After nearly 48 hours of legal negotiations between NFL teams and free agents, the Green Bay Packers appear to finally be making their first big waves of the week. The biggest-name Packers player set to hit free agency is edge rusher Nick Perry, who had a breakout season in 2016.
During the day on Wednesday, two teams besides the Packers developed as strong suitors for Perry: the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons. The Jets in particular appeared to be a strong candidate, given their $33 million in cap space and the fact that former Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene now holds that same position in New York.
However, Thursday morning brings an encouraging report from CBS’ Jason La Canfora, who says that the Packers are going to be able to bring back Perry:
Hearing Packers have a long-term agreement with Nick Perry. Huge win Green Bay. Keep the pass rushing LB. Should be announced today— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2017
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport confirms the report, and La Canfora also reports that the contract will run for five years, which would lock Perry up through the 2021 season, when he will be 31 years old.
Perry’s breakout 2016 season saw him record 11 sacks in the regular season and another one in the postseason. He played in 14 games, starting 12, and also recorded an interception. Despite facing several injuries each season in his career, Perry has now played in 14 games or more in three straight seasons.
Keeping Perry was always going to be a critical move for the Packers, who went into the offseason with just three outside linebackers on the roster, and just one of their top five from last season.
Stay tuned as we keep on the lookout for financial terms of the contract.