Packers Could Be Aggressive In Free Agency

Packers general manager Ted Thompson hasn’t been particularly aggressive in free agency during his 12-year stint with the franchise, but that could change this offseason. Along with prioritizing re-signing tight end Jared Cook, the Packers are poised to “go and get some free agents this year,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said Thursday on NFL Network (via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com).

Jared Cook [RELATED: Green Bay’s Top 3 Offseason Needs]

Thompson hasn’t avoided the open market as a GM, evidenced by past high-profile signings like Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett. However, his preference has been to sign free agents whom other clubs released because they don’t count toward the league’s compensatory draft pick formula. That’s the route Thompson took in 2014 to ink Julius Peppers and again last March to add Cook, whom the Rams had cut a month earlier, to a deal worth a modest $3.5MM.

In his first (and only?) season with the Packers, the 29-year-old Cook appeared in 10 games and caught 30 of 51 targets for 377 yards and a touchdown. He was far more impressive in the Packers’ two-game playoff run, in which he combined for 13 receptions on 23 targets, 181 yards and two scores.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers endorsed Cook’s potential return earlier this week, saying that re-upping him “needs to be near the top of the priority list.” For his part, Cook seems eager to return to Green Bay.

“It would be good to come back and play in a familiar offense, and learn even more from 12 (Rodgers),” he told Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com.

In addition to Cook, the Packers will have decisions to make on Peppers and fellow linebacker Nick Perry, guard T.J. Lang, running back Eddie Lacy and defensive back Micah Hyde, among others, before free agency opens March 9. The team has nearly $36MM in cap space, which will help it keep at least some of those soon-to-be free agents and make outside additions if it wants, and could free up $9MM more by releasing Sam Shields. The cornerback has suffered four concussions in the past six years, the latest of which limited him to one game – the season opener – in 2016. The money saved in moving on from Shields would help the Packers “reload,” which Rodgers believes is a must for the NFC North champions. It appears Thompson agrees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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22 comments on “Packers Could Be Aggressive In Free Agency

  1. tylerall5

    I believe Lang is their top priority. Their line is already shaky, and not having Lang there would be like making Rodgers stand in the middle of an open highway.

    • bdpecore

      I think signing Lang will depend on how his surgery and rehab progress. I could see them just as easily resigning Tretter to start at G or move Bulaga to G and start Spriggs at RT

      • fisher40

        Look for the pack to draft an OG in the early rounds, 2nd or 3rd. They need to add depth to their interior line. As far as Free agency, I’d like them to sign a good CB, but with Thompson’s reputation, he’ll settle for some bottom feeders

        • nsoddycu@gmail.com

          The Packers rarely take OL in the first couple rounds,if they do they are stand out tackles (Bulaga and Spriggs). Look for them to address the secondary early and often in the draft as well as bringing in a top fa corner to lead and teach the young guys. As for interior linemen, they will find gems like they always do in the 4th and 5th round of the draft.

    • json-api

      Shaky? Not even close! The Packers’ o-line was ranked as the best pass blocking line in the NFL…. think before you speak. Though, the Packers should sign Lang.

    • EEzy

      There lone was shaky?? Not great at run blocking but down the stretch they were probably the best pass blocking team in the NFL. How many times do you need to see Rodgers stand there for 7-10 seconds before he throws a TD to give the offensive line some credit? And that’s after they cut Sitton. The tackles are great. Center is good. Lane Taylor stepped up as expected. Bringing Lang back, after a MAJOR injury is not a priority. They need defensive backs….

  2. Clark

    Packers won’t spend any money in free agency like always defense is getting older and secondary will be awful once again, Cobb and many others will be cut but no big moves

    • json-api

      Then just stop being a packers fan, then. Obviously there’s no hope in this world. Stop being a whiny bitch. The Packers will get it done, but it still won’t be good enough for you since nothing makes you happy.

      • KYRedSox17

        In what world would you cut Cobb? He had similar numbers to Antonio Brown a couple years ago, and has great chemistry with Rodgers. And there’s not a FA WR that is more affordable/talented as Cobb. Worried Tennessee may try to poach him though.

    • Tyler nugent

      Why would the packers cut Cobb? He just signed a big extension and is a great receiver

  3. crazysull

    Bring back Lang and then prioritize Cook and possibly Lacy but I don’t know, they could role with Montgumery and bring back Starks who is cheaper to be their power back. Let Shields go and maybe trade Cobb for a 3rd rounder and a young CB/S with potential. But other than that bringing back Perry should be the last thing they worry about. I don’t see them going after big names unless they can get one for a good price

    • Tyler nugent

      This is the 2nd time on here that I have seen someone say get rid of Cobb. Why?! I’d rather get rid of jordy than Cobb.

      • Randy

        Gotta keep Jordy and Cobb. I think they should deal Matthew’s. He hasn’t performed up to par in 2 years anyway.

        • Tyler Nugent

          The reason I said that I would rather keep Cobb over jordy is because jordy has 1-2 maybe 3 and that’s a stretch, of good seasons left while Cobb has about 7 good years left.

    • Tyler nugent

      And perry led the team in sacks so why would he be the last thing to worry about? You have no idea what you are talking about.

      • stubby66

        okay first off Thompson’s got to learn that free agency can be a tool that can be used and they can benefit from it he sometimes takes the tendency of his way only his way and that’s the only way that works they need to re-sign Cooke Lane Hyde Lacey and good. Packers need to use free agency to go out and find a couple of linebackers couple down lineman and accept that they have failed in finding them before in all honesty Thompson’s got allowed himself to trust others and not just think he’s God’s gift to everything

        • Tyler Nugent

          Perry had 11 sacks this year which is pretty good. Bring back perry, Lang, cook, hyde, Tretter and Michael. Then we will still have about 20 mil in cap room to get us a couple of good players in free agency. But that will only happen if wolf is the GM. And Lacy had his chance and didn’t show any signs of sliming down or being more agile or quicker.

  4. curlylambeau

    I swear I saw this exact same headline around this time last off season.

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