While the 2016 NFL Draft is a little over a week away, Ted Thompson continued his busy offseason this week by signing free-agent outside linebacker Lerentee McCray.
McCray, who was a set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but was not tendered a contract by the Broncos, will not count against the compensatory draft formula for next season.
During the past two seasons, McCray has played a decent amount of snaps for Denver. In 2014, he played 318 total, with 118 coming on defense. Last season, he played 121 on defense and notched 1.5 sacks for the eventual Super-Bowl champions. He also played 234 snaps on special teams.
Obviously, this is by no means a blockbuster move, but it’s one that could payoff in September. McCray hasn’t shown much pass-rushing ability in his career, but he does have a penchant for playing special teams, which is always a consideration for players near the end of the roster.
McCray is a decent athlete and it’s possible he could develop into a better edge rusher with the Packers than he was with the Broncos, given more of an opportunity, but with a solid depth chart that could expand come draft day, he is more likely to make his way in the kicking game.
McCray is going to be looking up at Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott on the depth chart at outside linebacker. Datone Jones should see some snaps there as well. So the deck is slightly stacked against him. However, if he can flash some on defense and standout on special teams, he might have a chance to stick with the 53-man roster.
Moves like signing McCray may not make headlines, but they add competition to your football team and at the very least, that’s what Thompson did by bringing in the three-year veteran.