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Cheese Curds, 3/18: Will Packers get their money’s worth from the new free agents?

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In the NFL, it’s all about bang for the buck. Can the new Packers still provide that in the back half of their four-year contracts?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Six days later, the intensity of the excitement that Green Bay Packers fans are feeling has calmed down somewhat. Still, we’ve gone from a full-fledged boil to a steady simmer, as the team’s four free agent additions continue to provide reasons to be optimistic for a turnaround in 2019, particularly on defense.

As we’ve mentioned before, last Tuesday was a first in Packers history with so many big-name signings coming so quickly. Thursday was the same, as all four players were in the building to sign their contracts and introduce themselves to the media. Now that the weekend has passed and we’re into week two of free agency, we are left with anticipation leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft, knowing that the Packers are probably finished making their big free agent moves for the spring.

The question now becomes how the new Packers will work into the roster and — more importantly — if they will indeed provide the impact that the team expects of them. The players’ contract structures relative to the salary cap are well-documented, as the Packers did backload a significant amount of cap money into the later years of these deals. If healthy, these players should have no difficulty justifying their cap hits in year one; the big question is whether they will do so in years three and four, when

The Packers, like every NFL team, continue to bank on the cap increasing steadily. In 2021, when the biggest cap jump will take place for all of these deals, the league will be negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, potentially leading to another massive jump like it saw in 2011. If so, these contract structures will help the team stay competitive in the meantime while not hurting too much in later years.

But most importantly, if these four players prove to be impact players throughout all four years of their deals, the cap hits will be nothing to worry about.

Packers won't be splurging next year | Packersnews.com
Don't expect a similar free agent investment in 2020 -- the Packers will probably need to re-sign a few key players like Mike Daniels and/or Blake Martinez, and they already have a significant cap investment already up and down the roster. The key now is to hit on the next couple of draft classes and hope that this year's signings pan out.

Billy Turner feels wanted in Green Bay | Packers.com
Turner, a Minnesota native, saw his dad play for both the Packers and Vikings, so he has seen both sides of the rivalry. For now, though, he's focused on his fit in Green Bay, where his athleticism makes him a good fit for a zone-blocking system.

The Smiths: The Packers' new $118 million pass-rushing combination - ESPN
Za'Darius and Preston Smith almost played together at Mississippi State after Za'Darius took a visit there while at a nearby junior college. Now they finally get to bookend each other in Green Bay.

This stat sums up Packers’ pass-rushing improvement in free agency | Packers Wire
Meanwhile, the two players had over 110 total quarterback pressures last year, beating the entire Packers' edge group by 25.

NFL Draft 2019: DE Montez Sweat has pre-existing heart condition | SI.com
One other potential Packers pass-rushing target with the 12th overall pick is Sweat, whose minor heart condition showed up on Combine medical exams. However, he and his agents say it's "not news," and the fact that he was allowed to participate fully at the Combine suggests that there should be no issue there moving forward.

Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill under investigation for alleged battery of juvenile - SBNation.com
This is the second domestic violence-related issue that Hill has faced in the past several years.

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This is the second moose-related incident in Colorado in recent days; a few days ago, a library had to be shut down because a moose decided to camp out near the front door.