The Green Bay Packers definitely have plenty of places to improve on after an impressive 15-1 2011 regular season.
The NFL draft will likely play a large part in filling holes, but Green Bay also needs to take a long, hard look at some veterans who won't be returning to their respective teams to fill holes.
Here are five veterans that are likely to be released that the Packers should pick up.
The Green Bay Packers desperately need to add a pass-rusher and John Abraham is one of the best available. He also appears ready to hit the free-agent market.
Yes, he'll cost Green Bay quite a bit of money. And yes, he isn't a natural 3-4 defensive end. However, Abraham is as talented as they come and would be a huge upgrade for the Packers.
If Green Bay can land him, it would make this defense one of the best in the league.
Much like with John Abraham, bringing in a player like Joey Porter would be simply to be able to add pressure to opposing quarterbacks.
Porter is old, but as a straight pass-rusher, I believe he still has what it takes to be effective in the league. He may be only able to play on third downs, but that is all that the Green Bay Packers need right now.
Sure, Porter may only be a year- or two-type player, but that may be all that the Packers need out of him.
This is sort of a stretch because of how valuable of a player Jim Leonhard is to the New York Jets. It is difficult to see them not re-signing Leonhard, but crazier things have happened.
This is also a stretch because of the unknown status of Nick Collins. Obviously if Collins can return, there is no need for Leonhard. However, if Collins is done with football, the Green Bay Packers will need to replace him.
Leonhard would be a near-perfect fit for this defense because he is an overachiever and would force his teammates to play up to his level. He also happens to be from the University of Wisconsin, which never hurts.
With Chad Clifton undergoing back surgery, the Green Bay Packers could have a need to fill at offensive tackle.
While Max Starks has had an up-and-down career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he could still be a nice fit for Green Bay. With Marshall Newhouse and Derek Sherrod still needing some time to develop into quality starters, the Packers could use a plug-in player like Starks.
Starks may not be the top offensive tackle available, but he would definitely be a great player to have on the roster until Newhouse or Sherrod are ready to take full responsibilities at the tackle position.
The Green Bay Packers are unlikely to re-sign Scott Wells, so finding a quality center needs to be one of their top priorities in the offseason.
Todd McClure is an older player who has spent his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons. While Atlanta may not be ready to move on from their franchise center, if the Packers can put a good enough offer on the table, McClure might make the decision to leave the only team he has known.
If the Packers lose Wells, which they probably will, they'll need a replacement. McClure might be that perfect veteran to fill their need.