Veteran Free-Agent Contracts Packers Must Consider Before Training Camp
The 2022 Green Bay Packers will look quite a bit different than they did in 2021, and there's still time for new additions.
The Packers' front office has been fearless in constructing the next iteration of the Green and Gold. Trading away Davante Adams was a bold move, and they've taken a patient approach to fix some of the holes on the roster.
They could continue that trend by taking a shot on one of the veteran free agents who remain available going into June.
At this juncture of the offseason, there is always risk with who is left on the market. However, the Packers are a team clearly in the middle of a Super Bowl window.
Aaron Rodgers' contract extension gives them an opportunity to continue contending. So if there's a team that should be looking to take some chances to bring home the Lombardi, it's the Packers.
TE Kyle Rudolph
The Packers showed quite a bit of faith in Robert Tonyan this offseason. Despite getting no more than 250 yards from any of their tight ends last season, they inked him to a one-year, $3.8 million deal.
It isn't a ton of money, but it signifies their only significant move at the position.
It's a lot of faith to place in a player who only featured in only eight games last season because of an ACL injury. Tonyan should be back by the time the campaign starts, and Rob Demovsky of ESPN reported that Week 1 is a realistic return date for the 28-year-old.
Neither Josiah Deguara nor Marcedes Lewis became serious receiving threats in Tonyan's absence, so it would make sense if the Packers were to use the free-agent market to find another veteran option.
Kyle Rudolph is a player they should be familiar with from his time with the Vikings. He isn't going to threaten a healthy Tonyan, but he's a reliable target with just one drop over the last four seasons.
The 32-year-old would provide good insurance if Tonyan struggles to recover from his injury or gets reinjured during the season.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Since the Packers traded away Davante Adams, the question of how they will replace their star receiver's production has been looming.
The team has made some moves to answer that question. They drafted Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. They also signed Sammy Watkins while retaining Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard.
But there's still one more big free agent who could tip the scales on their receiver corps.
Last season when Odell Beckham Jr. was released by the Cleveland Browns, the Packers were one of the teams he seriously considered, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The receiver was choosing between the Rams and Packers.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can see how big a deal that turned out to be. The Packers ended up getting bounced in the first round, while OBJ helped the Rams deal with the loss of Robert Woods and put up strong numbers in the playoffs for the Super Bowl winners.
Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in the final game and now remains unsigned. The Packers know better than anyone it isn't about what you do in the regular season, though.
The Packers should consider signing OBJ and allowing him to fully recover while they spend the early part of the season giving their young receivers a chance to succeed.
Edge Carlos Dunlap
Preston Smith and Rashan Gary give the Packers two proven starters who can get after the quarterback. After that, it gets a little dicey.
Obviously, the hope is that fifth-round draft pick Kingsley Enagbare or another young player can emerge as a trusted rotational pass-rusher.
It's one of the few issues on the roster that could rear its ugly head at the wrong time. Smith only played 68 percent of snaps last season, and Gary just finished his first full season as a starter.
That leaves the Packers one injury away from having a serious question at outside linebacker.
Fortunately, there are some good options left on the market. Carlos Dunlap is the most productive left. The 33-year-old was still a solid player last season, collecting 8.5 sacks with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks didn't end up being a contender after bringing in the ex-Bengal, so a chance to play on a contender like Green Bay could be a mutually beneficial situation.