In 2019, the Green Bay Packers appear to have a less-than-exciting crop of players hitting free agency. Ten players will be eligible for unrestricted free agency along with three restricted free agents and eight exclusive-rights players.
There are a couple of big names in the group of players with expiring contracts, but none is a sure bet to return to Green Bay next season. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews has spent his entire ten-year career wearing Green and Gold, but his effectiveness has waned and he set a career-low in sacks this season with 3.5. Wide receiver Randall Cobb, an eight-year veteran, is in a similar spot after posting his lowest receiving yardage total since his rookie season.
Perhaps the most critical player to re-sign is one who was signed during the 2018 regular season: cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The five-year veteran played just seven games this season, but he recorded a pair of interceptions while providing some veteran leadership to the Packers’ young secondary. He will likely be one of general manager Brian Gutekunst’s top priorities this spring.
The Packers can negotiate with any of these players starting immediately and can sign them to new contracts at any time. However, the team cannot begin negotiating with players from other organizations until March 11th and cannot formally sign contracts until March 13th, the start of the 2019 league year.
Here’s a look at the Packers whose contracts have expired.
Unrestricted Free Agents (11)
These players have at least four accrued seasons of NFL experience and will be free to sign a free-agent contract with any NFL team at the start of the 2019 league year at 4:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, March 13th.
- OL Byron Bell
- CB Bashaud Breeland — signed with Chiefs on one-year contract
- S Ibraheim Campbell
- WR Randall Cobb — signed one-year contract with Cowboys
- CB Davon House
- TE Lance Kendricks
- TE Marcedes Lewis — re-signed with Packers for one-year contract
- OLB Clay Matthews — signed two-year contract with Rams
- S Eddie Pleasant
- ILB Jake Ryan — signed with Jaguars
- DL Muhammad Wilkerson
Restricted Free Agents (2)
Prior to the start of free agency, the Packers may extend a RFA tender to these players. This tender is for a one-year contract worth a specific amount of money (based on a percentage of the final salary cap). Three tenders are available: first-round, second-round, and right of first refusal. By submitting a tender, the Packers would retain the right to match any offer sheet the player would sign with another NFL team. If the tender is a first- or second-round option, the Packers could decline to match the offer sheet but would receive a 2019 draft pick in the specified round.
Of the players below, look for Geronimo Allison to receive a tender — likely the right of first refusal option.
- WR Geronimo Allison — received right of first refusal tender, signed one-year, $2.8 million contract
- S Kentrell Brice — did not receive a tender, signed one-year deal with Buccaneers
Exclusive-Rights Free Agents (6)
These players have fewer than three accrued seasons. The Packers may retain exclusive negotiating rights with them by submitting an ERFA tender, which is essentially a one-year contract offer for the league minimum salary.
- DL Fadol Brown — re-signed to one-year, $570,000 contract
- OLB Reggie Gilbert — received ERFA tender
- WR Jake Kumerow — signed ERFA tender
- G Justin McCray — signed ERFA tender
- G Lucas Patrick — signed ERFA tender
- TE Robert Tonyan — received ERFA tender
Street Free Agents (2)
The players listed below are those released from their contracts by the team prior to or during free agency. They are free to sign immediately with any team.
Practice Squad Players (12)
Practice squad players are under contract only during the season. However, these players may sign “futures contracts,” which allow the Packers to retain their rights through the offseason and into 2019. 12 players are listed despite the ten-man limit on the practice squad because the Packers had two players on the practice squad/injured list.
- TE Evan Baylis (signed futures contract)
- DL Eric Cotton (signed futures contract)
- OL Anthony Coyle (signed futures contract)
- OL Gerhard de Beer (signed futures contract)
- FB Malcolm Johnson (signed futures contract)
- CB D.J. Killings
- S Tray Matthews (signed futures contract)
- WR Teo Redding (signed futures contract)
- LB Brady Sheldon (signed futures contract)
- DL Deon Simon (signed futures contract)
- S Jason Thompson (signed futures contract)
- TE Ethan Wolf
* Note that this article initially listed safety Ibraheim Campbell as a restricted free agent. However, Campbell has four accrued seasons of NFL experience towards free agency (defined as a minimum of six regular-season games spent on the active roster, injured reserve, or PUP list), and is therefore eligible to be an unrestricted free agent. His status has been revised above along with the totals in each category. In addition, OL Adam Pankey was listed as a ERFA, but reporting in March showed that he actually is signed through 2019.