With the Aaron Rodgers-Jets rumors truly heating up, free agency and the upcoming draft are the last things on Green Bay Packers fans’ minds. The landscape of the team could change tremendously over the next few weeks depending on how everything plays out.
Next Monday, all unrestricted free agents across the NFL will become available to negotiate with other teams. Come Wednesday, and the free agents will be able to physically agree to their deals. The Green Bay Packers will have an opportunity to re-sign their looming free agents before other teams begin to negotiate.
Green Bay Packers Expect 14 Potential Free Agent Departures
Clearly the Packers will not be able to retain all 14 of their unrestricted free agents. Along with this, there is not a reason to bring back some of the players as well. Green Bay will have to decide which of the following players are worth keeping, and which ones will find a new home. Below are the players and their statistics from last season:
- S, Adrian Amos: 102 tackles, one sack, one interception, five pass defenses
- WR, Allen Lazard: 60 receptions, 788 yards, six touchdowns
- K, Mason Crosby: 86.2% Field goal percentage, 112 points, long of 56 yards
- TE, Robert Tonyan: 53 receptions, 470 yards, two touchdowns
- TE, Marcedes Lewis: six receptions, 66 yards, two touchdowns
- CB, Keisean Nixon: 23 tackles, one forced fumble, one interception, one kick off return touchdown
- WR, Randall Cobb: 34 receptions, 417 yards, one touchdown
- DL, Jarran Reed: 52 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries
- DL, Dean Lowry: 43 tackles, 0.5 sacks, one kick blocked
- S, Dallin Leavitt: 13 tackles
- S, Rudy Ford: 44 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery
- LB, Eric Wilson: 17 tackles, one sack
- CB, Corey Ballentine: five tackles, one forced fumble
- Edge, Justin Hollins: 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble
The Green Bay Packers will have plenty of decisions ahead of them regarding their free agents. Some players will likely be easy decisions for the franchise to move on from. However, there may be some players the Green Bay Packers will work hard to keep.
Upcoming Packers Free Agents Worth Keeping
The first name that every Packers fan will say is the speedy corner back Keisean Nixon. Nixon stepped up and played more in coverage this year than he ever has, and even recorded an interception. However, the biggest value that Nixon presents is his ability in the return game. With a return touchdown and 1009 kick return yards, Nixon cemented himself as a dangerous returner last season.
Bringing back Keisean Nixon will not only add to the return game, but also provide depth at corner back. The Packers will not need to bring back Corey Ballentine if Nixon re-signs. Another corner back will be acquired in free agency or the draft as well to help deepen the room. Another defensive back the Green Bay Packers should consider keeping is safety Rudy Ford.
Ford was a fan favorite during preseason and then got his chance during the season after injuries occurred in the secondary. Ford recorded an abundance of tackles in a short amount of playing time. His versatility also carries over to the return game, where Ford can deliver punishing hits.
More than likely, the Green Bay Packers will choose to let the aging veterans go. Dean Lowry, Jarran Reed, Eric Wilson, and Justin Hollins should get the chance to speak to other teams. Reed in particular had a pretty good year and could be signed when he becomes a free agent.
Adrian Amos and Allen Lazard may look to find new opportunities elsewhere following less productive years. Amos had a fantastic year when focusing on run support, but struggled in coverage with a 45.6 rating, according to PFF. Lazard had a fairly productive season, but not the top receiver takeover that the Packers’ fans were hoping for. If Lazard becomes a free agent, there should be a fair amount of interest across the league for him.
Follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content and @JarrettGuerrera on Twitter. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Check out 97.3 The Game on iHeart Radio!