Packers Offseason To-Do & To-Don't List

The Packers had a very successful 2019 season. Although the team was far from perfect, they won 13 regular season games and made it to the NFC Championship Game. Now, after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Green Bay has a chance to improve an already talented and winning roster. Will they spend big? Will they avoid making moves and look to build in the draft? I will list all Packers free agents, key free agent targets I believe General Manager Brian Gutekunst should have on speed dial, and who to target in the draft.

Packers 2020 Free Agents

  • Blake Martinez
  • Bryan Bulaga
  • Tramon Williams
  • Kyler Fackrell
  • Allen Lazard
  • Tyler Ervin
  • Mason Crosby
  • Marcedes Lewis
  • B.J. Goodson
  • Jake Kumerow
  • Robert Tonyan
  • Chandon Sullivan
  • Ibraheim Campbell
  • Ryan Grant
  • Geronimo Allison
  • Jason Spriggs
  • Jared Veldheer
  • Malcolm Johnson
  • Will Redmond
  • Tyler Lancaster
  • John Leglue

Several of these players have made a significant impact in recent seasons, but who should the Packers really try to keep and who should they be willing to let walk?

Must Keep

RT Bryan Bulaga

Everybody knows about the injury issues that Bryan Bulaga has dealt with, and this past season was just the third time in his nine-year career that he was able to appear in all 16 games. But Green Bay can’t let a guy like Bulaga walk. Yes, they have depth with guys like Lane Taylor and Lucas Patrick who could takeover at right tackle, but there are very few offensive linemen better than Bryan Bulaga.

WR Allen Lazard

In a year of disappointing performances by the wide receivers in Green Bay, Allen Lazard shined brighter than anybody not named Davante Adams. After just one catch during his rookie campaign in 2018, Lazard trailed only Adams in receiving yards, and was only behind Adams, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and Jimmy Graham in receptions. Not bad for a guy who was on the practice squad to start the season. The Packers should target both veteran free agent wide receivers and youngsters in the draft, but they should not let one of the two only impactful wideouts from this past season get away.

RB/KR/PR Tyler Ervin

Tyler Ervin looked like Devin Hester compared to the other returners Green Bay had this season. Before Ervin got to Green Bay, the team somehow had a net negative in punt return yards through 12 games. Yikes. Ervin also had three touches in the regular season, two receptions and one rush for 10 yards. 21 yards on three touches is seven yards per touch, obviously an incredibly small sample size, but the Packers could benefit from a speedy, versatile back who doesn’t run backwards after catching a punt.

K Mason Crosby

There is a chance that Crosby will retire, but if he doesn’t, Green Bay definitely should bring him back. In 2019, Crosby hit 81.1% of his field goals, and had several game deciding misses. In the 2019 preseason, he was in a slight battle for his job with Sam Ficken. That seemed to have motivated him. He improved his FG% by 10.6%, hitting 22/24, including 8/10 from 40+. For a team that wants to win now, there is no reason to take a risk on a free agent or rookie kicker; go with the sure thing.

CB Tramon Williams

Like Crosby, Tramon very well could be retiring this offseason. Still, despite being 36, Tramon excelled in the slot this season. He had two interceptions, eight passes defended, and allowed just a 57.9 catch percentage – better than Kevin King and Adrian Amos. After Alexander, King and Tramon, the cornerback position in a question mark. Chandon Sullivan looked promising, but then guys like Josh Jackson and Ka’Dar Hollman haven’t given much reason for excitement. If Tramon does leave, Green Bay will need to fill the slot cornerback void.

MLB B.J. Goodson

This is probably the one I am least passionate about. However, because I see Blake Martinez leaving in free agency, I feel it would be a good idea to bring Goodson back. Goodson played next to Martinez a lot and showed a strong tackling ability. The Packers, as I will discuss later, need to target hybrid/pass coverage middle linebackers in the draft and free agency, and putting them next to a strong tackler like Goodson, who once led the New York Giants in tackles for an entire season before, could make for a solid middle of the field on defense.

Let Walk

MLB Blake Martinez

Despite being one of the NFL’s best tacklers for years, Martinez just isn’t worth the amount of money he is going to get. He is not good in pass coverage, and middle of the field pass coverage has been a glaring whole for a few years now in Green Bay. There are better players in free agency that Green Bay could grab for similar money, and there are several strong pass covering linebackers in the draft that could go in the early to middle rounds.

OLB Kyler Fackrell

If the Packers decide to hang on to Fackrell, I would not be upset in the slightest. I only have him on this list because I could see a team desperate for a pass rusher paying him more than he is worth. If Green Bay can keep him for cheap, he, with Rashan Gary, behind the Smiths, makes for strong depth in the EDGE rushing department. If Fackrell’s price rises, however, because of his 10.5 sacks in 2018, Green Bay should let him walk.

WR Geronimo Allison

Geronimo Allison was just flat out bad in 2019. He was supposed to be the number two, maybe number three behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling and he just flopped. With the plethora of talent in both the draft and free agency at the position, it is time for the Packers to move on.

Remaining Packer Free Agents

Keep

Let Walk

Marcedes Lewis, TE Jason Spriggs, OL
Ibraheim Campbell, S Jared Veldheer, OL
Chandon Sullivan, CB Ryan Grant, WR
Robert Tonyan, TE Malcolm Johnson, FB
Jake Kumerow, WR Will Redmond, S
Tyler Lancaster, DL John Leglue, OL

NFL Free Agents Green Bay Should Target

Wide Recievers:

  • Robby Anderson, 27
  • Emmanuel Sanders, 33
  • Randall Cobb, 30

Robby Anderson has a ton of talent, but he has been catching passes from the likes of Sam Darnold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, and Geno Smith. Imagine him with Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay needs a deep threat and Anderson should be their guy. He will garner a lot of interest and will come with a high price tag, but Green Bay needs to be willing to spend at this position

Emmanuel Sanders is six years older than Anderson, but he still performs at a high level. Sanders would be much cheaper than Anderson and would be a very solid, proven man for a depleted wide receiver depth chart.

Randall Cobb. I don’t really need to say anything else. Cobb has an incredible relationship with Aaron Rodgers, and after seeing how all of the receivers behind Adams performed, it became clear letting Cobb go was a mistake.

Middle Linebackers:

  • Cory Littleton, 26
  • Joe Schobert, 26
  • Danny Trevathan, 30

Instead of spending the money to keep Martinez, Green Bay should spend that and then some on Cory Littleton. Littleton is a great tackler like Martinez, but is FAR SUPERIOR in pass coverage. Over the last two seasons, Littleton recorded 259 tackles, five interceptions and 21 passes defended. He will be expensive, but totally worth it.

Joe Schobert is similar to Littleton. Great tackler and would be an upgrade over Martinez in pass coverage. Like Littleton, he will have a high price tag, but since this is the biggest position of need, the Packers can’t be cheap.

Cornerbacks

  • Logan Ryan, 29
  • Kendall Fuller, 25

Logan Ryan is coming off of the best year of his impressive career. He had four interceptions and a career high 18 passes defended. Ryan has mostly played on the outside, but he has a skillset that could move him into the slot, or the Packers could even try to move Jaire Alexander inside to lockdown the middle. Ryan would be an expensive, but massive improvement.

Kendall Fuller isn’t anywhere near as good as Logan Ryan, or as good as his brother in Chicago, Kyle, but he has a very good skill set, especially for the slot, which Green Bay may need to fill if Tramon is gone.

Defensive Linemen:

  • Andrew Billings, 24

A former fourth-round pick in 2016, Andrew Billings hasn’t amounted to much in the NFL after a great college career. Despite that, he is just 24 years old and has a great skill set. On the line, the Packers have Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, Kingsley Keke and Tyler Lancaster (UFA). Assuming the Packers aren’t sold on Adams, Keke or Lancaster, taking a flier on Billings wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Packers Draft Targets

1st Round:

  • WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
  • WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
  • WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
  • WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
  • WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado

Several to all of those guys could be gone by the 30th pick in the first round, but assuming one of them falls, the Packers need to take one of them. Wide receiver is easily the weakest position and it requires first round attention, whether they sign a veteran or not.

2nd Round:

  • ILB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
  • ILB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech

Both Murray and Brooks have shown strong ability in pass defense, so going with my theme from earlier, pairing either of them with Goodson (or hopefully Cory Littleton or Joe Schobert), the Packers defense would become much more versatile.

3rd Round:

  • ILB Troy Dye, Oregon
  • CB Levert Hill, Michigan

Should the Packers not select an inside linebacker in the first 2 rounds, Dye would be a good option to look for the in the 3rd. Dye is strong both in pass and run defense and could be a nice pick. Lavert Hill excels in the slot and should definitely be looked at the in the event that Tramon Williams does not return.

Biggest Positions of Need, Ranked

  1. Wide Receiver
  2. Inside Linebacker
  3. Tight End (if Lewis and Tonyan leave, and assuming Jimmy Graham is cut)
  4. Cornerback
  5. Defensive Line

Is there anybody or any position I missed? Let me know who you want to see the Packers target in either the comment sections of the replies to the tweet!

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