NFL Green Bay Packers

5 Free Agents the Green Bay Packers Should Re-Sign This Offseason

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Five Free Agents the Green Bay Packers Should Re-Sign This Offseason

Aaron Rodgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

For a team as talented as the Green Bay Packers, this season was a disappointment. Even with all the injuries this team still made the playoffs and was a third-down stop away from making things interesting against the San Francisco 49ers. Not many teams get bit with the injury bug as bad as the Packers had it this year. Big-time players on both sides of the ball were out for significant time this season. Aaron Rodgers himself was out for a stretch, and his No. 1 target Randall Cobb was out the majority of the season. Rodgers was missing both of his starting tight ends and used four starting running backs this season. And that’s just the offensive side of the ball! The defense was without Pro-Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews among others.

These are the players the team needs to be competitive and to try to win a Super Bowl next year. Only time will tell if these five are able to work out deals and if they even want to return to the Packers next year. Money rules in the sports world, and the Packers are usually efficient with their money. They don’t generally overpay players. When a guy wants a big contract and the Packers don’t feel he is worth the money they thank him for his service and wish him luck. Usually Packers players are smart and will work out a deal that is agreeable to both sides. Players seem to like playing for the Packers, but only time will tell how this offseason will play out.

Aaron Rodgers is a competitor and needs weapons to help him win another Super Bowl. And with all the injuries this season, it was not to be. But there’s always next year, right? Well, the Packers have an enormous number of free agents whose contracts ended with the game against the 49ers. Now it’s time for the owners and GMs to decide who stays and who goes. But if the Packers are smart, and they usually are, they will keep these five players. These five players are essential and would be wise choices to be re-signed and play an integral part of next year’s Super Bowl run.

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5. Andrew Quarless

Andrew Quarless
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Andrew Quarless should be re-signed this offseason and used as the starting tight end next season. With Quarless, James Jones and Jermichael Finley all free agents this year, you have to sign at least one of them. The Packers use their tight end a lot. They rely on their tight ends for blocking and rely on them immensely in the passing game. Jones had a monster year in 2012 but was injured this year. Finley is also a big time player, but he was injured badly this past season and his future is in question. Jones and Finley would both require large contracts, and the way the Packers operate they will go with Quarless.

Quarless is the younger of the three tight ends. He has proven himself a good enough receiver and an efficient blocker. Also the major factor here is Quarless would be the best financial option to re-sign. He won't require the huge contracts that Jones and Finley will and can still be as productive in time. When it comes down to it that's how the Packers operate, and that's what they should do again.

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4. Evan Dietrich-Smith

Evan Dietrich-Smith
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Dietrich-Smith is the next player the Packers should re-sign this offseason. He's an effective center, and all the chemistry he and Aaron Rodgers have created will only improve going in to next season. The Packers should re-sign him because of how hard it is to have a good center in this league. The center position is essential on a team like the Packers. The amount of audibles and checks Rodgers makes at the line is mind-blowing to any fan who watches the game. Dietrich-Smith is in the middle of all that. Every time Rodgers makes a change at the line he is responsible to make sure his fellow linemen are on the same page. The center is the captain of the linemen, so why start all over here with a new guy? Re-sign him and keep him a Packer because he's an effective blocker, a leader and he and Rodgers are already on the same page. Don't fix it if it's not broken. Make him happy and re-sign him.

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3. John Kuhn

John Kuhn
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

John Kuuuuhn is probably the most-loved Packer on the team. Even at away games you can hear his name being chanted when he touches the ball. Come on, who doesn't enjoy giving love to the fullback? Kuhn is probably the best blocker on the team. He paved the way for Eddie Lacy all season, and he can also catch the ball when he needs to. Give him the ball anywhere inside the three-yard line, and he will score a touchdown. But his toughness is unparallelled, and the Packers would be insane not to re-sign this guy. It would be shocking if he asked for a huge contract because he doesn't seem to be that type of guy, and honestly the Packers need a guy like Kuhn. So make this deal and keep the people happy. He's a perfect fit in this offense and a good player to have on a team.

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2. Sam Shields

Sam Shields
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Shields is without a doubt the Packers' best defensive back, and he proved it all season long. He made big play after big play and was a force in the secondary for a defense that at times wasn't all that impressive. The defense has been the weakness for the Packers the last few seasons. Letting a guy like Shields go would be a step in the wrong direction. They need to keep adding big-time players not letting them go. Usually the Packers don't give out big contracts, but Shields is an exception. If he wants a big deal, it needs to get done. He is too essential to the team to walk away. If you forget how good he is, replay the end of that Dallas game when he made an interception that not too many players in the NFL could have made. He iced the game and made big plays like that all season. Re-sign Shields and keep building this defense!

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1. B.J. Raji

B.J. Raji
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Raji is an integral part of the Packers. Defensive linemen hardly ever find themselves in the highlight reel for making huge plays or having big games statistically, but any football fan with a brain knows the importance of the big guys on defense. Raji often requires two offensive linemen to block him which frees up a linebacker. That linebacker is either Pro Bowler Clay Matthews or A.J. Hawk. Having those two run free and wreak havoc on a quarterback or running back is how big plays happen. So in the end Matthews gets credit for the sacks and fumbles but a guy like Raji really caused it all. He is a beast up front and needs to be re-signed at all costs. He already had a big contract and may ask for another big deal, but the way the Packers are efficient with their money they have the resources to spend it on the guys who matter. Raji is one of those guys and needs to be a Packer next season for the sake of this defense. He does more than he gets credit for, and the Packers organization clearly notices this. Again, this team must add to the defense and not let a guy like Raji just walk away because of money. Re-sign the big man!