Green Bay Packers: Top 8 Players Who Will Be Free Agents Next Season

J FCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2011

Green Bay Packers: Top 8 Players Who Will Be Free Agents Next Season

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    With the exception of Mason Crosby, the Green Bay Packers haven't had to hurry to re-sign any free agents this offseason or make many tough decisions.

    Allowing Daryn Colledge take off to the Cardinals and releasing Nick Barnett may not have been blatantly obvious moves, but those players certainly weren't crucial components to a repeat bid.

    Next season's free agent class may bring a little more excitement and possibly even a bit of change to the franchise. It includes several players who were very important to the Super Bowl run and Ted Thompson will have some tough decisions to make in 2012, unless, of course, extensions are offered during the season.



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8. Pat Lee, CB

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    A second-round bust, Pat Lee has spent most of his time in Titletown as a reserve and has only provided depth in the secondary.

    After his contract his up, it is unlikey he will be offered another.

7. Jarrett Bush, CB

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    Primarily a special teams performer in 2010, Jarrett Bush stepped in several times in the secondary after starters went down with injuries.

    Bush certainly had a Super Bowl to remember if nothing else. He picked off Ben Roethlisberger early in the game and then became the last player to touch the ball before it struck the ground on fourth down, signaling the Packers victory in the final minutes.

    There have been a few bright spot in his career in Green Bay, but he's also struggled mightily at times. It's hard to see the Pack making much of an effort to re-sign him in 2012.

6. Matt Flynn, QB

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    Matt Flynn showed his potential against the Patriots last season, and even though the Packers lost the game, it may have raised their second string quarterback's trade value.

    Flynn himself has been shooting down trade rumors, and it is likely that he will finish his rookie contract with his current team.

    He's an exceptional back up to Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers may be wise to test the trade market before they let him walk as a free agent.

    Flynn showed the ability to be a starter and may not want to stay in a reserve role.

5. Scott Wells, C

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    Scott Wells has been shifted in and out of the Pack's offensive line in the last few years and was almost released not too long ago.

    However, the 30-year-old center had his best season in 2010, and Mike McCarthy described his performance as Pro Bowl caliber.

    It will depend on his play whether the Packers will bring him back after this season, but there is no apparent replacement should they let him walk.

4. Ryan Grant, HB

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    The 2011 season will be a big one in determining Ryan Grant's fate in Green Bay after missing all of last season with a bum knee.

    He'll return as a starter, but it remains to be seen if he can keep the job away from James Starks.

    If both backs have success this season, the Packers may have to move on and let Grant go.

3. Jordy Nelson, WR

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    Jordy Nelson is likely to see more targets in 2011, especially with Donald Driver on the decline. His drops have been a problem, but he still managed to grab 140 yards in the Super Bowl against the Steelers defense.

    Nelson could emerge as the Pack's No. 2 receiver and depending on his success this season, he'll probably receive an extension or a nice new contract next offseason.

2. Josh Sitton, G

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    All offensive lineman are overlooked and underrated, but Josh Sitton's skills at guard have often gone unrecognized in the Packers recent success.

    He is one of the best at his position in the entire league, and he's trying to sign a long-term contract that will allow him to stay in Green Bay.

1. Jermichael Finley, TE

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    Jermichael Finley should be the Packers top free agent priority next offseason.

    When he's on the field, the 24-year-old pass catcher is one of the most difficult tight ends to cover in the NFL, and it's almost a guarantee that he will have a productive 2011 season in the Pack's offense.

    He has yet to play a full season, but even if he is injured again, his potential is enormous and the Packers would be wise to hold onto him.