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2014 Packers Free Agents: Mike Neal Hopes to Return

The only Packer to play outside linebacker in every 2013 game will be a free agent in 2014.

Jonathan Daniel

The Green Bay Packers' outside linebacker unit has been hit hard by injuries over the past few years. One of the stabilizing factors at that position in 2013 was actually someone who was not expected to play linebacker at all. Former defensive end Mike Neal received some additional training at linebacker to maximize his pass-rushing abilities, but he was forced into full-time duty at the position and started ten games there in 2013.

As Neal's rookie contract expires, he will hit free agency for the first time in 2014. He has expressed an interest in coming back to Green Bay, though. The team's decision on Neal may depend on how they view his position moving forward - whether that is at linebacker or back at defensive end.

Here are the critical details on Neal.

Mike Neal

2013 Stats

16 games played, 10 starts (all at OLB)
50 tackles (39 solo), 5.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble

2013 Contract

Final year of four-year, $3.1 million rookie contract
2013 compensation: $630,000 base salary

Career Stats

36 games played, 11 starts (10 at OLB, 1 at DE)
68 total tackles (52 solo), 10.5 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles

How Acquired

2010 NFL Draft: second-round pick (#56 overall)