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NFL Offseason Outlook: Patient Packers Won’t Push The Panic Button During Free Agency

In 2020, the Green Bay Packers once again fell short of their ultimate goal, losing the NFC Championship game at home to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The club won 13 of 16 regular season games in 2020, and their offense was one of the most effective in the league, putting up 31.8 points per game, good for best in the league.

In the end though, they just couldn’t do enough to get past Brady and the Bucs. Now, the Packers are looked at as a team that can get to the big game but can’t win it.

So how does this team make sure they can find a way to get to the next level and end up in the Super Bowl in 2021?

They’ve started free agency with a huge move already, as reports say the team has inked running back Aaron Jones to a new four-year deal. They wanted to keep their best running back happy for a few years to come.

The team has also offered tenders to all four of the team’s exclusive rights free agents. Receivers Allen Lazard and Malik Taylor, offensive tackle Yosh Nijman and outside linebacker Randy Ramsey will all be back in 2021 on the one-year exclusive rights tender, keeping these members of their roster happy.

Can this team keep QB Aaron Rodgers happy though? Can they find a way to rise to the occasion when it matters the most?

The club has a solid list of free agents they need to deal with, but getting Jones done was their biggest goal entering the offseason, and now they’ve done that.

One player who apparently won’t be back is center Corey Linsley, as reports are he’s going to ink a five-year $62.5M contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Here are all the free agents from the Packers as they get set to tackle 2021 free agency around the league:

DL Montravius Adams
WR Tavon Austin
ILB James Burgess
RB Tyler Ervin
DL Damon Harrison
RB Aaron Jones | re-signed with Packers on 4-year contract
CB Kevin King
TE Marcedes Lewis
C Corey Linsley | reportedly will sign 5-year, $62.5M contract with Chargers
S Will Redmond
G Lane Taylor
OT Jared Veldheer
RB Jamaal Williams | will test free agent market
DL Billy Winn
QB Tim Boyle (undrafted) — will not receive tender
S Raven Greene (undrafted) — will not receive tender
DL Tyler Lancaster (undrafted)
CB Parry Nickerson (6th round pick)
CB Chandon Sullivan (undrafted)
TE Robert Tonyan (undrafted)

Offseason Outlook: One thing about the Pack is that they don’t normally go out and break the bank for any one player in free agency, and that’s wise.

Unless someone like Reggie White is available (yes that happened once many years ago), the organization has been smart about saving their money or spending it on young players on the roster.

That’s why the transaction on the first day of ‘legal’ tampering, which saw the Pack and Jones come to terms on a deal, was so important. It set the tone that the team wants to bring back a few important players.

What else do the Packers need as they move into free agency? Their biggest need sits in the secondary as they look to upgrade the spot opposite Jaire Alexander.

There will be defensive backs available all over the NFL, so don’t be surprised to see the Pack grab one. It also wouldn’t be a huge shock to see the team bring in a wide receiver.

It won’t be a Ju-Ju Smith Schuster type of impact player, but it could be a player who can come in and help Rodgers and company spread the field.

As always, the Packers use the term “patience” in reference to free agency. Look for a signing here and there, but this team clearly has a free agency plan and they will patiently stick with it.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

6 Comments

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  1. Hey Matt,
    Aaron Rodgers said it best, and recently, when he called the Packers “the NFL’s stepchild”.
    Owned by the fans as a not-for-profit corporation since its inception, and shares (approx. 5 million owned by about 351,000 people) not for sale on the open market, shareholders vote for a 45-member board of directors, then the board votes for a 7-member executive committee to govern the team operations. The exec comm. selects a team president who is the only mgmt. person that receives compensation…the other 6 members work gratis (plus beer and brats on game day if they’re in town).
    GB sucked since Lombardi, ’til the early 90s when Ron Wolf became pres. and hired Mike Holmgren (from the Bill Watch coaching tree and who created his own amazing coaching tree) who traded for Bret Favre (thank you ATL) and 1 Supe win. Years later the GB blind squirrel stumbled upon Aaron Rodgers and despite Mike McCarthy, Rodgers also won 1 Supe. So 2 Supe wins in more than 30 years with one of the “storied NFL franchises”.
    We’ve all heard the saying, “A camel is a horse that was designed by a committee”. I’m guessing Rodgers had that in mind when he was describing the GB mgmt structure. You get a team pres. who picks a GM who picks a head coach and the three of them decide the fate of the franchise…’cept there’s no “Big Guy” who gets pissed at a lack of results and cleans house and says “I want ________ (fill in the blank) for our GM…go get him, or I want ________(fill in the blank) as our head coach…go get him!
    So a winning season is all that’s needed to continue the trend and win some division titles and stay competitive and the board of directors of mostly non-football types won’t even think about pressuring the beer ‘n’ brats exec. committee to ask about changing the leadership…for many, many years apparently. Glad I’m not a Packers fan.

    • Not sayin’ I care what he thinks, J7…lol…he’s gonna be off in the hologram universe once he marries the Lady of the Oceans this summer. Just sayin’ if HE knows the problem and nobody in GB cares…well that’s all she wrote for the “storied NFL franchise”.

  2. That is really an illogical statement. With that logic you could say that Trent Dilfer has more Super Bowls than Dan Marino or Trent Dilfer has as many SB wins as Drew Brees. As for the Packers management…I totally disagree with your take. The Packer’s have been relevant since the 90’s there aren’t a whole lot of teams that can say that. Yes, they don’t break the bank and try to go all in a SB or bust type of season. They are a extremely consistent franchise. Is it frustrating that they haven’t won more super bowls in the Rodgers era? Hell yeah! But the facts are that Rodgers had nothing to do with muffing an onsides kick against Seattle or playing press coverage with seconds left to play before half, or fumbling the ball right out of half-time against the Bucs. They are one of the best franchises in the league, with one of the best QB’s in the league, and once again they will be competing for a SB.

    • They need more players besides Rodgers was my point, Urb. Maybe guys that wouldn’t muff onsides kicks? Maybe a DC that KNOWS you don’t play man from your own 40 with 20 seconds in the half…and a DB that’s looking to make a pick instead of sticking to his one-on-one coverage. See, that costs money. And there are teams with consistently great special teams. Whatever.

  3. It is all about trade-offs. I believe they are the 3rd most successful franchise in the last 20 years. Only the Steelers and Pats have won more games. To me that is pretty good management. Despite being the only privately held franchise in the NFL and being the smallest market (by far) . The pack has been in NFC championship game the last two years…they have players : the best WR, and one of the best RB (which they just resigned), as well as one of the best OL’s. IMO last years loss was not due to lack of talent. They were the best team but poor coaching decisions on defense and by the head coach at the end of the game.

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