Yesterday was the first day of the tampering period in free agency, where basically deals that have been talked about for weeks are finally made public but teams have to wait till Tuesday afternoon to officially sign these players. This time is always troubling for some fans, because they want to see their teams spend, spend, and over spend on guys. Yesterday was no different, you had teams like the Lions, Raiders, Jets, Jaguars, and the Redskins spend big. What do all those teams have in common? Well, usually they suck as do their front offices. But that didn’t stop Packer fans from freaking the fuck out because Landon Collins, a guy a highlighted in a blog, got signed by the Redskins for a ridiculous deal.
So how was Packers twitter taking day 1 of free agency? Quite well.
@packers Here we go. Another year and more of the same. Keep doing nothing new and expecting different results. How??!! By staying the same we keep getting worse as everyone else is making changes. Why doesn’t this management understand that? WE NEED MORE PLAYMAKERS!
— Gustavo E Perez (@guseperez) March 11, 2019
And crickets from my Packers. Another year of mediocrity coming right up!
— rick peuser (@PeuserRick) March 12, 2019
Jesus Christ Packers make a fucking move in free agency.
— Ryan Mikorski (@7RyanMikorski15) March 11, 2019
I’ve yet too see the very active free agency @packers promised as every free agent we should be signing are going other places. Y’all cheap as hell. Sitting on ten picks, 2 firsts, probably gonna draft a safety in this super open safety market and we coulda had AB and Collins.
— Zak Attack (@ZakAttack34) March 11, 2019
— Jason Fielder (@JasonFielderTV) March 11, 2019
Love me a Ted Thompson zombie tweet.
Can we as Packers fans just all agree to stop talking about free agency rumors? Its never gonna happen. The Packers dont sign anybody and it just gets everyone's hopes up for no reason
— Greg (@locher27) March 12, 2019
— Courtney (@courtwoah) March 12, 2019
And if you want some real entertainment, go read Aaron Naglers mentions, holy hell.
I have to imagine Mark Murphy is on the phone with 345 Park to find out what the procedure is for forfeiting a season. https://t.co/V5RGVZ0qhv
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) March 11, 2019
Anyway lets to go the point, the Packers are reportedly going to sign two very solid free agents later today, at two positions of great need: edge rusher and safety.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2019
The #Packers are expected to bring in a huge addition, bringing in former #Ravens edge rusher Za'Darius Smith, sources say. They tried to trade for him a few years ago, are in prime position to sign him now.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2019
So let’s start with Za’Darius Smith, and OLB coming from the Baltimore Ravens. Smith went to school at Kentucky and was a 4th round pick in the 2015 draft. The past four years in Baltimore, Smith has only started 16 games but he’s been effective. He’s totaled 18.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 119 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 52 QB hits. What the Packers are hoping here, is that a full year of starting at the edge will keep his production rising. Although he didn’t start in Baltimore, the edge rusher is so important and there’s so many different packages on defense for rushing the passer, I wouldn’t look much into only 16 starts in Baltimore. He played on one of the most talented defenses in the league for four years. Details of the contract are not available yet but this is a good pickup for the Packers. Compared to the top edge rushers available, they probably got Smith cheaper, and he is a younger guy that could really explode onto the season given a starting gig. Smith also played in a 3-4 defense at Baltimore so he will have little adjustment coming to play in Mike Pettines system.
The other signing the Packers made was safety Adrian Amos coming over from the Chicago Bears. He was a 5th round pick from Penn State by the Bears who was a starter from get go, so he has a lot of experience already in just four years. Out of 60 games played, he’s stared 56 of them with 3 INTS, 18 PDs, 3 FF, 3 FR, 269 tackles, 13 TFL, and 2 QB hits. Unlike Smith, the Bears played primarily a 4-3 defense so it will be a little bit of adjustment for Amos but I’m positive the Packers didn’t go after any guy that Pettine didn’t think would fit good in his system. Regardless if you thought Amos was the best safety available or the 8th best safety available, the Packers upgraded at that position. They now have their free safety and can try to fill the other safety position in the draft, or move some guys around on the roster. It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers decide to keep Tramon Williams at safety, which in that case Amos would play more of the Strong Safety and Tramon would play that Free Safety roll. Either way, Packer fans should be happy about these two signings.
The Packers have now addressed two of their biggest needs with the edge rusher and safety position. We do not know the details of how much these guys are getting paid, but let’s look at what else the Packers have done, and what positions they can still address in free agency. The Packers have also tendered these players:
- Reggie Gilbert (OLB)
- Robert Tonyan (TE)
- Lucas Patrick (OL)
- Jake Kumerow (WR)
- Justin McCray (OL)
- Fadol Brown (DL)
So what else should the Packers try to address? Well they need help in the interior OL, still at EDGE rusher, ILB, and on the DL. You can never have enough depth at OL, Edge, and DL so don’t be surprised if the Packers sign some cheaper guys at those positions. Outside of those needs, the Packers are reportedly in the LeVon Bell mix, but I don’t think that has a chance in hell of happening. The other positions the Packers could use help at are WR, TE, S, and backup QB. I think WR is much more a possibility in free agency then QB.
Then lets look at what guys on the Packers are free agents. I’ve been adamant about this all year, Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews will get cheap offers from the Packers. I would be shocked if they didn’t. The question is whether those guys will take a cheap deal to stay with the Packers. I would give Clay the high chance at staying with the Packers than Cobb, especially if the rumors of Cobb to New England are true.
- The other big name out there is Brashaud Breeland. Breeland played well for the Packers at CB after not being signed for most of the year and I hope he comes back. It seems like he liked it here and is a good veteran guy to have in that group that is mostly young with Alexander, King, Brown, and Jackson.
- Next we need to look at Muhammed Wilkerson. With the Jets he was at times one of the most dominated defensive linemen in the league, and he played well for the Packers before getting hurt. I would like to see him back on a 1 year prove it deal again.
- At WR, we have Geronimo Allison. Rodgers has a good relationship with him so I think the Packers will try to keep him.
- Finally Ibraheim Campbell at safety is a guy Pettine really likes. Campbell filled in decently well and is a solid backup safety that knows this defense. Look for the Packers to also resign him.