The upcoming year will be a make-or-break season for Green Bay Packers center Josh Myers. The former second-round pick out of Ohio State is entering his fourth season and continues to be an inconsistent player for the Packers. By the end of the 2024 campaign, GM Brian Gutekunst will have to decide whether to offer Myers a second contract with the team. Unless he picks up his play this year, Myers is unlikely to be back.

This Is a Make-or-Break Season for Packers Center Josh Myers: A Tough Beginning

Myers’ career with the Packers got off to a rough start through no fault of his own. The Packers selected him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft with the 62nd overall pick. One selection later, the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Creed Humphrey.

Most scouts had Humphrey ranked as the top center prospect in the draft, but Gutekunst opted for Myers.

In the three seasons the two have been in the NFL, Humphrey has never missed a game and has earned Pro Bowl honors twice. He has also played on two Super Bowl winning teams.

Pro Football Focus ranked Myers near the bottom of qualified NFL centers. Humphrey has been among the league’s best.

Myers Has Struggled on the Field

For Myers, things have not aways gone smoothly on the field. He won the starting center job out of training camp as a rookie, but injuries limited him to just six games in 2021.

He’s started all 17 games in the two years since, but his play has not been consistent. Myers has always graded out better in pass protection than he has for run blocking. Despite that reputation, his pass blocking graded out only slightly better than his run blocking and neither were particularly good.

The major difference is that when he struggled at run blocking, he has often failed spectacularly. Those whiffs left a lasting impression on fans.

A Make-Or-Break Season for Packers Center Josh Myers: The Coaches

The Packers coaching staff has tried to stay positive regarding Myers. Offensive line coach Luke Butkus had this to say about his desire for Myers during OTAs. “Every day, get better. That’s where Josh excelled last year. He did get better as the year went on and he had command of this offense and took charge, was a little bit more vocal toward the end in commanding this offense. So, what do we need from him? Just to get better every single day. Keep improving.”

And yet, Butkus also said, “Obviously, Josh Myers is our center.”

The Best Five

Head coach Matt LaFleur has often said he wants his “best five” offensive linemen as starters on the field going forward. The Packers have always preferred linemen with versatility like Elgton Jenkins and Zach Tom who can play all five spots along the offensive line. This year’s first round pick, Jordan Morgan has already practiced at every position along the line except center and we haven’t even started training camp yet.

While Myers is the prohibitive favorite to retain the starting center job, he’s not a lock to start. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky was quoted as saying, “I was told by a couple of people within the organization, they think Zach Tom is a Pro Bowl right tackle, an All-Pro guard and a potential Hall of Fame center.”

Getting the best five players on the field may mean moving Tom or maybe Jenkins to center. Of course, Myers could also move to guard, a position he has also played in training camp on occasion.

A Make-Or-Break Season for Packers Center Josh Myers: The Future

The 2024 season is the final year of Myers’ rookie contract. Next offseason, Gutekunst will have to decide whether to give Myers a new deal or to let him become an unrestricted free agent. Traditionally, the Packers only give second contracts to quality starters or important role players. If a player isn’t playing at a high level, it makes more sense under the salary cap to draft a player who has more upside and can play under an entry-level contract for four seasons.

This year, Gute selected center Jacob Monk in the fifth round. Even if Monk isn’t ready to start in 2024, the coaching staff could groom him to be ready to take over as the center next season if they let Myers go.

So, Myers finds his Packers career at a crossroads this season. He will either improve and establish himself as the long-term answer at center or become an ex-Packer and have to look for employment elsewhere.




Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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