Setting Odds for the Packers Signing Their Top 8 Free-Agent Targets

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Setting Odds for the Packers Signing Their Top 8 Free-Agent Targets
Darren Hauck/Getty Images

When it comes to free agency, the Green Bay Packers will have a lot to think about.

I mean a lot.

The Packers have 17 unrestricted free agents who will be eligible to play with any other team in the NFL in a little over a month when free agency begins.

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.

In addition, the team must keep in mind that two of their best wide receivers, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

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. 

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