Packers Free Agents (2024)

Dantés

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Here are the Packers free agents. If you're not familiar:

-Unrestricted means they can sign anywhere and the team has no control outside of making a competitive offer.

-Restricted means that the team can place a tender on the player: 1st round (~6.5M), 2nd round (~4.6M), or Right of Refusal (~2.8M). An untendered RFA becomes a UFA.

-Exclusive Rights means that the team can choose to keep the player at the minimum salary; the player has no control.

So look at the list and weigh in. What do you think the team should do with their own guys?

Unrestricted:

-J. Runyan, G
-D. Savage, S
-K. Nixon, CB
-Y. Nijman, OT
-J. Owens, S
-A. Dillon, RB
-C. Ballentine, CB
-J. Deguara, TE
-R. Ford, S
-E. Wilson, LB
-K. Welch, LB
-T. Davis, TE
-C. Uphoff, S

Restricted:

-Z. Anderson, S
-R. Rochell, S

Exclusive Rights:

-B. Melton, WR
-D. Whelan, P
-C. Jones, OT
-P. Taylor, RB
-B. Sapp, S
 

PackerDNA

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UFA definite keepers -Nixon, Owens, Wilson,Ballentine
Possible -Dillon
RFA -none
EFA-Milton Whelan Jones for sure Taylor and Sapp possibly
 
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Dantés

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In my view...

Obvious Moves:

-Bring back the ERFA's; Melton and Whelan have a spot on the team, while Jones, Taylor, and Sapp should at least be on the 90 and in camp.

-Pass on tendering either RFA; if they want either of those guys back in camp, they can achieve that for much less than even the lowest RFA tender.

Could Be Smart:

-I could see the wisdom in bringing back some of the special teams pieces on modest contracts just to keep some continuity in that phase of the game; I am thinking about Wilson, Owens, Welch, Anderson, and Ballentine in particular. Not necessarily all of them, but the guys they deem most valuable for teams work.

On the Fence:

-Jon Runyan Jr came on down the stretch and expressed a tearful desire to stay in GB. I think that his rough player earlier in the season could make him a value; his trajectory prior to the season was much more positive and I think he's closer to the player we saw surge at the end of the year. So if he would take a team-friendly deal, I could see it.

Leaning "No":

-Keisean Nixon had truly awful stretches on defense this season, as well as stretches of better play. His work in the return game, though not negligible, is overrated. He's not trustworthy as a punt returner and his work as a kick returner isn't all that valuable. If they bring Barry back and they feel like Nixon has gotten really comfortable in this defense, fine. But I think I would lean against it.

Move On:

-Darnell Savage is not for me. He is far too inconsistent as a tackler. If the only thing this defense did in the off-season was get better at getting dudes on the ground, they'd be so much better moving forward.

-Yosh Nijman lost the job to Walker; he's 28 and probably topped out now as a serviceable backup. Time to get younger/cheaper with more upside.

-A.J. Dillon is a useful back, but couldn't hack it as the primary when Jones was out and overall is too ordinary to pay given the position he's at.
 
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Dantés

Dantés

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Here are the Packers free agents. If you're not familiar:

-Unrestricted means they can sign anywhere and the team has no control outside of making a competitive offer.

-Restricted means that the team can place a tender on the player: 1st round (~6.5M), 2nd round (~4.6M), or Right of Refusal (~2.8M). An untendered RFA becomes a UFA.

-Exclusive Rights means that the team can choose to keep the player at the minimum salary; the player has no control.

So look at the list and weigh in. What do you think the team should do with their own guys?

Unrestricted:

-J. Runyan, G
-D. Savage, S
-K. Nixon, CB
-Y. Nijman, OT
-J. Owens, S
-A. Dillon, RB
-C. Ballentine, CB
-J. Deguara, TE
-R. Ford, S
-E. Wilson, LB
-K. Welch, LB
-T. Davis, TE
-C. Uphoff, S

Restricted:

-Z. Anderson, S
-R. Rochell, S

Exclusive Rights:

-B. Melton, WR
-D. Whelan, P
-C. Jones, OT

I want to make the case for letting every single guy who isn't exclusive rights walk.

Runyan: While he came on down the stretch, Runyan had a down season. The OL needs to add an enforcer in the running game, and RG is the most obvious spot to add one this offseason.

Savage: Savage was OK at times in 2023, but he has serious limitations as a tackler and is not good in single high coverage.

Nixon: If you mix in a significant dose of man coverage in 2024, I think Nixon will get roasted. His value as a KOR guy is also overstated.

Nijman: He's 28 and he lost the LT job to Walker. There isn't much more development to see here. Time to let him go be a swing guy for someone else.

Owens: Owens' coverage limitations were masked by Barry's approach to defense; he turns 29 this summer.

Dillon: He proved inadequate as the lead guy when Jones was hurt; he's not the level of RB that teams should invest 2nd contracts in.

Ballentine: Similar to Owens, I think the only reason Ballentine looked passage at times was because of the style of coverage Barry employed.

Deguara: Highly ineffective in the H-Back role.

Ford: Completely fell out of favor on defense, turns 30 in November, and isn't as good as Zayne Anderson on teams.

Wilson: Turns 30 in September; will be relatively simple to find cheaper, younger guys to play special teams.

Welch: Special teams only player; more reasonable to give his spot to a guy on a rookie deal who can develop into more.

Davis: Was adequately replaced by Ben Sims, who is younger with more control.

Zayne Anderson was incorrectly listed as an RFA-- he's under contract next season as a ST'er if they want him.

This isn't just an exercise. I actually think the Packers should let every single FA walk except the ERFA's.
 

tynimiller

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I want to make the case for letting every single guy who isn't exclusive rights walk.

Runyan: While he came on down the stretch, Runyan had a down season. The OL needs to add an enforcer in the running game, and RG is the most obvious spot to add one this offseason.

Savage: Savage was OK at times in 2023, but he has serious limitations as a tackler and is not good in single high coverage.

Nixon: If you mix in a significant dose of man coverage in 2024, I think Nixon will get roasted. His value as a KOR guy is also overstated.

Nijman: He's 28 and he lost the LT job to Walker. There isn't much more development to see here. Time to let him go be a swing guy for someone else.

Owens: Owens' coverage limitations were masked by Barry's approach to defense; he turns 29 this summer.

Dillon: He proved inadequate as the lead guy when Jones was hurt; he's not the level of RB that teams should invest 2nd contracts in.

Ballentine: Similar to Owens, I think the only reason Ballentine looked passage at times was because of the style of coverage Barry employed.

Deguara: Highly ineffective in the H-Back role.

Ford: Completely fell out of favor on defense, turns 30 in November, and isn't as good as Zayne Anderson on teams.

Wilson: Turns 30 in September; will be relatively simple to find cheaper, younger guys to play special teams.

Welch: Special teams only player; more reasonable to give his spot to a guy on a rookie deal who can develop into more.

Davis: Was adequately replaced by Ben Sims, who is younger with more control.

Zayne Anderson was incorrectly listed as an RFA-- he's under contract next season as a ST'er if they want him.

This isn't just an exercise. I actually think the Packers should let every single FA walk except the ERFA's.

Truthfully I'm not passionate at pursuing any of these guys before letting them hit FA...if any want to circle back when they see deals aren't out there perhaps circle some back for one year deals.

If you told me to pick three guys I could pick if we had to bring back three I'd probably say Ford, Savage and Dillon....only because personally I don't see Ford or Dillon getting a ton of money and Savage's best chance at BIG money IMO is one year prove it deal here while young.


Personally I love Nixon but unless they I guess plan switching him and trying him at Safety I just don't see paying him what we did last year again.....too steep for average slot player and returner.
 

tynimiller

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To keep with this theme...I like the idea of churning over fresh faces on the back end of guys...few likely bargain type guys:

Ryan Neal is one bigger safety for in the box type work and can be (2022 he was amazing for SEA) incredible in run support. 6'3' 200lbs he's a bigger type guy that is almost that flex LB that has shown he can cover. 2023 was down after an almost elite level year in 2022. He's not going to cost alot, comes with starting experience and is fresh motivated face. Last year he took just a $1.2M deal for one year...he is likely looking at another similar. A 7.47 RAS CB out of Southern Illinois back in the day.

John Johnson just might be the type of guy to take a swing at. A 7.92 RAS guy I loved when he came out, with good size and build 6 foot 209lbs. Dude was a third round pick and played ELITE level play on his rookie deal with with the Rams, enough for Cleveland to offer him over $10M a year deal which lasted two of the three before coming back to LA this past year...was his second worst graded season according to PFF despite still being a VERY good tackler. His elite seasons (17', 18' & 20') saw him play every lining up a TON deep and also in the box so he's performed well out of everywhere. Can he regain what he used to be in a new place, new system? He just turned 28...so not crazy young but not old yet either. LA gave him just under $1.1M this last year....


DeShon Elliott....another guy that took a one year deal with MIA last year, DET the year prior after his rookie three seasons with Baltimore who drafted him. A 6th rounder back in 2018, that actually started all 16 games for the 2020 Ravens team, then started 6 games in 2021 before injury. Detroit took a stab at him on one year deal in 2022 and he did average with overall grade of 66.5 PFF, but excelled at tackling. This past year in MIA he did a little better, and is a great run defense guy...I liken him to the level of an Owens type pick up. Essentially since becoming a starter he has played a TON of starting snaps for three teams in the past four years and comes with experience for a cheap depth guy.
 
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Dantés

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To keep with this theme...I like the idea of churning over fresh faces on the back end of guys...few likely bargain type guys:

Ryan Neal is one bigger safety for in the box type work and can be (2022 he was amazing for SEA) incredible in run support. 6'3' 200lbs he's a bigger type guy that is almost that flex LB that has shown he can cover. 2023 was down after an almost elite level year in 2022. He's not going to cost alot, comes with starting experience and is fresh motivated face. Last year he took just a $1.2M deal for one year...he is likely looking at another similar. A 7.47 RAS CB out of Southern Illinois back in the day.

John Johnson just might be the type of guy to take a swing at. A 7.92 RAS guy I loved when he came out, with good size and build 6 foot 209lbs. Dude was a third round pick and played ELITE level play on his rookie deal with with the Rams, enough for Cleveland to offer him over $10M a year deal which lasted two of the three before coming back to LA this past year...was his second worst graded season according to PFF despite still being a VERY good tackler. His elite seasons (17', 18' & 20') saw him play every lining up a TON deep and also in the box so he's performed well out of everywhere. Can he regain what he used to be in a new place, new system? He just turned 28...so not crazy young but not old yet either. LA gave him just under $1.1M this last year....


DeShon Elliott....another guy that took a one year deal with MIA last year, DET the year prior after his rookie three seasons with Baltimore who drafted him. A 6th rounder back in 2018, that actually started all 16 games for the 2020 Ravens team, then started 6 games in 2021 before injury. Detroit took a stab at him on one year deal in 2022 and he did average with overall grade of 66.5 PFF, but excelled at tackling. This past year in MIA he did a little better, and is a great run defense guy...I liken him to the level of an Owens type pick up. Essentially since becoming a starter he has played a TON of starting snaps for three teams in the past four years and comes with experience for a cheap depth guy.

Only thing is that Johnson’s good ball came with Staley and Elliott’s with Fangio.

I don’t know what direction they will take the defense, but if the approach isn’t in line with that two high approach, neither of those guys may end up working.
 

tynimiller

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Only thing is that Johnson’s good ball came with Staley and Elliott’s with Fangio.

I don’t know what direction they will take the defense, but if the approach isn’t in line with that two high approach, neither of those guys may end up working.

Yup, but I'd much rather infuse bottom of depth chart with some new guys over us dragging Ford, Owens and Savage back through....shoot I think if the hint of Nixon switching to Safety has legs of truth I like better than just resigning him to continue to be an average slot guy with decent return skills (I'm with you on his return value...).
 
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