Now that the clock has clicked past 4:00 Eastern time, NFL teams can finally start actually signing all the contracts that have been agreed upon over the past two days. On Thursday, a flurry of verbal agreements led to a certain Green Bay Packers guard being the top offensive lineman available who is not yet committed to a team for 2017.
That lineman is of course T.J. Lang, who apparently has a handful of primary suitors at the present time. The Packers are still in play for Lang’s services, but two other teams have emerged as their primary competition: the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks. Multiple reports came out just after the 4:00 deadline that Lang has visits set up with both of those teams — the Lions on Thursday afternoon and the Seahawks on Friday. Meeting with Detroit is easy for Lang, who is a native of the area and still makes his home in Michigan during the offseason.
Lang’s market may have exploded over the past 48 hours, however, as guards around the NFL are cashing in with big contracts. The Browns reportedly gave Kevin Zeitler five years and $60 million, while Ronald Leary is going to sign a deal with the Broncos worth $35 million for four years. Based on his age (29), level of play (Pro Bowler in 2016), and injury history, Lang projects to slot in with an annual salary somewhere between the $12 and $8.75 million range, probably in the $10 to $11 million area.
If he does indeed depart, this would leave the Packers severely shorthanded on the interior of their offensive line. Center JC Tretter has already agreed to a new contract with the Cleveland Browns, which would leave the Packers in a bind to replace Lang at right guard.
Stay tuned in the coming days as we try to find out more about Lang’s potential destination.