The Green Bay Packers haven’t been very busy since the start of unrestricted free agency, but they did make an intelligent, under-the-radar move, earlier this week by signing offensive lineman Lane Taylor.
Taylor, who was set to be a restricted free agent after playing in the league for three seasons as an undrafted free agent out of the Oklahoma State University, signed a two-year contract, worth a little more than $4 million before the free agent frenzy got underway.
It doesn’t seem like a significant move, but here’s why it was smart.
Without Taylor, the Packers would have little depth besides Taylor on the interior of their offensive line. J.C. Tretter is a center that can play guard in a pinch, but you need more than one quality backup and with Taylor, Green Bay now has it.
Over the last three seasons, Taylor has played a total of 30 games and has actually made a few starts and held up adequately. He’s not a stud or even a guy you necessarily want starting for you, but in a pinch, you could do a lot worse.
And after three years of evaluating him, the Packers obviously saw enough of a future in him to invest in multiple years and a decent amount of money for a backup lineman. One thing that might have contributed to that is the fact that both Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang are going to be free agents following this season, so at the very least, the Packers can have a competent player to throw in there, if the absolute worst happens and both players leave Green Bay for more money elsewhere.
Deals like the one with Taylor don’t make headlines, but they help your team win football games. Good teams, playoff teams, have a quality roster from 1-53 and the signing of Taylor helps Green Bay achieve that end.