Crosby Signing Likely Last – For Now

The Green Bay Packers are likely done with  their own veteran free agent signings until the league signing period starts on March 8.

With the announcement by the Green Bay Packers that they had signed kicker Mason Crosby to a new four-year contract general manager Ted Thompson will likely sit back and bide his time as the remainder of his 16-player free agent class sorts itself out.

Signing Crosby was a no-brainer.  There was no sure-fire replacement for him among the remaining 2016 veteran free agent class.  Drafting a rookie and developing him to be a reliable alternative in the tricky confines of Lambeau Field is problematic at best.  Bringing back the defensive line combo of Letroy Guion and Mike Daniels was also a solid move as there is currently no position player that remains a ‘must-sign’ heading into the signing period beginning March 8.

Rumors are circulating that the Packers and agents for BJ Raji and John Kuhn have been actively talking about returning to the team in 2016.  It is likely that representatives of other free agents such as Mike Neal and Nick Perry have had some discussion as well.

It is certainly possible that another home-grown Packers veteran will emerge from the group and ink a new contract prior to the free agent period begins.  More probably Russ Ball and Ted Thompson will let the process play out and the signings that will be done will occur after the players have tested the market.  The one player the Packers would most likely covet the most from the group is NT B.J. Raji.  There is a fair chance that Thompson will sign one or two from the trio of Raji, Neal and Perry.

They also know that they will lose certain players such Casey Hayward a young and accomplished cornerback who will be a hot commodity. 

According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com the Packers have five players who are deemed the most attractive among the top 99 veteran unrestricted free agents.  They are: 

Casey Hayward, #42 – a starter with questions, but young and can play inside or out

BJ Raji, #47 – a starter with questions, but can still clog up the middle

Mike Neal, #68 – a rotational player who needs the right role

Nick Perry, #77 – shows flashes but never lived up to his first-round pedigree

James Starks, #98 – a change of pace back who is not starting caliber

Losing any or even all of these unrestricted free agents would hardly be called crushing.  In addition by losing some of them the Packers would gain compensatory draft picks in 2017.

In addition to the 12 unrestricted free agents, two other classes of free agents will also come into play – restricted (players who will have three accrued seasons of experience and whose contracts are expiring) and exclusive rights (players have two or fewer accrued years of experience). G Lane Taylor and LB Andy Mulumba are restricted and Chris Banjo and Jason Perillo are the exclusive rights.   Banjo and Perillo are good bets to return and Taylor and Mulumba are probable given the low risk involved in bringing them back.

Again Packers fans need to be patient.  Any expectations of Green Bay signing any of the big name free agents would be foolhardy.  It just won’t happen.  But we can always hope.

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (6)

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

March 03, 2016 at 07:40 am

Ted Thompson's way is way of surprising people. Mostly positive one. So, I expect positive surprise from Ted!

0 points
0
0
egbertsouse's picture

March 03, 2016 at 08:16 am

I agree with TT's approach, wait and see. If teams want to overpay, let them walk. If you can get them relatively cheap, they might be worth bringing back. There is nobody that is a must-sign.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 03, 2016 at 08:49 am

Good article, and I agree, generally. You side-stepped the issue of Mulumba and Taylor: the issue is whether to tender them or not. I vote for not tendering and signing them for the minimum and for Taylor something a tad above minimum.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

March 03, 2016 at 09:18 am

Is Taylor really any better going forward than Rotherham? Probably not...

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 03, 2016 at 09:31 am

I have no idea whether Rotherham is better than Taylor. Taylor played in an NFL game and wasn't terrible. Only evidence I know of is regarding Rotherham is that GB paid him rookie minimum instead of PS money. Sounds like you agree that Taylor shouldn't be tendered anyway. Still, with Sitton and Lang age, injuries, surgeries, and contract year issues, any somewhat proven NFL OG has some value to GB.

0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

March 03, 2016 at 03:48 pm

We were 10-6 with them and we can be 10-6 or better without them. Thanks, Since '61

0 points
0
0