Thursday, February 14, 2013

Packers Free Agency: Who Might Return In 2013?

When the Green Bay Packers have let a player become an unrestricted free agent in recent years, it's a pretty good sign that they don't intend to bring him back. One recent exception was LB Erik Walden, who re-signed last year for near the veteran's minimum, but he might have hurt more than he helped last season.
RB Cedric Benson, RB Ryan Grant, WR Greg Jennings, ILB Brad Jones, and OLB Erik Walden are all unrestricted free agents.

TE Tom Crabtree, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, ILB Rob Francois, CB Sam Shields, and OLB Frank Zombo are all restricted free agents. Since the restricted free agent market is for all practical purposes extinct, those players aren't going anywhere. They will sign modest one-year contracts to return, unless the Packers decide they don't want them back at any price. I'd expect them all to return for the start of training camp.

Do you see the Packers re-signing any of their unrestricted free agents?

They might wait until April, but they could re-sign Cedric Benson. They were pretty happy with his style of running before his season ending foot injury, and if he can pass a physical, he might return as the veteran alternative to RB DuJuan Harris or any back they add in the draft.

Jennings will probably be too expensive, despite what these former GMs think, because there are some teams with money to spend. All it takes is one serious suitor for Jennings to become too expensive.

Both Grant and Walden were allowed to leave last year and only played roles with the team because of injuries. I don't think the Packers will bring them back to do the same thing in 2013.

The Packers would probably like Brad Jones to return, but after a year of starting at inside linebacker, he might look for a starting job elsewhere. He might even find some team willing to let him start and pay him a couple million per year over the next few years. That's not a lot of money, but the Packers would only use him as a special teams player and backup linebacker, so a couple million is too much to pay him.

In the end, the Packers probably won't re-sign any unrestricted free agents before March, but they could return later in the month.


NorthStarr said...

The above comment looks like nothing but spam to me.

Nothing in the comment that is specific to the article, ir even to the Packers.

Just spammin' the dude's homepage, IMO.

Brandon said...

That above comment, which I've since deleted, was nothing but spam. I get at least a dozen spam comments per day and to Google/Blogger's credit, they do a pretty good job of filtering it out so I don't have to.