When it comes to free agency, the Green Bay Packers will have a lot to think about.
I mean a lot.
The list includes:
- Cornerback Sam Shields
- Defensive linemen B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly and C.J. Wilson
- Tight ends Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless
- Center Evan Dietrich-Smith
- Wide receiver James Jones
- Linebackers Mike Neal and Robert Francois
- Fullback John Kuhn
- Running back James Starks
- Quarterback Matt Flynn
According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers are approximately $28 million under the $126.3 million salary cap.
So the Packers have some money to play with. Also, the team can use the franchise tag on a key player if contract negotiations get stuck in the mud.
Here's the bottom line: Both general manager Ted Thompson and Russ Ball (the vice president of football administration/player finance) have a lot of work to do.
I believe the Packers will bring back a number of players whom I won't mention in the upcoming slideshow, including Kuhn, Flynn, Quarless, Francois and Wilson.
At this point, I don't see the Packers bringing back Starks due to the depth at the running back position. They also likely won't offer another deal to restricted free-agent safety M.D. Jennings.
Also don't expect the Packers to re-sign two other unrestricted free agents: offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse and quarterback Seneca Wallace.
In the following slides, I will talk about some other key free agents, plus I will offer my opinion on one other NFL player whom the Packers should be interested in signing in free agency.