Green Bay Packers: 7 Free Agents the Team Should Target
It's getting closer and closer to that time of year when the NFL, after a brief hiatus, starts to get rolling again.
We're just under a month away from the start of 2012 NFL free agency; it starts on March 13th, although some players can sign before.
The Green Bay Packers, despite going 15-1, have some needs for which they may at least glance at free agency. Here are seven of the big ones.
Scott Wells, C
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Scott Wells, who just recently turned 31, has been with the Green Bay Packers his whole career, and Packer fans should hope that little tidbit stays the same.
An undersized center who was a constant in the ever-changing offensive line for Green Bay, Wells is a good center who is likely worth more to the Packers than other teams.
Jermichael Finley, TE
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Though it seemed as if Jermichael Finley lost concentration at times and cost the team with some of his drops, he does have a good pair of hands.
Finley is expected to argue that he is a wide receiver and not a tight end, as the franchise tag makes the most sense for the Packers while they try to determine if they should iron out a long-term deal or not.
Cliff Avril, DE/OLB
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In an effort to add a pass-rusher opposite Clay Matthews, Green Bay might take a hard look at Cliff Avril, who was previously employed by the division foe Detroit Lions.
Avril's versatility is intriguing, and he's still young enough to pair with Matthews for a long time.
Jeremy Mincey, OLB/DE
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Jeremy Mincey, like several others on this list, would probably have to transition to becoming an outside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4 scheme.
Mincey recorded eight sacks this season, and since he isn't as high-profile as some of the others on this list, he would likely be cheaper. This adds to the whole additional pass-rush idea.
Jared Gaither, OT
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Though Jared Gaither had trouble throughout the season, once he was picked up by the San Diego Chargers, he started to perform.
This signing only makes sense if he comes cheaper than Chad Clifton, who the Packers would be free to release if Gaither is signed.
He was stellar in pass protection in San Diego, and Green Bay may not want to roll with Marshall Newhouse on the left side.
Mario Williams, OLB/DE
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Though his price could likely be driven through the roof, Ted Thompson and Co. should at least make an effort to sign Mario Williams.
Despite becoming the heaviest linebacker in NFL history last season, Super Mario still managed to record five sacks in five games and is one of the premier pass-rushers in the NFL.
Opposite Clay Matthews, Mario Williams would form a tandem that would destroy opposing quarterbacks, especially when teamed with an immediate contributor on defense through the draft.
Calais Campbell, DL
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At 6'8", 300 pounds and still only 25 years old, the Arizona Cardinals would be insane to let Campbell out of their sights in free agency.
Campbell will command big money after having a stellar season, and if the Packers land another one of these marquee free agents, they won't be able to pay up.
Still, a 3-4 defensive end is at or near the top of Green Bay's offseason wish list, and Campbell is the best available.