While many of the free agent targets up to this point have been guesses and hopes, today’s featured player actually looks to be a legitimate target for the Packers this year. The USA Today is reporting that defensive lineman Chris Canty will visit the Packers and the Jaguars after the combine. Canty was released by the New York Giants recently, in what looks to be a cap clearing maneuver. More than one NFL team has expressed an interest in Canty since his release with the Titan making Canty an offer in addition to the scheduled visits to Green Bay and Jacksonville.
This is not the first time Canty has been connected to the Packers as a free agent. In 2008 there seemed to be an interest to sign Canty to the Packers, but he signed with the Giants before Green Bay put in an offer. It will be interesting to see if the Packers are more fortunate the second time around as they attempt to court Canty once again.
Canty is a rare defensive lineman who has experience as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 and as a defensive end in a 3-4. He started his career as an end for Dallas and then played defensive tackle for the Giants. He has shown an ability to bring a solid interior pass rush and at 6’7" he would bring some length to the defensive line. Although 2012 was a down season for Canty, he still scored a +6.6 grade from PFF for 2012 and is ranked as their 7th best interior defensive lineman free agent this year.
Naturally this is the point to admit that merely securing a visit is not a guarantee that the Packers will sign him, but this is a positive sign that the Packers may test the free agent waters more this offseason than in the past. This could be a wise decision given the needs of the team as well as the wealth of talent available this year.