Packers Rumors: All-Pro Center Corey Linsley Not Expected to Re-Sign in FA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley (63) warms up before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Veteran center Corey Linsley isn't expected to return to the Green Bay Packers this offseason, according to Packer Central's Bill Huber.

Linsley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Ryan Wood and Olivia Reiner in January that his agent "hasn't really had any talks with the Packers" about a new contract. Huber reported the situation is largely the same:

"With the start of free agency less than three weeks away, that has not changed, a source said on Wednesday. The expectation is that Linsley will be playing elsewhere in 2021 and the Packers will be looking to replace their starting center from the past seven seasons.

"While there is time to work out a deal with Linsley, it seems unlikely to happen. The Packers had all season to engage in talks with Linsley, and the season ended almost exactly one month ago."

Using a $185 million salary cap, Spotrac projects the Packers to be $4.5 million over the cap. While general manager Brian Gutekunst will inevitably shed some contracts to open up space, Green Bay doesn't figure to be a big spender this offseason.

That's a problem when Linsley, Aaron Jones, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, Kevin King and Chandon Sullivan are among the Packers players hitting free agency. 

Following the team's NFC title game defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Aaron Rodgers alluded to the roster upheaval that could be on the horizon:

Matt Schneidman @mattschneidman

Aaron Rodgers: “A lot of guys futures, they’re uncertain, myself included.”

Linsley has started 99 games for Green Bay since the team selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, and he's coming off a career year in 2020. The 29-year-old was a first-team All-Pro, and Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson wrote he was the highest-graded center on the site.

Linsley figures to be sought-after on the open market and will likely become one of the highest-paid players at his position.

The Packers have already handed David Bakhtiari a four-year, $92 million extension, giving Bakhtiari the biggest annual salary ($23 million) for an offensive tackle. 

Considering the team's financial situation, Gutekunst may have a hard time tying up a ton of money in just two positions along his offensive line.