the helm of the team and yet they have been to just three Super Bowls, winning two. Brett Favre is in the Hall of Fame and Aaron Rodgers will undoubtedly join him when he retires, but they have been unable to bring as much glory to Wisconsin as their talent deserves. Some of this is to sheer bad luck but there is a lot of mismanagement and poor performances mixed in there too. This has resulted in a lot of changes of late. After 12 years as general manager Ted Thompson was replaced by Brian Gutekunst in 2018, and then after yet another disappointing season head coach Mike McCarthy was fired mid-season after 13 seasons.
In Madden 19 the Packers are a disappointing side. They have a rating of 81 overall, with an 85 rated offense and an 81 rated defense. While they do have a terrific quarterback the Packers have a lot of holes across their roster that need fixing before they can truly compete for a Super Bowl again.
Green Bay Packers Salary Cap
The Packers start Franchise Mode with a massive 69 players on their roster and $39.7 million in cap space. That’s pretty good and can be increased fairly dramatically as you need to cut 16 players.
There are 28 players that can be cut without incurring any cap penalty, and if you really want to get aggressive with your cap clearing you can cut or trade veteran Clay Matthews and make a $14.2 million cap saving with just a $3 million cap penalty in season 2. However the Packers have a solid amount of cap space to add via trade or re-sign their impending free agents.
Green Bay Packers Impending Free Agents
Green Bay has 30 players in the final year of their contract. Most of these players can be easily replaced but there are very interesting and important players that you should look to keep.
The first of these is defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Signed on a one-year deal at the start of 2018, Wilkerson didn’t impress much during the season for Green Bay, but in Madden 19 he is as strong as a bull and is still a very good 3-4 defensive end.
There is also reliable receiver Randall Cobb who is #2 on the Packers WR depth chart. He’ll hit free agency at 29 so giving him a new four-year deal isn’t wise, but a two or three year contract would be a good way of keeping your receiver strength while letting some of the younger guys develop.
Elsewhere the tight end depth chart is set to be decimated so thinking about a solution there is recommended. Players like Bashaud Breeland and Davon House can be allowed to walk though, as younger players already on the roster are very capable of replacing their production.
Other key impending free agents: Clay Matthews (OLB), Jake Ryan (MLB), Marcedes Lewis (TE), Lance Kendricks (TE)
Green Bay Packers Roster Needs
While the Packers are set at the premium positions of quarterback and left tackle, there are very few places where they couldn’t use an upgrade. They could use an explosive option at running back and another wide receiver if you aren’t willing to wait for their rookies develop. Both starting guards are pretty poor, which makes running the ball difficult. Improving those positions would help the overall offensive production remarkably.
There is currently only one defensive tackle on the roster, and while Kenny Clark is an excellent 90 OVR he can’t play every snap, so adding some depth there straight away should be a priority. You also need to find a replacement for Clay Matthews sooner rather than later. Even if you re-sign him he is 32 and on the decline as a pass rusher. The Packers also need better options at both safety spots, though their cornerback depth chart is full of young and highly drafted talent, some of which could be re-purposed to free safety in a pinch. Your first round draft pick in season 1 should go on a pass rusher, safety or guard. You’d be very unlucky to get a draft class that doesn’t have some depth at those positions so you should be ok. After that you can find a little more explosion on offense and some front seven depth on defense to help the handful of stars that are present already.
In short then, the Packers roster needs a lot of work if it is to get back to the top of the NFC and claim a fifth Super Bowl. Having Aaron Rodgers will mean that they are always a threat, but to consistently win games you’ll need to improve the ground game and almost totally overhaul the defense. This is a project that will take a few years, but if you are patient you can get the Packers back to their old, dominant, self.