The more I sort through the projected free agents, the more Cory Littleton appeals to me as a guy that the Packers should pursue.
Littleton is essentially what the Packers hoped Oren Burks could be when they drafted him-- a long, light, athletic linebacker with coverage ability.
By all accounts, he's fully capable of handling backs and tight ends in coverage. He's also been an effective blitzer and one of the most secure tacklers in the league.
His deficiency relates to run defense. Most agree that he isn't an especially effective plugger. Which is to be expected at 6'3" 228 lbs.
However, his struggles as a run defender also derive from what L.A. asked him to do. In 2019, he led the Rams in snaps, coming in just under 94% of the total. The next most heavily used true off-ball linebacker on the team was Troy Reeder, who played a mere 27% of the time.
So the Rams were using Littleton as the sole true linebacker most of the time, supplementing him with safeties and Clay Matthews (sounds familiar). If placed next to a true linebacker, a la Fred Warner next to Dre Greenlaw or Mark Barron next to Devin Bush, his run defense responsibilities would not be so strenuous.
This has been my main issue with Martinez-- he doesn't have a defined strength, so you don't know what to put next to him. If he plays next to a coverage player, your run D is compromised. If he plays next to a plugger, your coverage ability is compromised. Littleton has a defined role. You can play him next to a guy who is more suited to play the run and the two will complement each other.
He's young, he's durable, he's played excellent football, and he fits one of the biggest needs on the roster. The Packers can't afford to make several big splashes on the market this year, but they should have the wherewithal for one or two, and I hope that Littleton is one of them. Given the recent market for linebackers with coverage ability, I'd expect him to be in the neighborhood of 12-14M/season.
The Rams would certainly like to keep him, but probably won't be able to. They are entering the offseason with only 20M in space and without many options to create more. Their only real logical cut candidate, Clay Matthews, nets them a mere 3.75M. Others could yield modest additions to the cap, but aren't guys they'd want to lose (e.g. Woods, Robey-Coleman, Troy Hill). And more importantly, they are going to have to make Jalen Ramsey the highest paid corner in the league. Furthermore, they have starters at EDGE (Fowler), LT (Whitworth), iDL (Brockers), K (Zuerlein), and OL (Blythe) all hitting the market, and are without a pick in the 1st round until 2022.
As a quick aside-- I have heard a lot of analysts fawning all over the way that the Rams have done business since McVay got there, but they are now royally screwed. They have very little capital of any kind and a lot of major issues on their roster.