After testing the free-agency waters, outside linebacker Nick Perry has decided to remain with the only NFL team he has ever known. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Silverstein, Perry has agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal to return to the Green Bay Packers. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the contract also includes playtime incentives.
The length of the deal suggests that Perry didn't find too much interest on the open market. Like many players in that situation, the linebacker took a one-year "prove it" contract in the hopes of boosting his value for next offseason, whether with the Packers or another team. Perry's deal allows Green Bay to retain one of its better edge rushers, a player that could see an uptick in snaps with Mike Neal still unsigned and Julius Peppers turning 36 in January.
In need of an pass rusher to play opposite of Clay Matthews, the Packers drafted Perry with the 28th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Perry managed only six games that season, though he displayed flashes of his pass-rushing potential. That trend continued for the next three years, with Perry dealing with one injury or another in between bouts of productivity.
With Peppers likely entering the final season of his career, Green Bay needed to secure someone to take over in the long-term. If he can finally put his poor injury luck behind him, Perry can become that player. In the interim, he provides quality depth at one of the key positions in Dom Capers' defense.
In 46 regular-season appearances, Perry has amassed 101 total tackles, 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. The linebacker has performed better in the playoffs, with more sacks (six) than games (five).