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Rodgers Among Seven Captains for Packers

Za'Darius Smith was not voted a captain; this could be the last rodeo for five of the captains.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – With a veteran team and an abundance of leadership, the Green Bay Packers have selected seven captains for the 2021 season.

On a player vote, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Marcedes Lewis are the captains on offense, Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander and Adrian Amos are the captains on defense, and Mason Crosby is the captain on special teams.

During the first two seasons of Matt LaFleur’s tenure, the captains were Rodgers, Crosby and Za’Darius Smith. Smith was not re-elected.

“What’s interesting, we had 27 different players receive at least one vote, which is incredible to think that you have that many guys that are in consideration,” LaFleur said on Thursday. “I think that’s pretty rare. And we are a pretty veteran team but, even some of our young guys, you can tell are going to become great leaders. That is awesome to be a part of. I think we had 10 players that got more than 10 votes. So, I just think that speaks to the locker room and the character that we have in this building.”

In just the latest twist entering what could be the last dance for this core group of players, there’s a chance only two of this year’s captains will return to the team next year.

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Rodgers, after a tumultuous offseason, might not be back in 2022. Adams might not be back, either; he is entering his final season under contract and is due to get a monster contract that the team might not be able to afford. With the team projected to be almost $50 million over next year’s salary cap, Amos ($11.982 million cap charge; potential $4.654 million cap savings), Crosby ($4.375 million cap charge; potential $2.395 in cap savings) and Lewis ($4.525 million cap charge; potential $2.445 million cap savings) could be cap casualties. In the case of Crosby, the Packers kept strong-legged JJ Molson on the practice squad.

Then there is Smith, who practiced only once during training camp and is iffy for Sunday’s opening game in Jacksonville against New Orleans. Shortly after the Packers tweeted the list of captains, Smith tweeted “Wow,” though he might have been speaking about rising food and gas prices or, as position coach Mike Smith joked on Thursday, the number of chicken wings the coaches ate.

As for the guys who are captains, Amos has grown into a spokesman for the defense and is one of the unit’s best and most consistent players.

“It means a lot,” Amos said. “It’s not something I was harping on or anything, but just hearing my name called, it shows what my teammates think about me and puts responsibility on me. Just to be a leader, just to represent my team, my defense, keep doing what I’ve been doing as far as, I’m the same person all the time. I try to lead by example, I try to do things the right way. I try to come to work and make sure my teammates know what they’re getting from me every day.”

For Clark, who was a co-captain for his final season at UCLA in 2015, nothing changes even with the “C” on his uniform.

“I know I’m a leader on the team,” he said. “If I talk or lead by example, I’m just here to help the team win. I don’t really worry about it too much. For everybody to vote (for) me, I’m humbled and honored about it. It’s extremely cool. This is the first time this happened. I won’t take it for granted or anything.”