Green Bay Packers: Top 3 Free Agents To Target This Offseason
It’s been a little over a week now and I am finally ready to talk about my beloved Packers, after their collapse to Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. There are some glaring free agent needs that were put on display became in that game.
The Packers need a nose tackle first and foremost. Teams for most of the season were able to run past the first level on the Packers at will. It took moving OLB Clay Matthews inside to bring speed up the middle to get to the running back, because ILB A.J. Hawk was getting exposed regularly. I think they could also use defensive end because they need push opposite DE Mike Daniels. The third area of need would be ILB. The defense needs Matthews’ on the outside to get the quarterback, not helping in the inside. So a surer tackler in the middle is a necessity. I think they need could use upgrades at TE and CB, but they are not an immediate need.
The Packers looking to be around $23 million under the salary cap, and could save an additional $7 million dollars with releasing ILB A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones. The Packers are notoriously known for not being active in free agency settling on resigning their homegrown talent. The offense is set (with the probable resigning) of Randall Cobb, it’s now time for the Packers to splurge somewhat to improve that defense so we don’t see another repeat of the NFC Championship where Marshawn Lynch torched them for over 150 yards on the ground. Here are three players that could be major difference makers and go a long way in turning this defense dominant.
Jared Odrick (Miami Dolphins)
6’5 314 DT/NT
The Pack have lacked a young proven run stopper who is nimble enough and strong enough to get a major push on the offensive line. Enter Jared Odrick. Jared Odrick had a terrific 2014 campaign, as he got to the quarterback frequently and also was sound against the run until a late-season injury limited him a bit. Odrick, who won't be 28 until December, and can fit into any scheme being it a 3-4 or 4-3 which will help him immensely on the open market.
Jabaal Sheard (Cleveland Browns)
6’3 274 DE/OLB
Sheard’s size and speed allows him to be versatile in a 3-4 defense as OLB or DE, which he did when he was with the Browns. Sheard is adequate pass-rusher who is very forceful in run support, Jabaal Sheard played well last year until a foot injury hindered him in late November and December. Sheard should be better next year once his foot is repaired. He'll be just 26 in May.
Rolando McClain (Dallas Cowboys)
6’4 259 ILB
With the Cowboys likely to have to franchise Dez Bryant, and have to overpay if they want keep Demarco Murray. McClain being a unrestricted free agent gives the Packers the chance to lock up this guy. McClain is the only proven three down ILB that is a free agent in my opinion, who is a surer tackler and not a liability in coverage. He is everything the Packers need in a dominant ILB. He is must need in helping improve the Packers run-defense, which has been dreadful the past couple of years.
Other Potential Free Agent Signings:
- Charles Clay, TE (Miami Dolphins)
- Owen Daniels, TE (Baltimore Ravens)
- Jarvis Jenkins, DE (Washington Redskins)
- Nick Fairley, DT (Detroit Lions)
- Kenrick Ellis, DT (New York Jets)
- David Harris, ILB (New York Jets)
- Byron Maxwell, CB (Seattle Seahawks)