Green Bay Packers: 5 Veteran Free Agents to Bring In for Training Camp
Considering the youth at these positions, the best way for the Packers to add depth would be with a veteran presence.
While the pickings for available free agents are lacking impact players, there are plenty of role players that the Packers could use.
Here are five veteran free agents the Packers should bring in before training camp.
Aubrayo Franklin, DT
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The worst thing that ever happened to Aubrayo Franklin was being signed by the New Orleans Saints.
It may sound crazy to call signing a contract for millions of dollars an awful thing, but it definitely was for Franklin.
Before signing with the Saints last season, Franklin was a successful 3-4 nose tackle for the San Francisco 49ers for four seasons. His size and ability to stop the run is why the Green Bay Packers would be wise to sign him before training camp.
With little experience behind B.J. Raji at nose tackle, the Packers could certainly use a previously successful role player to add depth at the position.
Franklin would not only be able to give Raji a much needed rest from time to time, but he would also provide a huge boost to the Packers' defense against the run.
Jim Leonhard, S
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The biggest issue surrounding Jim Leonhard heading into the 2012 season is his health. He's missed the latter parts of the past two seasons due to injuries and has yet to fully recover from his torn patellar tendon suffered in 2011.
However, when Leonhard is on the field, he has proven to be an extremely valuable asset. In fact, both times Leonhard got injured, the New York Jets defense suffered major setbacks.
With the Green Bay Packers filled with youth at safety, with players like M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian, Leonhard could immediately provide needed experience in the secondary. The big question is if he is healthy enough to make any type of impact other than in the locker room.
If healthy, it could be a sweet return for Leonhard, who enjoyed much success in his college days at the University of Wisconsin.
Andre Carter, DE
This isn't the first time that Andre Carter has felt the pressure of being unsigned heading into training camp. In fact, it was only last year that Carter was waiting for a phone call in July, when the New England Patriots came calling.
It turned out to be quite the move for New England, with Carter earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2011. However, injuries and the fact he's 33 years old has forced teams to hold off from signing Carter.
One of the weakest positions on the Green Bay Packers roster is across the defensive line. With Mike Neal and Anthony Hargrove suspended to start the season, the Packers could use a potential impact player like Carter to throw in the rotation.
While it is unlikely that Carter will make the Pro Bowl again in his career, when he's healthy, he is still capable of being a dangerous player. The Packers could certainly use a player like that on their defense.
Matt Roth, DE
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What makes Matt Roth different from the other defensive lineman that the Green Bay Packers should consider bringing in is his versatility.
Not only would Roth be able to play defensive end for Green Bay, he'd also be able to line up at outside linebacker.
While he isn't an exceptional athlete, he is an intelligent player who can make plays in a number of ways on the field. The Packers lack a type of player like Roth that they could plug in at a number of positions across the defense.
At 29 years old, Roth would certainly be worth taking a long look at for Green Bay.
Jake Scott, OG
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Finally, the first offensive player that the Green Bay Packers should consider bringing in for training camp is offensive guard Jake Scott.
Despite being a key member of the offensive line that allowed Chris Johnson to reach 2,000 rushing yards, Scott's wear-and-tear (117 games started) and age (31) caused the Tennessee Titan to part ways with him after the 2011 season.
However, Scott is still capable of starting in the NFL, and that type of talent is something that the Packers could use on the offensive line.
After seeing Chad Clifton, Derek Sherrod and Josh Sitton all miss time last year due to injuries, the Packers need to realize that they can't have too much depth across at guard, tackle or center.
What makes Scott such a great choice is that he would present only a slight drop in protection should Sitton and T.J. Lang get injured.
With protecting Aaron Rodgers the No. 1 concern in Green Bay, having a veteran backup like Scott could go a long way to keeping that goal possible.