The Green Bay Packers are one of the most storied teams in NFL history, and they have had plenty of big free agent signings that have made big impacts throughout the years. Some of the most storied players in the franchise’s history were brought to the team through free agency.
What is rather funny about the Packers history, especially when discussing Packers free agency tomfoolery, is the fact that for the longest time Green Bay was not considered a destination spot by media members. It wasn’t until Reggie White signed (probably more on him in a minute), that people understood the fact that players will go pretty much anywhere provided the money, chances at success, and the like, are all lined up correctly.
Enough caveats and prefaces, though. Let’s break down the best Packers signings in franchise history.
5. Frank Winters (1992-02)
Frank Winters signed with the Packers in 2002 and was a staple on the team’s offensive line for years. He made 141 starts in 156 games during his time in Green Bay. He played center and left guard and had a great relationship with Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
The center-quarterback relationship is ultra important and Winters sure didn’t hurt the success that Favre had when he was snapping him the ball. It was a dynamic relationship that lasted a long time.
Here’s to hoping his name gets remembered not only relative to Packers history, but in the grander NFL lore. He truly is one of the best Packers signings in franchise history.
4.Willie Wood (1960-71)
Willie Wood played his entire career with the Packers, but he was never drafted, so he signed as a free agent. Wood was an elite safety and punt returner that was named to the 1960’s all-decade team.
Wood started 150 games for the Packers and picked off 48 passes. He was a ball-hawking safety that had a knack for finding the football. Quarterbacks would stop looking to his side of the field because they knew it would probably end in an interception.
A lockdown corner before it had a name, Wood make an entire side of the field inoperable for opposing gunslingers. Yes. He was just that good.
3. John Kuhn (2007-15)
A fullback? Despite the position becoming extinct even before the talented blocker joined the folk, this became a relatively large pickup for a Green Bay team that found a true diamond in the rough.
KUHNNNNN! That was a chant that would often ring out after fullback John Kuhn touched the ball at Lambeau Field. The Packers signed Kuhn and even though he played fullback, he was one of the more popular players in franchise history.
Kuhn’s best season stat-wise was in 2010 when he rushed 84 times for 281 yards and four touchdowns. He also was a key part of the transition for Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. He helped open big holes for running backs, and will forever be loved by the fans.
2. Charles Woodson (2006-12)
Arguably one of the greatest and most dynamic cornerbacks in the history of the sport. Also, at least for those who follow college football, one of the most entertaining all-around talents to have ever played corner, returned kicks, and messed around at the wide receiver positions.
Charles Woodson originally didn’t want to play for the Green Bay Packers entering 2006 free agency, but he was convinced to do so, and it was a great marriage for both teams.
During his seven years in Green Bay, he earned four Pro Bowl trips and made four All-Pro teams. During the 2010 playoffs, when the Packers won the Super Bowl, Woodson played some of the best football of his career.
Woodson was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and who knows if that would have happened if he went somewhere other than Green Bay.
1. Reggie White (1993-98)
Before we got going, it should be noted that White might be the biggest and most influential free agency signing in the history of the sport.
Is there really any doubt who the top free agent in Packers history is? Reggie White played only a few years with the Packers, but he was a star.
The defense needed a star, and White filled that role with some elite play. During his time with the Packers, he broke the NFL sack record, and although the record didn’t stand, some consider him the best to play that position of all time.
During the 1998 season, he was also named the Defensive Player of the Year. Not only is White the best free agent pickup in Packers history, he also is one of the best overall players in team history.