Why is 2020 such a vital season for the Packers?

A multitude of factors could make the 2020 season a truly defining year for the Green Bay Packers.

This is a team with a future Hall of Fame quarterback coming from a 13-win season. The Packers were one game away from the Super Bowl. The window must be open.

But for how long?

The changing nature of the NFL makes a “Super Bowl window” a fleeting idea. Many changes from year to year, and there are already very fine margins that separate most teams. Still, during most years, it becomes relatively clear that only a handful of teams have a legitimate shot at winning the title.

The Packers are a contender in 2020. Even if they were a lucky team in 2019 (the analyzes are clear; on paper, they looked much more like a 10-6 team than a 13-3 team), Matt LaFleur’s team He will enter 2020 as one of the contenders to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It may not be a favorite, but certainly a contender.

The Packers really need to make the most of the opportunity because the future looks increasingly uncertain.

Two points help explain the greatest importance of 2020:

– The Packers have major free-agent decisions that alter the team after this season. David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Corey Linsley, Kevin King and Aaron Jones are slated to be free agents. Russ Ball might be a salary cap magician, but even he will be too stressed out to stick with more than two or three of the five, especially with legitimate concerns looming over a declining cap next season. LaFleur’s team is going to lose a handful of really good players after this season, increasing the urgency to make the most of a talent roster in 2020.

– Aaron Rodgers turns 37 in December and now has a hand-selected first-round quarterback behind him. Rodgers will be the undisputed starter in 2020, and will have a real chance to improve during the second season in the scheme. Beyond that? It becomes much more uncertain. The Packers have taken the first steps for the team’s upcoming quarterback transition. Rodgers may have just one or two more years to return to the Super Bowl in Green Bay before the Jordan Love era really begins.

Looking so deeply into the future in the NFL is a silly task, but it’s not hard to see how the Packers could take a (possibly significant) step back on talent in 2021, while an inevitable quarterback change is looming in The horizon.

However, the right mix of pieces is in place for 2020. The roster, while not perfect, is truly talented in important positions on both sides of football. Rodgers may no longer be one of the elite quarterbacks, but his individual talent level remains high and his inner drive may be at its highest point. And the Packers have real potential to improve internally, with the offense entering Year 2 in the LaFleur scheme and the current (and almost intact) cast of defenders entering a second season together under Pettine.

The Packers are designed to win right now, but the organization also has an eye on the future, and everyone in the building needs to see how much it could, and probably will, change from 2021. This is a contending soccer team with a great transition phase to come. That’s not a bad place, especially with the potential to compete for a Super Bowl this year and an opportunity for long-term sustainability beyond the Rodgers era, but the Packers are under pressure to make the most of the 2020 season.

Failure in these circumstances could accelerate change. While every season is important in professional sports, the Packers are entering a crucial season that has Super Bowl expectations exacerbated by the weight of potentially critical outings and a future transition that changes the franchise to the game’s most important position. .