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Packers Free Agent Decisions Loom On Verge Of Offseason

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Offseason Starts Early

After missing the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2008, Green Bay can look to the offseason early. Aaron Rodgers‘ return to action ended with a loss, eliminating the Packers in Week 15. While unfortunate, with that loss the organization can take a look at how to improve going forward. A few starting players’ contracts are set to expire. Many free agents are set to hit the market in positions of need for the Packers as well. The Ted Thompson led front office will have some key free agent decisions to make before the 2018 season. Below are some of the big-name players Green Bay will have to make decisions on going forward. Also, some of the team’s potential signings outside the organization heading into the offseason.

Key Free Agent Decisions

Green Bay is looking at a few key players whose contracts are set to expire on both sides of the ball. Most notably, two starting offensive linemen, a few defensive backs, and a starting wide receiver. With the Packers on the verge of the offseason, here are some of the decisions the front office may make.

Offensive Line

Green Bay has two of its starting offensive linemen’s contracts set to expire next year. After signing a one year contract with the Packers in the offseason, Jahri Evans could be left to walk. While his season started strong, his experience with the Packers has been up and down. However, considering his age, and likelihood Evans will want to play with a contender, resigning looks favorable. He is an established veteran at his position with six Pro Bowls and four All-Pro awards. At age 34, he could continue to help develop the line at a low hit on the salary for Green Bay.
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Starting Center Corey Linsley‘s contract is also set to expire following the 2017 NFL season. He is currently the only center on the Packers’ roster. When looking at his up-and-down play of this past season, Green Bay could likely get him at a reasonable price. He ranks as the 22nd best center in the league with a rating of 52.8 according to Pro Football Focus. At just age 26, he has much room for development.

Defensive Backs

Unfortunately, many questions surround the defensive backfield of the Packers as the season comes to an end. However, questions begin with whether or not to bring back some of the established veterans on the back-end.

Starting safety Morgan Burnett headlines the list of defensive backs with contracts coming to a close. Burnett has thrived playing as the “Nitro” linebacker for the defense and stepped up as a slot corner as well. Though he has established himself as a versatile back, Green Bay may be looking to let him walk. The addition of Josh Jones may have been the writing on the walls for Burnett. Jones displays some of the same versatility, yet remains on a rookie contract. Unless the Packers keep Burnett at a reduced price, look for him to test the market this offseason.
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Davon House has his one-year contract set to expire as this season closes. While his play has fluctuated at times, House has been Green Bay’s number one cornerback for much of the year. On numerous occasions, House has made it clear he wants to be in Green Bay. “I want to show Green Bay, I want to play, I want to be here,” he stated in an ESPN interview. Considering the discounted price the Packers got him for, look for him to return to the sideline in green and yellow. Also, in looking at his commitment to the team, House could end up being one of the easiest free agent decisions to make.

Davante Adams

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Yeah, Davante Adams is such a key to the offense he gets his own headline. However, he has earned his headline by all means. Even with Aaron Rodgers’ absence for much of the season, Adams emerged as the number one wide receiver. Though his three concussions over the past two seasons raise concern, his stats do not. In the past two seasons, Adams has posted 1,882 yards and 22 touchdowns on 149 receptions. He has been the most productive Packers wideout, look for Green Bay to close a deal with Adams this offseason.

Free Agent Decisions: Hole to Fill

The linebacker position has been the most challenging role for the Packers to fill in recent years. Injury has taken its toll on the spot for the Packers. On the other hand, a lack of development has also played a role. Considering the lackluster play at the position, outside of Blake Martinez, Green Bay should pursue a free agent backer if the price is right.
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While his career has had its share of struggles, Kiko Alonso may be the right fit in Green Bay. In four seasons, Alonso has seven interceptions and four forced fumbles in his career. Additionally, coming off a season that is seeing him with a weak Pro Football Focus grade of 39.0, Alonso could be the right price.

Another possible middle linebacker signing comes in the form of Paul Posluszny. As a middle linebacker for the Jaguars for most his career, he has stuffed his stat sheet. In eleven years he has four seasons with 100 or more tackles. Additionally, he has forced over 23 turnovers in that span, 15 interceptions, and eight forced fumbles according to Pro Football Focus.

With the offseason on the horizon, look for the Packers to make moves as time unfolds. Green Bay will likely do all they can going forward to make the most out of the remainder of Aaron Rodgers’ Hall of Fame career. Free agent decisions will play a significant role in how next season will play out.

Photo by V’ron