5 Underrated Free Agents The Green Bay Packers Should Target This Offseason
5 Underrated Free Agents The Green Bay Packers Should Target
The Green Bay Packers must address several needs through both the draft and free agency in order to continue their dominance in the NFC North.
The Green Bay Packers have more holes to fill on both sides of the ball than most want to believe, especially on defense. Their struggles against the elite NFC teams warrant many changes this offseason. The glaring needs concern the offensive line and the tight end position. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been consistently under fire with a porous offensive line that doesn't appear to be getting any better. At tight end, Green Bay's top two tight ends are up for free agency with Jermichael Finley suffering a potentially career-ending neck injury.
On defense, the Packers consistently failed to produce with a unit that has become one of the weakest in the NFL. Another defensive lineman who could bring some youth to an aging line is a must as is some secondary help for a unit that has constantly struggled giving up big plays in the passing game.
One of these needs might be addressed at No. 21 as both Louisville's Calvin Pryor and Washington State's Deone Bucannon are good options at safety and have appeared with the Packers in mock drafts. Defensive line would also be a need as both Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji are free agents.
While the NFL Draft is still months away, NFL free agency is around the corner in March where teams can begin to address their needs this offseason. Big names get the attention in free agency, but the underrated players who are off the radar make the biggest impact.
Here is my attempt to find the five most underrated free agents the Green Bay Packers should target this offseason. Some may be obvious while some might make you re-think what the true needs are for this team.
5. Dan Carpenter, Kicker, Buffalo Bills
Current Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby is expected to make around $2.5 million each year until 2016, and for a kicker who hasn't been the Crosby of old, now is the time to let this former Colorado Buffalo go.
Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter is an unrestricted free agent, and with Dustin Hopkins already on the roster Carpenter is the odd man out. Carpenter has kicked in both frigid Buffalo and warm Miami, making him perfect for the conditions of Lambeau Field and the NFC North.
4. Tony Scheffler, Tight End, Free Agent
Tony Scheffler's injury history (three concussions in four years) will scare away most teams, yet the Packers don't have to sign him in order to target him. Green Bay's top two tight ends (Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless) are up for free agency, leaving the Packers extremely thin.
Scheffler could be signed to a league minimum deal and can be released if he doesn't recover from his concussion history.
3. Terrence Cody, Nose Tackle, Baltimore Ravens
Every good 3-4 defense starts with a dominant nose tackle who can control the running game. In Green Bay, both defensive linemen Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji are free agents. Numerous injuries have also plagued the defensive line.
Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody, although not always in the best shape, was an effective run defender during the Ravens' Super Bowl run in 2012. This would be the first step in trying to fix what is now one of the worst defenses in the league.
2. Jason Worilds, Outside Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
The search to find a complement to Clay Matthews would end with the potential signing of Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds.
Worilds was the odd man out after the Steelers selected Jarvis Jones with their first-round pick last year with LaMarr Woodley already an established starter. Gone are the days of experiments like Nick Perry, Erik Walden, Frank Zombo and Andy Mulumba trying to be a complementary rusher to Matthews.
1. Ryan Clark, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
The safety position in Green Bay has been declining since Nick Collins' career-ending neck injury in 2011. Although this would be a short-term solution, the Steelers' Ryan Clark would be an excellent addition to a scheme that he is familiar with. In Dom Capers 3-4 scheme he would prove to be an excellent mentor to the younger players like Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings.
Clark is likely to be the odd-man out in Pittsburgh with the Steelers slowly trying to get younger in their secondary.
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