The 5 Biggest Free Agent Signings in Green Bay Packers History

The 5 Biggest Free Agent Signings in Green Bay Packers History

Biggest Green Bay Packers Free Agent Signings

The Green Bay Packers have a rich history when it comes to free agency, although younger fans may not know it considering how Ted Thompson conducts himself. Since 1993, the Packers have signed five players in particular who were directly responsible for Green Bay winning a Super Bowl. For that reason, they are the five biggest free agent signings in Packers franchise history.

5. Don Beebe

Don Beebe

5. Don Beebe

Don Beebe

There’s no question 1996 was a big year for the Packers as they won their first championship since Super Bowl II. What many people may not realize is ’96 was also a huge year for Green Bay in free agency. In fact, three of the five players on this list were signed prior to that season. One of them was wide receiver Don Beebe, who produced a career year in which he had 699 receiving yards (second on the team) and four touchdowns.

4. Santana Dotson

Santana Dotson

4. Santana Dotson

Santana Dotson

Another ’96 signing was Santana Dotson. The defensive tackle was productive prior to Green Bay, but it was his time with the Packers that made his career memorable. Dotson was a force in the middle in which he recorded 37 total tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 5 ½ sacks in Green Bay’s Super Bowl season. He was a beast in the postseason that year as well. Dotson recorded 26 sacks while he played for the Packers.

3. Desmond Howard

Desmond Howard

3. Desmond Howard

Desmond Howard

The third ’96 signing on this last was none other than Desmond Howard. Without the return specialist, the Packers may have never got the chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Howard’s 99-yard kick return for a touchdown landed him Super Bowl MVP honors and cemented his status forever in Packers lore. His lone full season with the Packers saw him put up numbers that he never came close to matching again in his career.

2. Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

2. Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

The great Charles Woodson is one of the best free agent signings in NFL history and the second best in Green Bay. Everyone ruled him out, but the Packers believed he still had something left in the tank. Over time, Woodson became the heart and soul of the Packers defense, as well as, the emotional leader who helped lead Green Bay to a victory in Super Bowl XLV. The fan favorite also was awarded a Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.

1. Reggie White

Reggie White

1. Reggie White

Reggie White

The greatest free agent signing in NFL history and one of the best things to ever happen to the Packers was the acquisition of defensive end Reggie White. The legend ranks second in franchise history with 68 ½ sacks. His presence on the field, in the locker room and in the community will go unmatched until the end of time in Wisconsin. Along with Brett Favre, he is largely responsible for Green Bay’s Super Bowl win in ’96.


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  • Scott

    Uhh…Don Beebe didn’t even PLAY in the Super Bowl.

    Ryan Pickett easily eclipses the Beebe signing.

    • Michael Terrill

      Don Beebe was a substitute in the Super Bowl. There isn’t a place in this article that I say Beebe PLAYED in the Super Bowl. However, I did say that he was a huge reason why they got there due to his performance during the regular season and in the playoffs leading up to the Super Bowl.

      Ryan Pickett was a great signing. He’s ranked No. 6 on my list. In my opinion, Beebe was the better signing of the two on a all-time list.

      • Scott

        Well…alright. If you want to say that Don Bebbe’s one good year was more important than Pickett’s 8 years and 50 AV, then alright.

        Or you could just say, “yeah, I made a mistake there and Don Bebbe while being a fan favorite was clearly not a better signing than Ryan Pickett.

        Bebbe was nice to have around after we got hit with the injury bug and had a couple nice games. But he played ONE year of significance with the Packers.

        I also never said that YOU specifically said he played in the Super Bowl.

        Ryan Pickett was a starter on the #2 ranked defense in the NFL on a team that won the SB.
        Bebbe was a backup who came in and compiled most of his stats in 3 games in the middle of the year during a rash of injuries, including his 220 yard explosion in that SF Monday night game. But not nearly as significant an overall signing.

        • Michael Terrill

          “Uhh…Don Beebe didn’t even PLAY in the Super Bowl” Then what’s the point of making that comment?

          Ryan Pickett’s 2010 stats (Super Bowl season): 32 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble.

          Don Beebe’s 1996 stats (Super Bowl season): second on the team with 699 receiving yards, four touchdowns, 39 receptions.

          Ryan Pickett had the longer career with the Packers, but Don Beebee was more significant in a championship season. That’s why I picked him over Pickett.

          It’s true that the Packers ranked second in score defense in 2010. However, is Pickett truly responsible for the 15.0 points per game? Or was it Dom Capers moving Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson around like made men, along with the stellar play of Tramon Williams and B.J. Raji?

          Picket is a great player and has been a solid pick up for Green Bay. More importantly, he’s an even better human being who does a lot for the community. However, to suggest Pickett has done anything more than be a solid run stopper is ludicrous. Once again, I thought about putting Pickett at No. 5. To me, Beebe’s performance in a championship season outweighs Pickett’s, and that’s all that matters when it comes down to it.

          Thanks for the read.

          • Scott

            I don’t know, is it true that Don Bebbe was responsible for the top overall offense when the Packers went to the Super Bowl, or was that more because of having the MVP in Favre, Dorsey Levens, Jackson, Chumura…etc..etc..

            In fact, Bebbe was so insignificant come the Super Bowl he did nothing in it.

            And I just continue to be astounded with your sports knowledge…or lackthereof. Using a 3 technique’s statistics in a 3-4 defense…especially in Capers 3-4 is either intellectually dishonest, or suggests you don’t understand the scheme at all.

            Pickett was never put in a position to be the Jet rusher. He was a base 3 who’s job was similar to what Raji’s was last year, eat up blockers. And he did a fantastic job and was the Packers best run stuffer.

            Again, Don Bebbe had 220 yards in a game, and 501 in 4 games when our WR corps was decimated by injury.

            What’s more, I would think that 50 career AV in which a player plays in a NFCCG, wins a Super Bowl, is on a 15-1 team and three more division champs after the Super Bowl, AND was a key contributor in the Super Bowl would trump a player who had a good mid season run and then did nothing else ever for the Packers and posted a grand total of 9 AV in his Packer career.

            Older does not always mean better. Pickett v Dotson would be a better argument than Beebe.

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