Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Free Agent LB Neal wants to stay with Packers

According to Bleacher Report, Packers OLB Mike Neal, who's currently a free agent, is interested in returning to the team next year if "they'll have him back." Neal, who has spent each of his first four NFL seasons with the Pack, had a nice 36 tackles (23 solo) in 2013. 

Now while I guess he's not the best player in the world, I wouldn't mind keeping #96 around. He's no Jared Allen, but he contributes to the team, doesn't he? And when you're on a defense like Green Bay's, you should know that any kinda help is more than welcome. 


Brandon said...

What's really sad is that he was their best OLB not named Clay Matthews. Nick Perry had a few good games but then had a couple late season disasters (the Steelers game comes to mind) and he couldn't stay consistently ahead of Mulumba (who looked like he was playing through a serious leg injury during the 49ers game).

The problem with Neal is that he's just not an OLB. He's a DE. He had some major mistakes in coverage and I just don't want to see him dropping back in coverage ever again. I think he'd be better suited on some team running a 4-3 defense. Unless the Packers change from a 3-4, which is not something I think they should do, I'd rather see them look to make an upgrade rather than re-signing Neal.

Unknown said...

On one hand, I agree with Brandon.

On the other hand, Nick Perry is also really a DE - and they're both primarily pass rushers, of which the Packers have a shortage. It's hard to have too many of those, much like cover CBs - and without Neal, the team is either drafting his replacement, depending on a fresh crop of UDFAs for depth, and/or depending on Mulumba and Palmer to develop. How much depth can the Packers afford to lose in free agency and remain competitive? Who else is out there they can get who will be as-good-or-better AND cheaper than Neal? IMO, it would be a mistake to go into camp with CM3, Daniels, and ... as the team's proven pass-rush corps.

Brandon said...

Totally agree. They need, probably always need, more pass rushing. Since this is TT's team, that probably means through the draft. While the free agent market for pass rushers has been too much cost for too little results in recent years, some teams did find some value (Cardinals with Abraham, Seahawks with Bennett and Avril). Obviously scheme fit could be an issue but my point is only that the free agent market can be of some help.