The Packers have added another veteran body to their offensive line group, adding former New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans. The team announced the signing Wednesday afternoon.
The 33-year old Evans played his previous eleven season in New Orleans, the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2006.
Evans has been named a first-team All-Pro four times in his career in addition to making six Pro Bowls.
The Packers were thin along the offensive line following the departure of T.J. Lang to the Lions this offseason. Prior to the Evans signing, the trio of veteran backup Don Barclay, 2016 7th-round pick Kyle Murphy, and first year player Lucas Patrick were thought to be the leading contenders for the starting right guard job. Now, Evans is likely the presumptive starter at the position.
Barclay himself re-signed this offseason on a one year, $1.025 million deal, which could actually be an instructive starting point for what Evans is likely to earn in Green Bay. Evans played the 2016 season on a one year, $1.065 million contract after the Saints cut him the previous offseason. He signed briefly with Seattle before being released at final cuts and coming back to New Orleans. His deal with Green Bay is likely to be in that same neighborhood, making him a low-risk signing. Acme Packing Company even speculated about his potential fit earlier this offseason when looking for inexpensive veterans.
Signing Evans may also affect what the Packers do in this week’s NFL Draft. Though he may not have fallen to the 29th pick, the Packers were thought to be a possible landing spot for Western Kentucky lineman Forrest Lamp. Signing Evans should put the Packers officially out of the offensive line market as far as the early portions of the draft are concerned.
They may make a move later in the draft, but with Evans penciled in as a starter at right guard, the Packers will now be looking for depth rather than a starting caliber player.d