Are the Packers Finished in Free Agency?

You know that nothing is guaranteed and there are holes yet to be filled, but didn’t we all breathe a sigh of relief after the Packers brought in two talented, mismatch-creating tight ends through free agency?

I did.

Let’s update the Packers' situation by making some reasonable guesses about the salary cap.

The numbers are not released yet for Lance Kendricks’ contract. According to Rob Demovsky, the Packers were left with a little over $29 million in cap space after the Martellus Bennett signing. Let’s say Lance Kendricks comes in for around 2 million per year (I think that’s a fair number for our purposes here).

The Packers will need approximately 5 million to sign their rookie class. Let’s say Lacy gets between 1-2 million per year (too high?). Datone Jones could come in between 3-5 million.

If TJ Lang returns, maybe the Packers get a minor discount, but the stories I’ve read make it sound like Lang is going to give the Packers a chance to match offers he receives. Every story on what he may command has valued him between 8-10 million per year.

This would leave the Packers in the ball park of 5-10 million left in cap space.

I would think some of that money could go towards a very affordable cornerback or edge defender.

A number of the cornerbacks I mentioned in this article are still on the market and affordable at that price.

Is there enough there to a snag Connor Barwin? Would you give up Datone Jones, who will turn 27 this summer, to make room for Barwin who will turn 31 in October?

One thing that is already certain is that the NFL draft for the Packers has a lot less pressure on it.

Speaking on the strengths of this year’s draft, Mel Kiper stated that this year is, “A good year for cornerbacks…I think there are some good combo guys, some of those defensive end/outside linebacker types that can rush the passer…Running backs, O.K…But tight end is spectacular.”

Perhaps a solid tight end to develop can be picked up in the mid-rounds. But I think we all agree that cornerback and outside linebacker, particularly one who can get after the quarterback, are the next two biggest holes on the team. I also say this assuming Eddie Lacy returns, which isn’t necessarily certain.

To answer the question at the top, I for one would feel far better if the Packers picked up a cheap veteran for depth at either cornerback or outside linebacker before the draft. If Barwin comes at a reasonable price tag, that would be ideal. However, I already feel pretty good about our chances of finding what we need in this year’s draft if Ted Thompson decides to end his brief foray into free agency. 

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Comments (47)

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TarynsEyes's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Lang to Lions.

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I hope he's happy there.

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Bearmeat's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:10 pm

Paying 9 mil AAV for a 29 year old RG who's beat to hell? You can have him Lions. I'll take the 3rd round comp pick next year. Draft a versatile interior OL in the middle rounds and let him compete with the depth already on the team. OG is NOT a premium position. I'd rather spend the money on QB, pass rush, pass catching and CBs.

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Michael Grunewald's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Regardless of the strength in the draft, the odds of finding the next Marcus Peters or Patrick Peterson ... a true plug and play, filling corner are slim. Corners take time to develop.

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Ryan Graham's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Great article Kevin. I would rather see a veteran corner than edge rusher personally, but either would be welcome additions. I'm definitely an advocate for Brandon Flowers, although Davon House would be more cap friendly and has familiarity with the system. Ideally Ted addresses both in the draft along with interior O line, a D line addition late wouldn't hurt. There's cap room left, but how much is open for use?

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cuervo's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Wouldn't touch Flowers with a ten foot pole......repeat of Shields...concussion issues. He's done.

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Ryan Graham's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:04 pm

Really? Had no idea. I just remember how productive he was with KC....I retract

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wildpalms's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Why must we look elsewhere for up to date Packer news ?? It's all over TV about T.J. signing with the Lions, but
mentioned here only in comment section. Only get 2nd
hand news on this site !!

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MITM's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Seriously you can hit the dislike button on that comment but hes exactly right.

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:27 pm

Are any of the writers here getting paid? It's my understanding that they're all doing it out of love, not money. Give them a break.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 12, 2017 at 02:49 pm

Agreed.
I think this site is fun.

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Oppy's picture

March 12, 2017 at 04:56 pm

To the best of my knowledge, this has always been a FAN site, and I don't believe any of the contributors are card carrying members of the press.. Mostly because working for a fan site when you're part of the sporting press is kinda looked at as a conflict in the eyes of a professional journalism.

This is not, and has never been, the place for breaking news. It has always been the place where people discuss the news that is breaking.

..And it has always served that purpose well.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 12, 2017 at 08:28 pm

And, it's fun.

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stockholder's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Lang is decent and a fan favorite. But I believe TT is rebuilding the offense for the future. Detroit news says 3 yrs. So long Lang. And look for a WR to be taken High!

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

"And look for a WR to be taken High!"

More and more, I'm thinking you're right.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 13, 2017 at 10:05 am

A boundary WR would be great of course. But a slot type would make a ton of sense as well. If Cobb doesn't return to form, it would make releasing him and saving a ton on the cap easier if there was a slot guy in the pipeline. A slot guy could be a later round pick, too.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Packers love to hold onto extra cash to help keep more players. Considering Clinton Dix, Burnett and Adams are all entering the last year of their current deals I'm guessing GB would opt to carry over the cash draft this year as if they'll lose one of the two safeties in 2018.

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Ryan Graham's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

That is if they plan to keep Matthews and Cobb. I'm betting they don't. I think Adams continues to grow into a predominant role eventually, not this year necessarily but eventually. They will need to pay him. I see one of either HHCD or Morgan Burnett walking next year and I think that will be Clinton-Dix. Depends on how much they have invested in Kentrell Brice and Marvin Evans and how much they grow this year.

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GBPack's picture

March 12, 2017 at 04:55 pm

You kidding? There's zero chance Ha Ha walks. At worst we're going to pick up the 5th year option. I could absolutely see Burnett walking, though.

Clinton-Dix is a cornerstone. He's getting a second contract with us, and I'm guessing an extension comes sooner rather than later.

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Finwiz's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I'll be very content if the Packers use the Lang money they would have spent and put it into the defense. They need 2-3 upper tier play-makers on defense. Looks like they will plug Murphy or Spriggs in at guard. I'm good with that. The defense is the far bigger need right now.
Find the best guys, and go get them!

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EdsLaces's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Give up Datone for Barwin LMAO duh....

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zekester's picture

March 12, 2017 at 04:44 pm

Datone Jones is a classic TT 1st round draft choice DL Bust !!..Look like Tarzan and play like Jane..Gets more stupid penalties than sacks..The Invisible Man who wears #95 and have to check the ESPN roster to verify who he is...Hit the road Jack even though we nee defensive playmakers!!

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greenngold's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Slide Bulaga inside and Spriggs to RT. A little birdie told me "don't be surprised if Lucas Patrick makes a push" They'll be fine.

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NickPerry's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:14 pm

I don't know a thing about this Patrick kid but Bulaga inside and Spriggs to RT might be the best move depending on what Spriggs looks like after a offseason training.

Without knowing much about Patrick the positive about that is the Packers would probably have their best 5 O-Linemen on the field. The negative would be Bulaga moving inside after a great season at RT and having the whole right side of the line new. That's a lot of changes to have and a lot of lost talent in a calendar year.

When FA started and Lang wasn't signed I think that was pretty much the writing on the wall. Ted isn't going pay big money to a guy who's 30 coming off surgeries. Honestly, I can't blame him either. Murphy and Spriggs were drafted last year with this already in mind.

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:26 pm

I have a hard time thinking that if the Packers liked Lucas Patrick enough that they viewed him as "the man" at guard, that he would've ended the season in 2016 on the PS...especially when Lang was barely practicing.

I agree on Bulaga, but you never know and I'd much rather have Bulaga in there at RG than Spriggs. I still think the starter at RG isn't on the Packers roster, yet.

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Bearmeat's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:20 pm

BIngo.

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4thand1's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:47 pm

A FA is a FA. TT has signed 3 , 2 big ones. I really don't expect much else to happen. 6+ weeks till draft day.

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lou's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Now that they are officially out of the Lang sweep stakes if they are going to make a move for a veteran free agent on the defensive side of the ball it will be soon. $3m-$5M for Datone Jones ? Common Man !!! they didn't pick up the final rookie year option on him, the only leverage he has is the 2 "idiots" on the D-Line that keep getting suspended leaves hardly any depth, he now has more value there that at OLB.

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blue eyes's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:56 pm

How is Zach Brown a free agent? Coming off a pro bowl season at 27 years young. Matthews and Perry are known to miss at least a few games every year. We need both our best pass rushers on the edge. Imo

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blue eyes's picture

March 12, 2017 at 12:56 pm

How is Zach Brown a free agent? Coming off a pro bowl season at 27 years young. Matthews and Perry are known to miss at least a few games every year. We need both our best pass rushers on the edge. Imo

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MITM's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:00 pm

Would love Zach Brown, was hoping to sign him last year.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 13, 2017 at 10:11 am

Brown missed most of 2 full seasons, then came back last year and played a full season. He is undervalued by Sportrac at being worth just $4.5M AAV; I don't follow other teams much so maybe there is some reason of which I am unaware.

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cheesehead1's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:01 pm

Like the two TE signings a lot, but defense still wins championships. I keep hearing about all the injuries we had on defense last year, which is true, but in game 1 against JAX our defense (secondary) got LIT up and that was when we were fairly healthy. Hope TT upgrades the D as best he can. I think he will. There's only so much Aaron can do, give him a defense so it's not all on his shoulders. ....Go Pack!

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MITM's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:03 pm

Also, with the signing of 2 tight ends and Mccarthys usual preference of 3 WR sets over 2 tight end sets, maybe that is changing and is there a chance that maybe we would see a trade involving Cobb? Given the emergence of Allison?

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Ryan Graham's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:07 pm

I'm looking for a draft pick for Cobb. Maybe a 2nd or 3rd.

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NickPerry's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:45 pm

I've been wondering about the possibility of the Packers trading Cobb but I have feeling they'll want to see what he'll do this year given he had nagging injuries for much of last season.

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stockholder's picture

March 12, 2017 at 03:29 pm

Not Happening. He's to good yet. Also- Your not thinking Comp pick. If Adams can prove he's a good WR. He will get Cobbs money. But I'm still thinking TT gets another WR by the 3rd/4th round.

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cheesehead1's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:09 pm

Could be MITM, you have to give up something to get something. Now is the time to strengthen this Defense.

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MITM's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:08 pm

Allison flashed while cobb was out and jordy dominated in the slot and all the talk of cobb being overpayed is it really that crazy after the bennett and kendricks additions to think cobb could be traded? A corner or pass rusher perhaps?

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Lphill's picture

March 12, 2017 at 01:52 pm

I still think TT can get Barwin and House on the cheap . And yes maybe trade Cobb for a corner . Then take the best available defensive player in the first round. I also think Lacy is back.

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porupack's picture

March 12, 2017 at 02:48 pm

I can't understand rationale to bring on House. Is he an upgrade over Randall, Gunter, Rollins? I don't think so.

Would like to see a Vet CB brought in that could cover the #1 WRs. Whatever ya the market value. Pay it.

Then the rest of the defense can be upgraded in the draft.

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JP's picture

March 12, 2017 at 02:07 pm

I think we should explore Kyle fuller from Chicago. Rumor has it he is not happy in Chicago. I would look at a 5th round pick with us getting Fuller and a 7th. I would explore Cobb and a 3rd grade to St. Louis for Johnson and a 5th. I would look at adding Barwin or Margus Hunt and move Clay Matthews inside perm. So he can cover tight ends. Clay really needs to take a 6 million haircut per year. I would rather have Murray from Oakland than overweight Lacy. On a side note the longer Hankerson sits the cheaper he becomes that would be a awesome signing.

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zekester's picture

March 12, 2017 at 04:22 pm

Bottom line on Packers free agency so far after almost 4 days is we kept Nick Perry but have added 0 new members to a defense that is way below average and not capable of stopping the top offenses in the NFL....Same old Dom Capers strategies with the same old veteran players sprinkled with a few draft choices and free agent rookies is not going to transform this D into a hard hitting /gonna knock your block off championship type unit..There is not 1 player who is in the top 5 at his position on the Pack defense...Please don't reply Clay Matthews or Mike Daniels...Basic sports reality is the more points your defense gives up ..the more your offense has to score for you to win..Looking like Aaron Rodgers MM and company better light up the scoreboard to the tune of 30 to 40 points a game for Da Pack to have a chance to be 2017 Super Bowl Champions

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Oppy's picture

March 12, 2017 at 05:00 pm

Are the Packers finished in free agency?

I'd be shocked if they were, considering most years, they haven't even really got started in free agency for another
2-3 weeks :)

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abad467's picture

March 12, 2017 at 07:58 pm

I'd be surprised if they didn't add add an RB and a corner.

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abad467's picture

March 12, 2017 at 07:58 pm

I'd be surprised if they didn't add add an RB and a corner.

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daveh's picture

March 13, 2017 at 09:30 am

The Packers didn't sign Brady or Long.

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