GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 07: General Manager Brian Gutekunst of the Green Bay Packers looks on before the game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on January 07, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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Packers Fans Had a Roller Coaster Start to NFL Free Agency

NFL free agency is a wild time across the league, but no fan base experienced a crazier roller coaster of emotions on the first day of news dumps than the Green Bay Packers.

Monday marked the unofficial start of free agency, with the legal tampering period opening at noon ET. After a breakout season with starting quarterback Jordan Love, Packers fans were hopeful that the team would take some big swings to start building a potential Super Bowl contending team.

However, Packers fans had to deal with some tough news to start the day, with former All-Pro offensive tackle David Bakhtiari announcing that he was being released.

As the longest-tenured Packers player, Bakhtiari's departure signaled the end of an era in Green Bay. However, given his massive cap number and lingering knee issues that caused him to miss all but one game last season, it felt like the right time for both sides to move on.

Shortly following the Bakhtiari news, Packers fans were shocked by the surprise news that the team had signed veteran running back Josh Jacobs. Despite a disappointing 2023 season, the 26-year-old had been a legitimate weapon for the Raiders, going to two Pro Bowls and earning a first-team All-Pro selection in 2022.

The expectation following the news was that Jacobs would work in a split role with veteran Aaron Jones, with the two allowing each other to stay fresh in time for a playoff run. Instead, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst shocked the entire fan base, deciding to part ways with Jones instead.

A veteran leader who took on a massive leadership role for the younger Packers players, Jones was expected to work out a restructured deal to stay with the team that drafted him. Instead, the two sides were unable to agree to a deal, and Jones will instead test free agency.

The release of Jones was a huge blow to Packers fans. The former fifth-round pick back in 2017 had been a mainstay for Green Bay's offense, and his personality had endeared him to fans for years. Cutting his was disappointing for Packers fans, but replacing him with another veteran free agent had fans questioning whether or not it was really worthwhile to risk losing Jones for Jacobs, who is coming off a disappointing season.

Instead of allowing Packers fans time to process all of these moves, the Packers capped off the afternoon with one of the biggest deals of the start of free agency, signing former New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the deal would be worth $68 million over four years.

For a team that has been famous for taking it slow in free agency, the Packers have hit the ground running this offseason. Gutekunst seems determined to retool the roster around Love and prepare for a long-term run at the Super Bowl, but fans are still trying to adjust to the fast pace of what is bound to be a busy offseason for the green and gold.

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