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.