The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings might have one thing in common this offseason: they are both expect to lose a starting defensive end in free agency. DE Cullen Jenkins will certainly be a free agent, while DE Ray Edwards will probably be an unrestricted free agent, and both players should be heavily pursued by teams looking to bolster their pass rush.
Edwards seems certain to leave Minnesota since the Vikings gave a big extension to former backup DE Brian Robison. Daily Norseman points out a story linking him to the Falcons, which makes a lot of sense for the Falcons. After surrendering a lot of picks in the trade for WR Julio Jones, they'll need to be aggressive in free agency to fill their other needs. Pro Football Focus rates Edwards high because of his excellent pass rushing ability, while expressing some concern on his performance once he's not playing opposite DT Kevin Williams and DE Jared Allen.
It's still possible the Packers could re-sign Jenkins, but he said the Packers haven't made any attempt to negotiate with him in over a year. He's not too highly rated by Pro Football Focus, but they do give him high marks as a pass rusher. I've never thought too highly of him as a run stopper either. He's there to rush the passer. And he's done it well in both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense. Teams are making the switch to the 3-4 and they'll need personnel suited for that scheme. Jenkins not only can play at end, but he can record 7 sacks and a lot of quarterback disruptions while doing it. I still expect he's going to make a ton of money, and I don't expect the Packers want to pay him it.