"Stability" the Theme of the Ahmad Brooks Signing

If the Packers wanted fourth-round pick Vince Biegel to begin his season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to begin the season, they have a little freedom in doing so after Wednesday.

General manager Ted Thompson went out and signed his eighth(!) free agent this offseason in an attempt to help piece together some of the depth at outside linebacker.

Ahmad Brooks, 33, was the target Thompson successfully hit.

Brooks is entering his 11th season after spending the last eight with the San Francisco 49ers and proving as a beacon of production along the way. He hasn't had a season in which he's registered fewer than five sacks since 2007, just his second year in the league and his final with the Cincinnati Bengals, the team who drafted him.

He's also played in at least 13 games per season, dating all the way back to 2009, his first year in San Francisco. Ever since 2011, he's started 90 games of a possible 91.

It's evident that the Packers are getting a dependable player in Brooks, who was released from the 49ers because of the team's switch to a 4-3 defense this offseason. Brooks, as he's shown in this decade, is at his best in a 3-4 scheme.

That may very well be why it shouldn't take long for him to leap into action with the Packers. He's expected to be ready to step into his new role behind outside linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews against the Seahawks: a team who Brooks has seen in his career 14 times and tallied eight sacks against.

Brooks sacking Packers quarterback and new teammate Aaron Rodgers in 2015. (Carl Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports)

Now, what does this signing mean?

During offseason team activities, head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that he felt the depth at outside linebacker is as good of depth as the Packers have had there in some time. If the last few weeks are any indication, that may have been somewhat of a reach.

It's staggering how quickly a strength can turn into a weakness in the National Football League, as what once was a potent group with Matthews and Perry leading the way, is now one of the thinnest on the roster.

Matthews suffered "groin tightness" in the preseason loss at Denver. Perry was struck with an ankle injury in the same game, as well. Although McCarthy has no long-term concerns for either of them, Jayrone Elliott dealing with back spasms the last two weeks and dropping in and out of practice didn't help.

All three players expect to be on the field for the regular season opener, likely sans Biegel.

A move had to be made, and after visiting with the Packers on Tuesday, a deal was made to keep Brooks in a green and gold uniform for the 2017 season.

His contract was worth $3.5 million with incentives helping the total ascend to $5 million according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport.

A cheap, efficient deal for a player who can come in and contribute right away in a familiar scheme. It's the best course of action to help shore up a Packers front seven that desperately needs production from its pass-rushers.

To strike a deal like this just three days before roster cutdowns and one day before the Packers' preseason finale—the most anti-Thompson thing to do—means there was a little more of a sense of urgency at the position. However, addressing it has to at least put many anxious fans at ease.

This move also means it's very likely—even more so than before—Biegel begins the season on the PUP list, keeping him sidelined for the first six weeks of his rookie year.

Brooks, meanwhile, can fill in nicely.

Brooks is a two-time Second-team All-Pro (2012, 2013) and a former Pro-Bowler (2013). He ranks seventh in total sacks since 2011 with 40.5. Above him on that list is his new colleague in Matthews, who has 49.0. Just a few months removed from the end of his tenure in Green Bay, Julius Peppers also makes an appearance with 54.5.

When his long stint with the 49ers was all said and done, Brooks finished third in the franchise's history with 51.5 career sacks. 

While that deal hasn't been officially inked yet, Brooks joins second-year player Kyler Fackrell as the only two at their position expected to be on the roster for week one that are currently healthy.

Additionally, Reggie Gilbert is also a dark horse to make a run at the 53-man roster after a strong preseason and a hoard of praise from his coaches. He may very well surprise and join the aforementioned duo.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (54)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
NickPerry's picture

August 31, 2017 at 05:25 am

It certainly seems Thompson has taken Rodgers "All In" comment to heart this season. Maybe Rodgers needs to make more comments like this EVERY season. Two of Teds FA signings came at interesting times and BOTH will prove to be viewed as "Stabilizing Moves" at the end of the season.
First he signed Jahri Evans a day or two before the draft. Evans was definitely the best pass blocking guard left on the market and probably better than quite a few who signed earlier for more money. He may not be the best run blocker but he's good enough, especially if Bulaga and Lindsey are on each side of him.

Yesterday he signed Brooks which IMO is probably his most important signing outside of Bennett and maybe House. Yes he brings stability to the OLB group, but he also adds a lot of flexibility and depth for Capers. He's a better run defender than both Jones and Peppers and a better pass rusher than Jones. Brooks on a Capers defense with Perry, Matthews, Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Josh Jones (Hopefully) and our other Safeties gives the Packers a slew of different ways to get to the QB. This very well could be a signing that goes a long ways into putting the Packers over the hump and into the SB.

Now if Vince Biegel can just get healthy and add something to the OLB at the end of the season it could be the "Cherry on Top".

0 points
0
0
croatpackfan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 06:39 am

Well Nick, I heard that it is 99% certainty how people fooling themselves when they thinks how team is just one player away of winning all... I hope this is not case with you...

0 points
0
0
lou's picture

August 31, 2017 at 09:47 am

Excellent post Nick Perry, you missed one, Ricky Jean Francios, based on having to cut the knuckle head Gigon and the early injury to Lowry he fits just like Brooks does, a solid Vet you can count on. I would have loved to have seen a healthy Biegel compete in the pre-season, the kid is just a solid football player.

0 points
0
0
dschwalm's picture

August 31, 2017 at 11:58 am

Wow! Now THAT's optimism; I just hope it's a realistic prognostication and not a 'pipe dream'.

0 points
0
0
fthisJack's picture

August 31, 2017 at 05:10 pm

its a good signing.....just keep your fingers crossed that the injury bug doesn't hit again this year and dash any SB hopes.

0 points
0
0
Lphill's picture

August 31, 2017 at 06:11 am

This was a deal that had to be done , maybe Gilbert makes the 53 and Elliot or Fackeral are gone . I have read the good reports on Gilbert but nothing but negative on Elliot and Fackeral .

0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

August 31, 2017 at 09:00 am

Lphill, the way I see it panning out, is Elliott being waived, due to his back problems. That allows Gilbert to be kept on the 53 (Matthews, Perry, Brooks, Fackrell, Gilbert).

Biegel is probably going to pup (which doesn't count on the 53), which gives the Packers two months with Gilbert before they have to make a decision. When Biegel comes back you can bet injuries will have thinned some positions, so the Packers have a good chance of still keeping Gilbert as an extra guy (now the 6th) at OLB, while somewhere on the roster is a guy on IR, allowing the extra guy here.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:58 am

I hope they keep Gilbert and can see things working out that way, but minus the usual injuries.

0 points
0
0
dblbogey's picture

August 31, 2017 at 02:07 pm

It's Fackrell. Everybody seems to misspell it. The way he's looked so far, he probably won't be around long enough to bother learning how to spell it anyway.

0 points
0
0
The TKstinator's picture

August 31, 2017 at 06:17 am

Last sentence: "He may very well surprise and join the....(what)....duo."??

Also, 4th paragraph:
He beacon of production, he got walrus gumboot
He's got Ono sideboard, he one spinal cracker (to enemy QB's)

ZJ, the cut of your jib is exemplary! Keep up the good work, sir.

0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

August 31, 2017 at 09:05 am

Great reference TKsinator. If he partners well with the guy who has "Hair down below the knee", it could be a solid unit.

0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

August 31, 2017 at 11:09 am

"Got to be a joker - he just do what he please"
Solid unit for sure - locker room camaraderie

0 points
0
0
GatorJason's picture

August 31, 2017 at 06:43 am

In my mind's eye, this rights the wrong of releasing Pro Bowler Josh Sitton last year without getting compensation. Brooks may not be Pro Bowl caliber now but he fills a talent gap at OLB, especially if Clay Matthews' "soft tissue" groin injury lingers.

The next question is who goes. Vince Biegel is destined for the season PUP. Reggie Gilbert earned his way onto the 53 roster and is ahead of Kyler Fackrell. Does Ted jettison Fackrell or is Jayrone Elliott's back injury bad enough to put him on IR? In any case, the Packers have a lot of depth numbers wise at OLB, but most are injured/injury prone or under performing. Getting Ahmad Brooks is a good move. Kudos to Ted and his staff.

0 points
0
0
cuervo's picture

August 31, 2017 at 07:36 am

I agree that Gilbert has shown more that Fackrell or Elliot for that matter. I doubt they'll get rid of Fackrell this year, but next year....unless he shows any improvement at all, bye bye.

They had 6 OLB's last year, and I would expect they'll do the same this year, Matthews, Perry, Brooks,Fackrell, Elliot, Gilbert with Biegel on the PUP to start the year.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 31, 2017 at 09:52 am

Neither Perry's nor Matthews's injury was serious enough to endanger their status for week 1. Neither would've played many snaps in the preseason finale, anyway. I would argue that this signing says Elliott's back is a problem.

0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:23 am

I think it's a combination of Elliot's back AND Biegels pending IR status.
If Biegel was healthy and looked like a contributor in this defense, I doubt they would have signed a guy like this.

0 points
0
0
dblbogey's picture

August 31, 2017 at 02:15 pm

Ted tried to get something for Sitton. Hard to make a deal when no team wants to deal. Lane Taylor is much younger, much cheaper, was solid last year and looks even better this year. Turned out to be a great move, Sitton was causing problems in the locker room ranting about a new contract extension. Hope Sitton enjoys his final couple of years with the Bears. He has to wish he hadn't forced his way out of GB.

0 points
0
0
carusotrap's picture

August 31, 2017 at 07:21 am

"He's expected to be ready to step into his new role"

Yeah, with the condition of the OLB corps, I'd imagine Brooks' first practice was on the tarmac as he stepped off the plane.

0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

August 31, 2017 at 07:32 am

I am grateful that we shored up the OLB group. My hesitation on Ahmad Brooks comes with his 49ers release and his cheap, 1 year signing. Brooks couldn't show enough to make a weak team that, I presume, needs some veteran leadership. Brooks also signs a relatively cheap one year contract that puts him close to the end of career. Is he done and just topping up on the way out? I hope not - because we need him

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 07:38 am

49ers primary reason was to get younger and they switched defenses. Brooks really didn't fit in their 4-3 scheme anymore. He is a perfect fit for the Packers 3-4 defense.

0 points
0
0
Fire_Gute's picture

August 31, 2017 at 07:51 am

When a team that's going nowhere cuts vets, especially ones that don't fit a new system, it isn't always because of the player. Brooks will be retired by the time the 49ers are relevant. They have to figure out what they can get out of the young players they have invested in, so they can invest their draft picks and free agent money in the best place for the future.

0 points
0
0
croatpackfan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 08:36 am

I trust Packers coaches made right decision. Ahmad Brooks was practicing yesterday in front of them... So, it was not just talking and walking in. He has to show something.

0 points
0
0
Mojo's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:56 am

Razer, your comment brings to mind a question I'll pose to the greater audience. Who would have been the better one year signing; J. Peppers or Brooks?

0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:52 am

Excellent question. Assuming no drop-off in Peppers from last year, I'd say it's a toss-up. I don't know about their total tackle numbers, and too lazy to look it up.

0 points
0
0
cuervo's picture

August 31, 2017 at 11:55 am

Brooks, he's much better in the run game. Peppers offers a bit more as a rusher, but as an all around player at point in their career...Brooks gets the nod. Peppers is a one trick pony at this time.

0 points
0
0
lou's picture

August 31, 2017 at 02:54 pm

Agree because of Peppers age, remember how sudden Jeff Saturday and Hardy Nickerson hit the wall after the Packers acquired them. Peppers is a true HOF talent, wish him well going up the all time sack ladder, class guy as well.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 01, 2017 at 01:02 am

Mojo: I'd say Brooks. If he h

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 01, 2017 at 01:02 am

Mojo: I'd say Brooks. If he has to, Brooks can play 900 snaps. Peppers can't.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 07:37 am

This was just a really good signing. The thing that I liked most about it was Thompson saw a weakness, he knew he was awfully thin at OLB and he went out and got a guy who would be a perfect fit in the defense.

This most gives them 3 proven OLB's. While I am very high on Elliott, this move needed to be made IMO. Fackrell still has a ways to go, and Biegel going on the PUP for the first 6 weeks made the position thin fast.

I like the signing also so they didn't rush Biegel back into action. This will allow him to be fully healed. While some may say that Biegel's season is wasted, I say lets not write him off yet. I brought it up yesterday but Bosa last year didn't play until the 6th game. And he went on to have a really productive rookie year. I'm not comparing Biegel to Bosa and saying he will have the same production (Bosa is a much better player). Just saying that players coming in later in the year can still have an impact.

This was just a really good signing. It goes a long with all the other signings that Thompson has made. Bennett, Kendricks, Evans, Francois, House and now Brooks.

0 points
0
0
croatpackfan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 08:38 am

I believe many olf you will be surprised with Vince Biegel when he'll start to play for Packers...

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:32 am

I wish both him and Adams could have played in the preseason. To bad for them.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:48 am

I don't think anyone is really slamming Biegel, but we have to remember that he's 6 weeks away from PRACTICING if he goes on the PUP. By all accounts, he's a smart dude and will have had plenty of time to learn the play book, gain some upper-body strength and work on his conditioning, but he's going to still be raw as sin and the game is going to be moving about a million mph to him. How much he'll really be able to contribute and when he'll be able to do it is an unknown. I hope you're right, but I think it's unlikely that he'll be able to contribute a whole lot this season.

0 points
0
0
croatpackfan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 12:40 pm

I believe he is better player at the position than TJ Watt... And I'm quite sure in that.

0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

August 31, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Exactly. Everyone keeps saying he is six weeks away with the PUP, but he hasn't even participated in a single, full-pads practice with any NFL vets yet. We have no clue where Bielgel is at physically or mentally at this point. No knock on Biegel, but to expect him to make a meaningful contribution before December at this point is foolish. On the other hand, having him fresh in December and January could be a God-send.

0 points
0
0
dschwalm's picture

August 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm

I hope he impresses me, Croat, because, I have my worries - not much evidence on which to base that assessment, but I do

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

August 31, 2017 at 09:54 am

It's going to be more than 6 games for Biegel if he goes on the PUP....

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:32 am

Well 6 games and then he can practice for 3 or something?

Assuming he is ready to go, he could be a valuable player late in the year for us.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 01, 2017 at 01:10 am

I don't understand, Dobber. If Biegel goes on the PUP, he is eligible to play week 7. If you're are suggesting that if he goes on PUP, where he cannot practice for 6 weeks so he won't be good enough to play until December (I think the answer is really 2018), then I agree.

I have no stats. Given a 4th round player who misses all the OTAs, minicamps, TC, and all the preseason games, then goes on PUP, I'd bet that the % of such players being able to contribute significantly is in the single digits. I'd hope that he could be a 3rd down pass rushing specialist, but I don't really think that is his forte.

0 points
0
0
EdsLaces's picture

August 31, 2017 at 08:27 am

I can not wait to watch him in a packers uniform. This defense is gonna be surprisingly better this year and I can't wait. When it comes to the other guys ......keep Gilbert over Fackrell. I heard Fack called the worst linebacker to ever wear a packers jersey yesterday in some random article hahaha...

0 points
0
0
holmesmd's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Taryn's man crush. Dude is frail and can't seem to play with any aggression. SMH. That's a tough 2nd round whiff for TT.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 01, 2017 at 01:12 am

He was a late 3rd rounder. Way too early to suggest TT whiffed.

0 points
0
0
Samson's picture

August 31, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The "D" can't help but be better in 2017. The FA signings have not only added talent but veteran leadership.

I really believe 2017 is shaping up to be a special season. The injury level needs to be low and the Pack need to start the season strong. --- The first 7 games (before the bye week) could determine the whole season.

0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

August 31, 2017 at 01:01 pm

It is NEVER about the first seven games. Don't get me wrong, they all count if you are looking for a bye. But the truth is this team could start 0-2 and still win the Super Bowl. December is the month where you see what you have. Has King matured into a legitimate starter by December? What is the injury situation heading towards the playoffs? Are Bakh and Bulaga healthy or have we had to plug in Murphy/Spriggs/Barclay? How is that replacement guy doing? Is Adams having a break-out season? Has Bennett jelled with Rodgers? Has the defense jelled? None of these questions need to be answered on the first seven games.

0 points
0
0
Samson's picture

August 31, 2017 at 01:12 pm

My post talked about seven games, not only 2. --------- Any team still has a chance at a SB even if they start 0-2. --- How about 3-4 or 2-5 after seven games?

3 or 4 losses before the bye could mean another season where GB has to play on the road to secure a SB berth. I'd rather play in GB than Atlanta or Seattle or Dallas.

0 points
0
0
dblbogey's picture

August 31, 2017 at 02:22 pm

Well, they started 4-6 last year, and made it to the NFC Championship game.

0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

August 31, 2017 at 03:18 pm

Bingo!

0 points
0
0
Wiscokid's picture

August 31, 2017 at 01:02 pm

I wonder with the glut of players soon to hit the market if they will be picking up anyone else to bolster the roster.

0 points
0
0
Wiscokid's picture

August 31, 2017 at 01:02 pm

I wonder with the glut of players soon to hit the market if they will be picking up anyone else to bolster the roster.

0 points
0
0
TarynsEyes's picture

August 31, 2017 at 01:42 pm

' Stability ' appears of description that can sway back and forth like a pendulum or up and down as a teeter totter in the minds here.
Stability was the cry for the retaining of Perry as in Thank God we have him.
Stability was pinned on Matthews be in inside, no outside, roving.
Stability was Peppers where after multiple seasons the linebacker position remained unstable throughout.
Stability is now on a player just signed..Brooks.
Stability cannot be obtained by denying the blinding weaknesses of those unstable, inconsistent players. This will ensure the new stabilizer will likely be unstable as his expectation will be of too high a demand.

0 points
0
0
lou's picture

August 31, 2017 at 02:57 pm

Stability is New England and Green Bay setting a record by going to the Playoffs 8 straight seasons.

0 points
0
0
TarynsEyes's picture

August 31, 2017 at 04:10 pm

Linebacker play since the SB has not been stable the vast majority of time and is not the reason for 8 consecutive playoff particiation trophy winners. Which us the articles intent...linebacker stability.

0 points
0
0
lou's picture

August 31, 2017 at 05:01 pm

I agree on the linebacker INstability, it stared when Bishop went down and we could never get a solid core from that time on with CMIII and Perry down too often and attempts at moving DE's to stand up LB with little results (Neal & Jones). In regards to that position group you are right.

0 points
0
0
cheesehead1's picture

August 31, 2017 at 04:23 pm

This D should be improved but I'll believe it when I see it. Waiting to see a Biegel get some action, whenever that is....IMO, watch out for MIN, they were devastated by injuries last year.

0 points
0
0
holmesmd's picture

August 31, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Great defense, pedestrian offense. No need to worry

0 points
0
0