Packers: Free Agency

Packer fans love FA or at least my fellow keyboard GMs do.  The ones that were convinced Jarius Byrd was the long-term solution at S a few years back.  I don’t dislike free agency I’m just extremely cautious.  Guys hit FA generally because they’re (1) subpar/injured so their team doesn’t want them (2) they’re too expensive to retain

The Packers made its first significant move of free agency by resigning 2012 1st rounder Nick Perry to a big deal.  These numbers sound like it’s really a 2-year deal for Perry.

Perry disappointed for much of his rookie contract leading to GB declining his 5th year option.  Perry played on a cheap 1-yr “prove it” deal and prove it he did.   He was great against the run and was the best pass rusher on the roster.  Perry was an athletic marvel coming out of USC but injuries and adjustment to playing out of 2-point stance (as opposed to as a DE in 4-3 like he did in college) made for an underwhelming start to his NFL career.  But 2016 was by far his best season.  The Packers did the smart thing by bringing him back.

From the Journal Sentinel report this morning:

Terms of the deal weren’t available, but Perry is expected to receive at least $10 million per year after receiving considerable interest from three other teams. Among those who were interested were the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets.

From Acme Packing this morning:

Perry’s breakout 2016 season saw him record 11 sacks in the regular season and another one in the postseason. He played in 14 games, starting 12, and also recorded an interception. Despite facing several injuries each season in his career, Perry has now played in 14 games or more in three straight seasons.

GB had Jayrone Elliott, Julius Peppers, Datone Jones, and Perry all as FA after the 2016 season.   That would be putting a lot of eggs in the Kyler Fackrell basket if they all were gone.  I’ve been clear that while I appreciate what Peppers does he is simply too expensive to keep around.  Elliott may get tendered as he is probably the best all around special teamer GB has.  I can’t imagine Datone Jones having much of a market for his services so I would expect to see him back in GB but the Packers can wait to see how his market evolves.  It was clear that Perry, as a 26-year-old pass rusher was in high demand and GB had to move quickly to retain his services.  If initial reports are correct and Perry’s 5-year deal pays him in the neighborhood of $10M/season that would put him at #5-6 on the roster for cap hit.  With the NFL salary cap always rising, much like in the NBA, you see salaries inflated to match.

**UPDATE** GB DID NOT TENDER ELLIOTT BUT DID RESIGN HIM TO 1YR DEAL

**UPDATE**  DATONE JONES SIGNS WITH THE VIKINGS

Below is my order of priority for the rest of the in-house FA for the Packers:

(1) Micah Hyde: Hyde was a 5th round find out of Iowa by TT.  Not the fastest guy, but he can play S or CB and his swiss army knife tendencies are a major asset for a struggling secondary.  His goalline pass breakup against Chicago saved that game and his INT against Dallas in the playoffs was a beautiful combination of his cerebral and athletic ability.  If Burnett or HHCD get hurt, Hyde can step in.  Otherwise he can blitz, line up in the slot, outside, or opposite a TE.  Nobody else on GB can do that and comparatively few in the NFL do either.  He’s my top remaining priority.

**UPDATE** HYDE LIKELY TO LEAVE GB

**UPDATE UPDATE** HYDE LEAVES GB GOES TO BUFFALO

(2) Jared Cook: #12 loves him. His numbers were better with the 6’5″ weapon healthy and in the lineup.  Cook stresses the opposing D down the seam opening space outside for Adams and Nelson (and in theory underneath for Cobb but Cobb has been MIA).  Finley could do it but since Finley got hurt GB hasn’t had somebody with that combination of size/speed.  I think another maybe 3-year deal with the guaranteed money in years 1-2 would make sense.  Draft a TE in this deep TE draft class and groom him to take over.

**UPDATE** COOK LIKELY GONE BUT REPLACEMENT FOUND

THIS PLEASES #12

(3) TJ Lang: By all accounts TJ Lang is the toughest guy on the Packers roster.  But he will turn 30 in September.  And the tough guy rep is in part due to him battling through a load of injuries including multiple concussions.  I’d gladly have him back but am worried about his durability and whether the price is right.

**UPDATE** DETROIT MAKES A BIG OFFER AND LANG GOES TO THE LIONS

(3.5) JC Tretter: JC Tretter just turned 26 and can play all 3 positions on the OL.  The only reason I don’t have him ahead of Lang is because Tretter has missed so much time to injury himself.  I love his versatility but he can’t stay on the field.  I agree with reports that somebody somewhere will give him starters money.  I could see GB dumping Lang and paying Tretter to take over at RG knowing that Tretter can slide over to C if Linsley gets hurt or even kick out to OT (where Tretter played in college) if Bulaga/Bahktiari get injured. Jason Spriggs will have every opportunity to be the 6th OL for GB.

JS Article on Tretter

A 2013 fourth-round pick, Tretter becomes a free agent next month when his four-year rookie contract expires. More than anything, Tretter’s ability to line up anywhere from center to tackle has clear value. At the very least, he is a plug-and-play swing offensive lineman.

He has yet to prove capable of playing through a 16-game season. Twice, knee injuries have cost him a starting job with the Packers.

In four seasons, Tretter has played 31 out of a possible 64 regular-season games. He has played well when healthy. If Tretter’s knee heals fully, his talent makes him an attractive free-agent target — for the Packers or elsewhere.

I would like to see GB make a run at Zach Brown, the ex-Titan, ex-Bill LB with tremendous speed.  Brown is one of the fastest LB in the NFL (he ran a 4.50 at the 2012 NFL Combine) and speed at ILB is sorely lacking in GB.  Brown has played in 16 games in 4/5 NFL seasons and posted a combined 149 tackles #2 in the NFL.  He also added 4 sacks, 2 FF, and 1 INT.  Last year, Danny Trevathan signed a $24.5M/4 Years with $12M guaranteed with Chicago making it effectively a 2-year deal.  I’d be willing to pay that for an upgrade at ILB.

**UPDATE** TRETTER TO SIGN WITH CLEVELAND

Unranked/Don’t Care:

Don Barclay: Yes he can poorly man all 3 positions on the OL.  But after trading up in the 2nd to snatch Jason Spriggs and spending a 6th rounder on Kyle Murphy in the 2016 Draft I say goodbye to Don Barclay.  Of my list of “Unranked/Don’t Care” he is the most likely to return.

**UPDATE** BARCLAY IS BACK ONT THE CHEAP

Eddie Lacy: I’m done with him.  I was way wrong on him for about 2 years after strong debut seasons.  But I didn’t want GB to draft him because he wasn’t explosive because of his size.  Oh, and he has asthma, but no worries, just in cold weather.  That’s not a problem at all in the NFC North.  His lack of fitness and the depth of the RB class in the draft make him expendable.  Despite that, there was some rumors he could be back on a cheap deal.  There’s also word NYG and Oakland are looking and if that’s the case, I wish him well in his new destination.

**UPDATE** LACY OFF TO SEATTLE

Christine Michael: some exciting runs against the NYG in the playoffs but just too inconsistent in everything he does.  Lot of missed assignments it appears.  Again, depth at the RB position in the draft deflates his value.

**UPDATE** GB RESIGNS MICHAEL ON A 1-YEAR DEAL

 

Julius Peppers: had more moments than I gave him credit for but a declining snap count and his advancing age make him a luxury we simply can’t and shouldn’t afford.

**UPDATE** PEPPERS BACK TO CAROLINA

James Starks: fewer miles on him than most RBs his age but that’s in part because of his lengthy injury history.

Brett Goode: I mean long-snapping his important and all but I can’t distinguish between him and a cheaper option.

Sam Shields:  I think it’s reasonable to wonder if Shields can play football again. His Week 1 concussion in 2016 @Jax on a routine tackles was his 5th confirmed football-related concussion.  I hope his support network and his doctor have a hard conversation with him about the risks involved because it would appear reckless for him to keep playing.

The Chicago Bears just signed Mike Glennon so that’s also good news for GB.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup Mike Glennon is expected to sign with the team Thursday on a three-year contract worth at least $14.5 million a year, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.

DAVON HOUSE COME TO BACK TO GB

the little bit he was healthy in GB he was good.  But he was a misfire in FA by the Jags.

PACKERS SIGN VETERAN DT

solid signing given the troubles Letroy Guion has staying on the field.  GB needed some beef up front on running downs in particular.

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