The Green Bay Packers are reportedly close to signing a multi-year deal with safety Morgan Burnett, which is something that must get done. The Packers are absolutely right to have a long-term interest in him as he has the potential to be one of the defensive leaders, with outside linebacker Clay Matthews, for many years.
With safety Nick Collins and defensive back Charles Woodson no longer with the team, Green Bay needs some of their players to step up and take on a leadership role. Matthews has clearly done that, as there is no question many players in the locker room look up to him. Cornerback Tramon Williams is another defensive player that has an opportunity to become a veteran leader among the defensive backs now that Woodson is gone. With Burnett increasing his production every season, it is only natural for players to begin looking to him to be a vocal leader.
After Aaron Rodgers and Matthews both signed mega-deals that will keep them with the Packers for many years, general manager Ted Thompson is looking to see which other players are essential in order to keep the team upright over that span. B.J. Raji and James Jones are two other players that come to mind, along with Burnett. To have at least one big-time playmaker associated with every position group is certainly a way to allow the Packers to continue contending for Super Bowls.
Burnett is only one of two defensive players in the NFL to line up for every snap last season. His career-high 123 total tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions and five passes defended in 2012 are just the tip of the iceberg. There is no question his potential is overwhelming.