The Green Bay Packers have had a huge offseason so far in free agency and in the NFL Draft. It has been an offseason of big spending and defensive improvement. Green Bay has to feel good about their chances heading into the 2019 NFL season.
Brian Gutekunst made it clear that defense was the main priority this offseason. In free agency, he was able to sign Preston and Za'Darius Smith to help put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Packers also were able to poach safety Adrian Amos away from the Chicago Bears to help beef up their secondary.
In the draft, the Packers focused on defense in the first round twice. They were able to snag Michigan pass rusher Rashan Gary at No. 12 overall and then traded up to No. 21 to select Maryland safety Darnell Savage. Both players are expected to be immediate impact players for the defense.
While the Packers have to feel good about their defense, there is still one priority that they must focus on. That priority should be signing defensive lineman Mike Daniels to a contract extension.
That's right, even with the rumors that Daniels could end up being a surprising roster cut this offseason, the Packers should do everything they can to keep him. Daniels has been a top-notch player and leader for the defense and brings pass rushing and intelligence to the line.
Last season with Green Bay, Daniels ended up playing in just 10 games. He recorded 18 total tackles and just two sacks. His low numbers have added to the rumor mill about him potentially being released.
Two years ago in 2017, however, Daniels had a much different season. He racked up 49 total tackles, five sacks, and a forced fumble. He may not be a stat stuffing machine, but his production was obvious.
Daniels is 30 years old and still has a few good seasons left in him. Signing him to a three-year extension would be an ideal move for the Packers. He is a deadly duo alongside star defensive tackle Kenny Clark and will be a threat with even more pass rushing on the roster.
Green Bay finished tied for eighth in the NFL in sacks with 44.0 last season. Daniels didn't add many to that total, but there is good reason to believe that he will pick that up in 2019. In addition to the added pass rushers, Daniels is one of the hardest workers on the team and has proven that year in and year out.
Leadership is one of the most underrated aspects of any player and there are few better leaders than Daniels. He leads both vocally and with his play and his teammates respect him.
The team will have to figure out an extension for Clark as well, but Daniels is the kind of guy that you want to keep around. Green Bay knows what they are going to get from him on a weekly basis. If he stays healthy and plays to his capabilities, Daniels is going to have a huge season in 2019.
Obviously, an extension would only come at a reasonable price. Green Bay should not overpay to keep him around, but they certainly should see what they can do.
Daniels is an extremely valuable piece for the Packers and if they choose not to extend him, another team will happily throw money at him next offseason in free agency.