Packers Football

Packers Football Edge rusher: Maybe Clay Matthews Jr. gets healthy this off-season and comes back as his dominant self in 2017. At the moment, though, the $26 million that Green Bay owes him over the next two seasons (none of it guaranteed in ’18) looks pricey. He had just 5.0 sacks in 12 games this season.

Even if the Packers are counting on a bounce-back year from Matthews—and they likely are—both Nick Perry and the 37-year-old Julius Peppers are set to be free agents. Peppers said last month that he wasn’t sure about his retirement plans, but that is a possibility. Datone Jones, who has bounced between DE and OLB, also is weeks away from his contract expiring.

Green Bay Packers Football figures to hold on to at least one of Perry/Peppers/Jones, but there’s still a pressing need to get younger and more athletic off the edge. Take the 18.5 sacks Perry and Peppers combined for this season out of the mix, and there’s not much left.

Possible targets at 29: Charles Harris, Missouri; Carl Lawson, Auburn; Takkarist McKinley, UCLA; T.J. Watt, Wisconsin; Dawuane Smoot, Illinois

Packers football 2017

Packers Football Running back: Ty Montgomery’s shift into the backfield helped free up the entire Green Bay offense this season. However, his nagging injuries will make it difficult to depend on him as a 16-game, bell-cow back. So, who fills that role?

Option No. 1 is Eddie Lacy, who’s about to be a free agent. Option No. 2 is Christine Michael, who also is about to be a free agent (again) and remains more myth than man as a back. Option No. 3 is James Starks, who’s never—save for maybe the Packers’ 2010 Super Bowl run—shown the capacity to handle that sort of responsibility.

Shy of Le’Veon Bell or LeGarrette Blount becoming available (both are on expiring contracts), there is no real help to be had via free agency. The Packers have to draft, at minimum, depth for this position.

Possible targets at 29: D’onta Foreman, Texas; Samaje Perine, Oklahoma; Wayne Gallman, Clemson

Packers Football Cornerback: The Packers used a 2015 first-round pick on Damarious Randall and a 2015 second-rounder on Quentin Rollins, plus added Ladarius Gunter as an undrafted free agent that same year. None of those developments should stop the Packers from addressing their DB situation again this coming draft.

Green Bay Packers Football certainly cannot count on Sam Shields for next season. The 29-year-old landed on I.R. this year with a concussion, then was charged with marijuana possession in January. Releasing him would save $9 million (with a $3.1 million dead-money cap hit).

Possible targets at 29: Desmond King, Iowa; Gareon Conley, Ohio State; Tre’Davious White, LSU; Jourdan Lewis, Michigan; Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson

As always, the focus will depend on what Green Bay does between now and the start of free agency. Will standout guard T.J. Lang, who injured his leg in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, re-sign? How about TE Jared Cook, who emerged as a preferred target of Aaron Rodgers this season? Should either head elsewhere, the Packers would be left with a hole that needs addressing.

Otherwise, GM Ted Thompson could steer into the skid and try, again, to fix his team’s defense. The Packers have used their first-round pick the past three seasons on that side of the ball (Kenny Clark, Randall, HaHa Clinton-Dix), but they have yet to find enough help for those rising young playmakers.

Expect to see the Packers-Watt pairing mentioned quite a bit between now and April. Watt is a rising, local kid at a position of need.

Green Bay Packers Updates

ROUND 2 (33)   CB Kevin King* • 6’-3” • 200 lbs. • Washington
ROUND 2 (60)   S Josh Jones • 6’-1” • 220 lbs. • N.C. State
ROUND 3 (93)   DT Montravius Adams • 6’-4” • 304 • Auburn
ROUND 4 (108) LB Vince Biegel • 6’3″ • 246 lbs. • Wisconsin
ROUND 4 (134) RB Jamaal Williams • 6’-0” • 212 lbs. • BYU
ROUND 5 (175) WR DeAngelo Yancey* • 6’-2” • 201 lbs. • Purdue
ROUND 5 (182) RB Aaron Jones* • 5’-9” • 208 lbs. • Texas-El Paso
ROUND 6 (212) OL Kofi Amichia* • 6’-4” • 297 lbs. • South Florida
ROUND 7 (238) RB Devante Mays* • 5’-11” • 230 lbs. • Utah State
ROUND 7 (247) WR Malachi Dupre* • 6’-2” • 196 lbs. • LSU
*Contract Signed

WR Montay Crockett • 5′-11-1/2″ • 190 lbs. • Georgia Southern
WR-TE Aaron Peck • 6′-2-1/2″ • 239 lbs. • Fresno State
C Thomas Evans • 6′-3″ • 305 lbs. • Richmond
G Geoff Gray • 6′-5-1/2″ • 315 lbs. • Manitoba
G Adam Pankey • 6′-4-1/2″ • 307 lbs. • West Virginia
T Christian Schneider • 6′-5-1/2″ • 301 lbs. • California-Davis
QB Taysom Hill • 6′-2″ • 221 lbs. • Brigham Young
DT Izaah Lunsford • 6′-3″ • 310 lbs. • Bowling Green
FB-ILB Cody Heiman • 6′-1-1/2″ • 229 lbs. • Washburn
OLB Johnathan Calvin • 6-3, 266 lbs. • Mississippi State
CB Donatello Brown • 5′-11-1/2″ • 189 lbs. • Valdosta State
CB Lenzy Pipkins • 6′-0″ • 196 lbs. • Oklahoma State
CB David Rivers • 6′-1″ • 186 lbs. • Youngstown State
P Justin Vogel • 6′-4″ • 212 lbs. • Miami
RB Kalif Phillips • 5’-9-1⁄2” • 218 lbs. • UNC-Charlotte
LB Josh Letuligasenoa • 6′-1″ • 252 lbs. • Cal Poly
CB Raysean Pringle • 6′-0″ • 191 lbs. • Southern Utah
RB William Stanback  6′-0″ • 231 lbs. • Virginia Union
LB David Talley • 6′-1″ • 236 lbs. • Grand Valley State
S Aaron Taylor • 5′-11″ • 206 lbs. • Ball State
WR Michael Clark  6′-6″ • 217 lbs. • Marshall
LB Cody Heiman • 6′-2″ • 229, Washburn, Baileyville, Kan.

OLB Nick Perry: Five-years/$59M
OL Don Barclay: One-year/$1.025M
OLB Jayrone Elliott: One-year/$1.6M
OLB Jordan Tripp: One-year/$690,000
P Jacob Schum: One-year/$615,000
TE Martellus Bennett: Three-years/$21M
TE Lance Kendricks: Two-years/$4M
CB Davon House: One-year/$2.8M
DL Ricky Jean Francois: One-year/$2M
G Jahri Evans: One-year/$2.25M

ILB Joe Thomas: One-year/$650,000
DT Christian Ringo: Two-years/$990,000
WR Geronimo Allison: Two-years/$990,000
FB Joe Kerridge: Two-years/$990,000

C Jacob Flores
LB Reggie Gilbert
WR Antwan Goodley
LB Derrick Mathews
G Lucas Patrick
DT Brian Price
TE Beau Sandland
S Jermaine Whitehead

LS Derek Hart: Undrafted in 2015

G Justin McCray: Street free agent

DT Ego Ferguson: From Chicago Bears (released; failed physical)

OLB Datone Jones: To Minnesota Vikings
RB Eddie Lacy: To Seattle Seahawks
G T.J. Lang: To Detroit Lions
TE Jared Cook: To Oakland Raiders
OLB Julius Peppers: To Carolina Panthers
DB Micah Hyde: To Buffalo Bills
C J.C. Tretter: To Cleveland Browns

LS  Brett Goode
RB John Crockett

DT Mike Pennel
RB James Starks
CB Sam Shields

CB Makinton Dorleant
RB Don Jackson
RB Christine Michael