The Green Bay Packers made arguably the biggest splash in free agency this offseason, adding four players on multiyear contracts, all likely starters. Those moves bolster a roster that fell short last year and give new head coach Matt LaFleur a chance to jumpstart his tenure in Green Bay.
Still, those expenditures come with a cost beyond the dollar amount, one the Packers will eventually have to pay.
The Packers’ decision to limit the cap hit for their four big free agent additions allows for flexibility in case they decide to make another significant addition or move later this year. At the same time, the team will have to pay significantly more for those players in 2020, limiting how the front office can maneuver and, perhaps most importantly, whom it can retain. Green Bay has a more robust free-agent class hitting the market next offseason, a list including Bryan Bulaga, Mike Daniels, and Blake Martinez.
Many fans have a hard time saying goodbye to longtime contributors like Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb. However, successful front offices know when the sever ties with aging players. The Packers have already gone about replacing Matthews’ role in the defense and could do the same with Cobb’s in the upcoming NFL draft.
While not an aging stalwart like Matthews or Cobb, cornerback Bashaud Breeland made a handful of big plays for the Packers defense down the stretch of 2018 and could have done so again had the team retained him. Instead, Breeland signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Green Bay to add talent in the later stages of free agency or the draft. The top of the depth chart looks promising with Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Kevin King at the top, but the group could use some depth.
The NFL Media’s digital arm publishes interesting videos from time to time. This one, which details the first true free agency period in 1993, covers one former member of the Packers you expect and another perhaps you didn’t realize hit the market that year.