The Green Bay Packers have already made some significant moves in NFL Free Agency, but with few quality players left to sign, there a few others the team should make and quickly.
Obviously, losing T.J. Lang was the biggest blow the Packers have suffered so far. Replacing Jared Cook with Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks is a good move and losing a guy like Micah Hyde, while it hurts, isn’t the end of the world.
However, the Packers still have around $28 million in cap space and some holes left to fill. With that in mind, here are four players Green Bay should sign to wrap up a successful couple weeks.
1 — Connor Barwin —
Certainly, there has been no shortage of calls for Ted Thompson to bring up Barwin, the former Eagles pass rusher. The former Cincinnati product may not be a double-digit sack guy anymore, but he finished with five last year and seven in 2015.
With Julius Peppers gone, Green Bay needs another skilled edge rusher and Barwin could be just the guy. Like Peppers, he would excel in a limited role. Signing Barwin is also the kind of move that could payoff big time in the playoffs.
2 — Eddie Lacy —
A lot of Packers fans are ready to move on from Lacy — I’m not one of them. Lacy averaged 5.1 yards per carry in 2016 (5 games) and would have had a good season had he not gotten hurt.
I wouldn’t break the bank for Lacy, but I also wouldn’t allow him to sign with the Seahawks or Vikings for cheap. He is only entering his fifth year in the league and is just two year removed from back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons.
If Lacy gets back in the fold, just imagine the kind of running game Green Bay could have with him and Ty Montgomery toting the rock. It just makes too much sense not to do.
Update: Lacy signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks according to his agent.
3 — Davon House —
At this point, there are very few starting-caliber cornerbacks left in free agency and House is one of them. While he didn’t play well for Jacksonville last season, he has five career interceptions and 50 passes defensed.
Back in 2014, House’s last season in Green Bay, he excelled in man coverage and had 10 passes defensed. In 2015, his first season with the Jags, he had 23.
The former fourth rounder may not be a shutdown corner, but he knows the system in Green Bay and could step in and contribute right away. The Packers can’t seriously rely on three third-year guys that struggled and a rookie or two in the draft. They need veteran help at corner and House is the best option available.
Update: According to multiple media reports, House has signed a one-year, $3.7 million deal.
4 — Datone Jones —
It may seem redundant to keep Jones and sign Barwin, but with Nick Perry, Clay Matthews and Kyler Fackrell topping the depth chart, another veteran presence would be welcomed.
Plus, Jones is more than just an outside linebacker. He can play defensive end in the 3-4 or the 4-3 and is also a capable interior pass rusher. I thought Jones played well on the edge last season and would like to see another year of it before the team cuts bait with a former first-round pick.
This move isn’t as necessary if the team shocks everyone and signs Barwin, but we all know that isn’t likely to happen. So in terms of veteran depth at pass rusher, Jones is one of the few choice Green Bay would likely give serious consideration.