Over a two-week span, we are taking a look at each position group on the Packers and provide grades and insight on how they performed in the 2014 season. Today, we'll be looking at the linebackers. Follow along with all of our positional breakdowns here.
The Green Bay Packers have just a single player from their linebacker corps who will be a free agent in 2015. This player hit free agency a year ago, but was brought back as a Restricted Free Agent. Here's a look at his 2014 season.
However, there could be more Packers players cut loose before the start of Free Agency on March 10th, as two players who have fallen out of favor on defense might be carrying salary cap hits too expensive to maintain. A.J. Hawk has the 2015 season still on his contract, but the Packers could save $3.5 million in cap space by cutting him loose. Similarly, Brad Jones' deal goes through next season, and his release would open up almost $3.7 million in cap space.
For now, though, there's just one.
Years in NFL: 4
How acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent in 2011, signed to Restricted Free Agent tender in 2014
2014 Compensation: $1,431,000 base salary
2014 Stats: 11 games, 5 starts; 37 total tackles (22 solo), 1 interception, 1 pass defended
Lattimore's season was all over the board; he played almost exclusively on special teams for the first few weeks, then took over as the starter for five games. He then missed a few games with a minor injury before moving back to special teams after Sam Barrington emerged as a starter on the inside.
Though he has plenty of physical ability, Lattimore's coverage skills remain raw and his pursuit angles aren't always ideal. He has been a key member of the special teams over his years in Green Bay though, and if he isn't able to find a job elsewhere with a potential to start, he could come back as a valuable depth and special teams piece.