Packers' Rashan Gary Reportedly Has 5th-Year Contract Option Picked Up

Doric SamApril 29, 2022

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 22:  Rashan Gary #52 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after making a sack during the first half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field on January 22, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

After using both of their first-round picks in the 2022 NFL draft on defensive players, the Green Bay Packers made another move Friday to fortify that side of the ball.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the team picked up the fifth-year option on linebacker Rashan Gary, which will keep him under contract through the 2023 season.

Fowler added that Gary's salary in 2023 will be between $10.9 million and $11.7 million, depending on playing time.

A 2019 first-round pick out of Michigan, Gary is coming off his best year. He was moved to outside linebacker full time after the season-ending back injury to Za'Darius Smith. Gary recorded 47 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

The Packers had a solid defense last year, ranking ninth in the NFL after allowing 328.2 yards per game. With Gary leading the way, Green Bay totaled 39 sacks, which was 15th.

With their first-round picks, the Packers selected a pair of former Georgia Bulldogs in linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt. Despite having a glaring need at wide receiver, Green Bay continued its recent trend of ignoring offensive skill position players in the early part of the draft.

The Packers used their 2020 first-round pick on quarterback Jordan Love, who has appeared in just six games while playing behind Aaron Rodgers. The last offensive player Green Bay selected in the first round before that was offensive tackle Derrick Sherrod in 2011. The Packers haven't picked a wide receiver in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002.

While retaining Gary is a strong defensive move, Green Bay must address the offensive side of the ball by adding weapons either in the draft or through free agency.