5 Significant Players that Might not be on Green Bay Packers Next Season

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5 Significant Players that Might not be on Green Bay Packers Next Season

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers 2012-13 season is officially over after an embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional playoffs. Now, the organization must focus on the future in which several players could have played their last game in a Packers jersey. Which five players might not be on the team next season?

There is plenty of blame to go around for the disappointing end to a season that was plagued with injuries, especially after the defense allowed San Francisco to gain a franchise-high 579 yards of offense. The players clearly did not execute the game plan and the entire coaching staff failed to make any adjustments throughout the game. The entire team did not show up for the second half while the 49ers had their way with the Packers on both sides of the ball.

Green Bay’s offense did not play with the same swagger that they did in 2011, but no one really expected them to have that same success considering it was a record-breaking season for one of the oldest franchises in the NFL. The defense was improved but that is only because the only direction they could go was up after finishing last season at the bottom of the league statistically.

Unfortunately, head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson must now evaluate the team earlier than expected. Both men have huge personnel decisions to make, including whether to bring back specific players that are expected to depart via free agency. Other players may be released because they did not play at a high level on a consistent basis and/or there are simply injured players that are coming back to take their job.

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Donald Driver, WR

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It is safe to say Donald Driver has played his last game for the Packers, as the 14-year veteran will most likely retire from the NFL. The 37-year-old hauled in eight receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games this season. More importantly, he has continued to add to his franchise records of all-time receptions (743) and receiving yards (10,137). There is no question Driver will go down as one of, if not, the greatest wide receiver in the history of the Packers organization. It will be sad not to see him run out onto Lambeau Field but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

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Greg Jennings, WR

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Greg Jennings is the one player the Packers must do everything they can to re-sign but unfortunately, it does not seem to be in the cards. The problem isn’t that Green Bay does not want him the problem is that it all comes down to money. The Packers will have to dish out big contracts for Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji and renew Aaron Rodgers’ deal. This means there is no room to pay Jennings the big contract he feels he deserves. Rodgers and the rest of the team want nothing more than for Jennings to be a Packer for life, which is something he wants as well. However, something is going to have to give in order for this to happen.

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John Kuhn, FB

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

One of the hardest decisions the Packers might have to make is releasing John Kuhn. I am a huge supporter of Kuhn and what he brings to the team. However, his role has diminished this season and Green Bay’s offense really has no need for a fullback. Considering Kuhn averaged 2.7 yards on 23 carries this season and is typically used as a pass blocker does not bode well for the folk hero. The Packers have four running backs that can learn how to protect Rodgers on passing downs and each of them can run the ball with more effectiveness.

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C.J. Wilson, DE

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

One thing the Packers learned this season is they need to get more physical on defense. The 49ers were one of many teams that proved to be tougher in the trenches and that resulted in big plays through the air and on the ground. Green Bay also learned they need to get to the quarterback at a higher rate, which means getting their three defensive lineman involved more. Defensive end C.J. Wilson may have one more season remaining on his contract but the Packers will cut it short to give players such as Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels an opportunity to have a bigger impact. Obviously, these players will only be given this chance if they can prove to be more physical than anyone else on the line is.

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Frank Zombo, OLB

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With a great crop of 3-4 linebackers hitting free agency this off-season, expect the Packers to part ways with Frank Zombo along with a couple of other linebackers. Zombo was a huge factor during Green Bay’s magical Super Bowl run in 2010, but injuries have made it impossible for the 25-year-old to stay on the field. Zombo may not have played a significant role over the past two years but his overwhelming potential makes him a tough loss for the Packers. Zombo will surely be picked up by someone in free agency but do not expect to see him on the Green Bay sideline again.


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