Friday, March 11, 2016

It's Depressing To See The Packers Re-Sign LB Nick Perry

It's important not to get swept up in NFL's free agency, watching it as some teams instantly transform themselves with major signings or departures. It's usually fool's gold, most teams will regret half of these contracts a year from now, and they'll be looking to dump their new players just like the Eagles did with CB Byron Maxwell. Or RB DeMarco Murray, for anything they can get.

So re-signing your own players at a reasonable price is a good way to go.
And there's nothing wrong with re-signing Perry. He wasn't bad last season and their thin linebacking corps looks even worse now that they've given up on Andy Mulumba, so keeping some of their depth from last season is important. And he's a great value signing. A one-year deal comes with no possibility of dead money in a future year (unless he can't even make the team out of training camp, which seems highly unlikely) and they saved themselves a couple million by declining his 5th-year option at $7.75 million and re-signing him for $5 million. They let him test the market, he found little (none?) interest, and they were willing to give him another chance.

But this is a really depressing move. Perry's not a bust, but he's been a disappointment. He's struggled to stay healthy, he's struggled to earn playing time, and his pass rushing skills vanished last season. He does nothing to make them any better next season, unless he magically puts it all together in 2016. I have no idea what they have in mind for him next season after he barely played in 2015 while they gave his potential playing time to Mike Neal, who did little to earn it either. $5 million from GM Ted Thompson for a backup seems rich for him, so I'm expecting they're going to use Perry as a starter next season (assuming Clay Matthews remains inside). But if he wasn't good enough to start in 2015 then what's changed now?

Maybe this is an area they plan on focusing on in the draft, and they just needed a one-year starter they could rely on for one season. They've been good enough over the past two seasons to hang with the top two-through-five teams in the NFC, so maybe trying to keep the current team together as best they can and hope it all comes together in 2016 is their plan. But it's not an exciting one.

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