The 2017 NFL draft is little more than a month away and right now, that’s probably what Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is focused on.
However, the Packers should be focused on using some of their $17 million in cap space (with money set aside to sign picks) to bolster their defense. One position in particular that needs help is inside linebacker.
With the first few waves of free agency over, there aren’t a ton of great players left on the market. But one player who would help the Packers immediately is linebacker Zach Brown.
Brown is a guy I have liked for a while. In fact, I advocated the Packers sign him last offseason. They didn’t and Brown went to Buffalo, where he excelled. In 2016, he racked up 149 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception and 11 tackles for loss. He also had four passes defensed.
Yet, despite putting up incredible numbers for the Bills, Brown is inexplicably, still a free agent. However, with both the Dolphins and Raiders expressing significant interest, it looks like he may sign elsewhere soon.
Brown, who has played four seasons in the NFL, is asking for $6 million a year. But with the way he has played over the years, with 410 tackles, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, seven interceptions, 17 passes defensed and 27 tackles for loss, you can see why.
It’s hard to see Thompson making a play for Brown. He’s just too conservative, especially with other teams bidding on Brown already. But if TT jumped into the fray and was willing to pay Brown close to what he wants, he would easily be the Packers most important addition of the offseason.
Brown would also be the solution to the Packers’ inside linebacker problem, one that has plagued them for years.