Stay or go: 2021 Packers defense poll results
We recently offered our take as to who on the defensive side of the ball for the Green Bay Packers should stay in 2021 and who should go.
Among the reasoning we gave in our choices was production, age and salary. That last part could be a big factor in Green Bay’s offseason decisions. With an estimated $180.5 million cap in 2021, the Packers will need to trim just over $28 million from their payroll before the start of the league year March 17.
That will have to be done with releasing or trading players, or possibly even restructuring contracts.
But what do you, the fans think? We don’t know your reasons, but we do have the results, thanks to a poll we had for each player in the above-mentioned article.
On the offensive side of things, the salary-cap issues didn’t seem much of an issue for our poll voters. What about the defense?
Below we present a quick defense position-by-position breakdown as well as a chart of the results.
Good thing the Packers operate in a 3-4 defense because our voters only had three of the 11 linemen on Green Bay’s roster get more than half the vote to stay.
Fans are ready to move on from veteran Tyler Lancaster (37.3%). Of those in the under-50% club, Anthony Rush, who had one defensive snap in 2020, had the highest percentage at 38.3%. Guess those stopgaps like Damon Harrison, Brian Price and Billy Winn were just that.
One year ago who would have thought Rashan Gary would lead the voting to stay (99.4%) and rookie Krys Barnes would be near the top (95.1%)? Yet here we are.
On the flip side, remember when Preston Smith was beloved? Now, roughly 2/3 of our voters want him off the roster. Of course, that would account for $8 million in cap savings (as well as $8M in dead money). A slight majority of voters also would be fine if Christian Kirksey joins Mike Pettine elsewhere; Kirksey would also leave behind a $5.6 million cap savings.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is a slight majority want to see former third-round pick Oren Burks return.
We think it’s safe to say Packers fans have seen enough of Kevin King. He was the only player on the defense to receive less than 10% of the stay vote. He came in at a whopping 7.0%. An unrestricted free agent, we think the 93% here will get their wish.
Another former second-round pick at cornerback our voters wouldn’t mind bidding adieu is Josh Jackson, who received just 21.9% of the stay vote. Jackson would help in the salary cap a little bit, with just over $1.3 million in savings.
Smartly, fans were in agreement on corner Jaire Alexander and safety Darnell Savage, both of whom were unanimous choices to stick around.
SPECIAL TEAMS (P)
Another year with the same snapper-punter combo? Two-thirds of our voters are on board with that.