What Offseason Moves Are Next for the Green Bay Packers with the Draft Complete?
There are a handful of moves that we can expect to see from the Packers in the next few weeks. For starters, Green Bay will need to decide if there are any more positions it needs to add its roster. It's possible that the Packers weren't able to draft every position of need, so they'll have to go back to free agency to fill those holes.
That's really just the beginning of what the Packers need to do before the regular season kicks off in under four months. Let's take a look at a handful of offseason moves the Packers need to make with the draft complete.
Sign a Veteran Center
Yes, the Packers drafted a center in Corey Linsley of Ohio State in this year's draft. However, that was on the third day and it'd be a pretty big surprise to see him start from Week 1.
In fact, the Packers are already set to give J.C. Tretter the first stab at the starting job, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. The only potential problem with that is that Tretter is only entering his second year in the league and didn't play at all last year.
That's a lot of faith to put in the player who'll be snapping Aaron Rodgers the ball on every play. And what would the Packers do should Tretter not live up to expectations?
This is why they need to go out and sign a veteran center for their roster. That way if Tretter gets injured or struggles, the Packers would have a experienced starter to turn to instead of a fifth-round pick.
One name that sticks out is David Baas, a former member of the New York Giants. He's started 84 games over the course of his career and has been on a number of successful offensive lines.
By adding Baas, the Packers would have some insurance at one of the most important positions on the offense.
Figure out What Position Micah Hyde Plays
There's really only one thing that we know right now about Micah Hyde. That's that head coach Mike McCarthy wants to get him on the field more often, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.
So, the question now becomes at what position does Hyde get more playing time. He played mostly cornerback last year and things really started to click near the end of the season. However, there have also been suggestions that he'd be a nice fit as a safety where the Packers need more depth and talent.
If McCarthy really wants to get Hyde on the field more, then it'd make more sense to have him make the switch to the safety position. The reason for this is because the Packers already have Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Casey Hayward at cornerback.
However, even if Hyde moves to safety he'd still have to beat out Morgan Burnett and rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The reality is that it might be rather difficult getting Hyde on the field more.
With that said, it's still important for the Packers to figure out what position he's going to play at in order for him to continue his development.
Decide to Not Re-Sign Jermichael Finley, Even If Cleared Medically
We are all familiar with Jermichael Finley's neck injury and just how severe it is. We also all know that Finley hasn't been cleared yet by doctors to return to the NFL.
The Packers have been relatively uncommitted to ruling out re-signing Finley if he does get cleared medically. In fact, general manager Ted Thompson told Tom Silverstein at the Journal Sentinel that the Packers till haven't ruled out bringing Finley back.
This is even after they drafted tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round of this year's draft. Rodgers is an extremely raw prospect who has many similar traits to Finley.
What Green Bay ultimately needs to do is make the decision to not re-sign Finley. This decision would need to stick even if he's given a clean bill of health.
The Packers need to move on from Finley with their tight end group of Rodgers, Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick.
Sign Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb to an Extension
The truth is that the Packers need to sign both wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to long-term contract extensions. However, only one of those needs to be done before the start of the regular season. The other contact extension could wait until the 2015 offseason.
The tough decision for the Packers will be which receiver to give the extension to this year. Both Nelson and Cobb are fantastic receivers who are premier players at their position.
However, if the Packers are only going to choose one player, then it should be Cobb. He's younger than Nelson and his ceiling is ultimately higher.
While the Packers don't want to lose either when they become free agents next year, it'd be a wise decision to give Cobb a contract extension this year and wait until next offseason to give Nelson his big contract.
Transition Rookie Carl Bradford to Inside Linebacker
The Packers drafted linebacker Carl Bradford in the fourth round on this year's draft. Bradford played the majority of his snaps at outside linebacker while at Arizona State.
However, the Packers don't need another outside linebacker and Bradford doesn't really have the tools to excel at this position. So, what Green Bay needs to do is transition Bradford from outside linebacker to inside linebacker.
The team needs more speed and playmaking ability at that position, and Bradford has plenty of both of those traits. It's possible that this transition could take time, but the Packers at least have two decent inside linebackers in A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones.
By switching positions for Bradford, the Packers would be thinking about the future of their defense. That's never a bad move for a team expected to be Super Bowl contenders for the next handful of years.
Get a Jump on the 2015 NFL Draft
It's never too early to start preparation for the NFL draft. That's how good teams like the Packers remain atop the league year after year.
Even though the 2015 NFL draft is nearly 400 days away, Green Bay still has a good idea of what its needs will be when those days roll around. For example, one name for them to keep an eye on is defensive tackle Michael Bennett from Ohio State. With B.J. Raji signing a one-year deal this offseason, it's possible the Packers will be looking for his replacement in next year's draft.
While the Packers may give their area scouts a few weeks to relax, it won't be long until they start building a list of players to keep an eye on for the upcoming college season.