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3 Players Who Won't Be on the Packers Roster Next Season

Max Staley
Three Green Bay Packers who won't be on the roster in 2021, including Preston Smith.
Three Green Bay Packers who won't be on the roster in 2021, including Preston Smith. / Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are coming off yet another stellar regular season that ended in postseason defeat. Aaron Rodgers suffered his second in the NFC Championship Game in as many seasons, dropping his career record in the game to 1-4.

Obviously, this team is going to need to make some moves to get over the hump. Signing the recently-released J.J. Watt would sure be a nice place to start. But in order to make a move like that, Green Bay is going to need to clear some space.

Currently projected to be about $21 million over the cap in 2021, GM Brian Gutekunst will need to shed some salary this offseason. Here are three Packers that won't be on the roster next season.

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3. Preston Smith, OLB

Preston Smith looked like a fantastic signing in his first year with the Packers, recording 12.0 sacks in 2019. His production fell off a cliff in 2020, however. Even with Za'Darius Smith and Kenny Clark drawing a ton of attention, he only put up 4.0 sacks while generating just 14 pressures (down from 34 in 2019). This team is going to need to do a lot of restructuring and reworking of deals to get under the cap, and that's an avenue the Packers could explore with Smith as well. If the two sides can't come to an agreement, though, a release feels likely. Moving on would save GB $8 million in space, which is extremely valuable to the cap-strapped Packers. The only potential roadblock here would be his dead cap hit of $8 million, but it's hard to see the team getting under the cap without at least one move like this.

2. Kevin King, CB

Packers fans will likely be happy to see Kevin King go. He got absolutely torched in the NFC Championship and most notably let Scotty Miller get behind him for a 39-yard TD at the end of the first half. You can make a pretty convincing case that play was the biggest difference in the game. King is an impending free agent who hasn't lived up to his reputation since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2017. It'd be surprising to see him return next year.

1. Corey Linsley, C

Corey Linsley has likely priced his way out of Green Bay. He allowed just one sack in 2020, getting penalized zero times despite playing 734 snaps. That earned him the PFF's top overall grade among centers (89.9). For reference, no other qualified center reached a grade of even 80.5. Given the financial constraints the Packers are working with, it's tough to see how the two sides reach an agreement. Expect the 29-year-old to walk in free agency.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.