Analyst Suggests Green Bay Packers Should Trade Preston Smith

Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers

There aren’t many pressing needs for the Green Bay Packers at this point in the offseason. Figuring out a contract extension for quarterback Jordan Love remains the No. 1 priority, as the team wants to keep him around long-term.

To make that happen, general manager Brian Gutekunst may need to open up some more cap space. A few routes can be taken to achieve that. Working out an extension with defensive tackle Kenny Clark would help. Or, the team could trade some veterans to clear cap space.

One trade idea that Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes the Packers should pursue is moving pass rusher Preston Smith. Part of the reasoning is that Smith’s cap hits are steep at $14.1, $17.5 and $18.2 million in 2024, 2025 and 2026. Clearing that would open space for a Love extension, and his value will likely never be higher.

“Trading Smith isn’t a dire need, but it might turn out to be financially prudent. Smith’s stock should be pretty high given his production and health over the last few seasons, but one injury or disappointing season at this age would plummet his value.

This might be the best opportunity to sell high on the veteran pass rusher and they have last year’s first-round pick Lukas Van Ness waiting in the wings,” wrote Ballentine.

Durability is something teams value and Preston Smith provides it. He has missed one game in nine seasons in the NFL with Washington and the Green Bay Packers. Smith remains productive as well, recording at least 8.0 sacks in three straight seasons and four out of the last five.

In addition to the money the Green Bay Packers could save trading him, Ballentine makes a good point about Lukas Van Ness. The 2023 first-round pick needs a bigger role defensively and moving on from the veteran would open up plenty of opportunities.

Several teams around the NFL would love to acquire a player of Smith’s caliber. You can never have too many pass rushers and he comes with regular season production and postseason experience. Contenders, fringe playoff teams or young teams in need of a veteran voice could all make use of Smith.

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