3 positions the Packers must focus on improving in free agency
The Green Bay Packers had an extremely impressive season in 2019 in Matt LaFleur’s first year as head coach. Despite losing in the NFC Championship Game, there are a few positives that can be taken from the season.
First and foremost, the Packers can easily say spending an extensive amount of money last offseason paid dividends. Green Bay chose to invest in Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos in free agency and all three of them were key contributors for the defense.
Nearly a year later, the Packers are hoping to have another successful offseason — beginning with free agency. Even after a season that saw them one game away from the Super Bowl, Green Bay has some holes that need to be filled on the current roster.
Besides free agency, the Packers will also look to better the roster through the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the front office in Green Bay proved that they aren’t afraid to shell out some money in an attempt to boost the team. With that in mind, here are three positions the Packers must focus on improving in free agency.
3. Offensive tackle
In nearly a month, the NFL’s free-agency period will be underway. From now until then, the Packers are configuring ways they can re-sign Bryan Bulaga and keep their offensive line intact.
Given the current need for formidable right tackles, Bulaga could see quite a few teams willing to offer him a lucrative contract. If the Packers are unwilling to pay him what he can receive on the open market, it’s best they find his replacement in free agency.
While Bulaga is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, there are going to be cheaper options available in free agency. The best move for the Packers would be to draft their eventual starter and sign a veteran to start in the meantime. Of course, this is under the assumption that Bulaga is already headed elsewhere.
2. Tight End
Not too long ago, Brian Gutekunst —the GM of the Packers — said that he believed that Jimmy Graham wants to play in 2020. However, Gutekunst never made it clear that Graham would be back with Green Bay next season.
As a result, there’s a good chance that Graham is released by the team to free up more cap space this offseason. Despite the team being confident in Jace Sternberger, it wouldn’t hurt to add an experienced tight end to the roster.
Whether they bring back Marcedes Lewis or sign someone else, the Packers would be better off having a veteran tight end alongside Sternberger. A trio of Sternberger, Robert Tonyan, and a veteran could work well for Green Bay in 2020.
1. Defensive tackle
After shoring up the edge positions and signing Amos, the Packers had a much-improved pass defense in 2019. At the same time, the struggles of the run defense were well-documented throughout the year.
For instance, in the NFC Championship versus the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay didn’t stand a chance, San Francisco gashed the Packers for 285 rushing yards and all four of their touchdowns came on the ground.
As good as Kenny Clark is, he needs some help in the interior next season. Luckily for the Packers, there are going to be some stout run defenders available in free agency. Just to name a few options, Danny Shelton, Damon Harrison, and even reuniting with Mike Daniels could be possibilities.