The Temptation of Youth

Releasing Pat O’Donnell is one more confirmation. This team is going young. Choosing the young, unproven punter, is picking the promise of youth over the safety of experience.

I believe it’s the right choice. After back-to-back seasons of trading their best players, Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers, it’s the logical choice.

As for a punting competition, O’Donnell won it statistically and is also the more proven holder, and yet other numbers were prioritized. Daniel Whelan is 24, Pat O’Donnell is 32. Whelan will cost the Packers $4-500K less than the veteran.

The sweet spot for the most productive NFL players is roughly ages 22-30. This choice was simply facing the economics and demographics of a young man’s league. It’s also an acceptance that the Packers are not Super Bowl contenders, not this year.

We knew this didn’t we?

Similar decisions about much more highly paid veterans might happen between now and the trade deadline. Depending on the Packers situation, David Bakhtiari and Preston Smith could be traded. More likely, the Packers will take their cap medicine in March to pay some or all of those contracts they pushed into the future over the last several years.

Future is now

Cut down day will be a bit “ho-hum” for Green Bay. Possibly a veteran like Royce Newman or Josiah Deguara could be released or traded. Maybe the Packers can capture some value by trading Yosh Nijman or they could keep or release him. Most of the other decisions will have little effect the Packers in 2023.

The Packers already have one of the youngest WR groups in recent NFL history. That, plus youth at other positions should pull their average age lower than it’s been in years. There’ll be more demographic and economic realities ahead.



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