The Green Bay Packers season came to a halt in a 37-20 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. The season was far from perfect but there’s a reason they got to where they were. Despite a tough loss in the Championship Game, the Packers season wasn’t a failure. If anything, it was a successful season given what they had to go through. The Packers have 19 free agents that they have to address. A lot of players helped this team get in this position. The Packers’ key unrestricted free agents hold value and it’ll be interesting to see what happens.
Green Bay Packers Key Unrestricted Free Agents
Bryan Bulaga (Right Tackle)
Bryan Bulaga is probably the top Packers free agent to be. He’s had to deal with injuries throughout his career but when healthy, he is one of the best tackles in the game. This is the first time since 2016 and his third time in his career that he’s played all 16 games. He shut down one of the best pass rushers twice this season in terms of quarterback pressures in Danielle Hunter. Bulaga only allowed four total pressures on 70 pass-blocking attempts and didn’t allow a sack or quarterback hit against Hunter. Despite an injury-plagued career, this is one player that the Packers should consider keeping, especially since they struggled without him.
Mason Crosby (Kicker)
Yes, a kicker is a key free agent to the Packers. For the first time in his career, Mason Crosby is scheduled to become a free agent. Crosby has been very consistent in his career for the Packers as he is their all-time leading scorer. He struggled in 2018, especially in a game against the Detroit Lions were he missed a very important five field goals. Since that time, he went back to being his old self. He made big-time field goals this year. Crosby went 40-41 on extra points and 22-24 on field goals with 54 being the season long. He was very reliable and that’s what the Packers need. Kickers are becoming more and more important in the league and having a guy that you trust is very important.
Blake Martinez (Inside Linebacker)
Blake Martinez came into this year with a chip on his shoulder. To get even better and to show why the Packers should keep him. He added a lot of muscle in the off-season as a way to bolster his game. He was a force in 2018 as he trailed only Indianapolis Colts‘ linebacker Darius Leonard in tackles. This season, despite being one of the leaders in tackles again, was very inconsistent. He is still a force inside and one bad year doesn’t define a player. With no big linebackers emerging to play right now, signing Martinez wouldn’t be a bad idea, It’ll be interesting to see how the Packers will play this.
Tramon Williams (Cornerback)
The oldest defensive back in the game is still going strong. He can play all around as he did this past year whether it’s in the slot or at the cornerback position. Tramon Williams was one of 39 corners to play at-least 150 coverage snaps in the slot, which was ranked fourth with 14.3 snaps per reception. Although his overall numbers aren’t there, he had a very solid season. If you need him on the field, he will be there.
Geronimo Allison (Wide Receiver)
He isn’t a top receiver but he could make plays, at-least that’s what we thought coming into the season. The two previous seasons before this past one, he looked promising. Geronimo Allison was a tall and lengthy receiver that could catch tough balls. This season, he didn’t look like that at all. Allison caught 34 passes for 287 yards and ranked 79th with 8.44 yards per reception and 0.68 yards per target with players who were targeted at-least 50 times. He dropped a few passes and fumbled a couple of balls trying to get extra yardage. This year didn’t help his case as a free agent but another one-year deal to work with Aaron Rodgers doesn’t sound bad but do the Packers trust him to bounce back?
Other Notable Free Agents
Jared Veldheer (Offensive Tackle)
Tyler Ervin (Running back/kick returner)
Kyler Fackrell (Outside Linebacker)
Marcedes Lewis (Tight End)
Danny Vitale (Fullback)
The Future In Green Bay
This team went out and hired 40-year old Matt LaFleur to be their new head coach. In his first year as a head coach, he took this team to the NFC Championship Game with a 13-3 record. General Manager Brian Gutekunst went out and signed two 26 years old linebackers in Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith as well as safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner. All made an impact this season, especially the Smith brothers, who had 25.5 sacks in the regular season. They both signed a four-year contract along with Amos. They also got a couple of rising stars in Jaire Alexander and Aaron Jones. This team is set up for the next few years and is still in win-now mode with Rodgers. They aren’t going anywhere.
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