The Green Bay Packers really are reloading for the 2021 with the same personnel from the 2020 team. The latest returning player appears to be safety Will Redmond, who has spent the past three seasons with the team.
On Friday, Redmond posted some clear indications to his Instagram stories that he is re-signing with the Packers, as noticed by Twitter user @greenbaytoday. His first notable post simply said “Run it back” in green text, followed by a still shot of Lambeau Field with the caption “Year 6.” The latter caption likely refers to the fact that 2021 will be Redmond’s sixth NFL season, as he spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons on injured reserve after being a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
UPDATE: The Packers officially announced that they re-signed Redmond later on Friday afternoon.
Redmond’s most positive plays in Green Bay have come on special teams, where he has been a core contributor over the past two seasons. He has been active for 13 games each in 2019 and 2020 and has been on the field for nearly half of the team’s special teams snaps over those two years.
His defensive contributions, however, have been inconsistent at best and actively negative in some instances. As the team’s primary backup safety, Redmond has seen the field for 26 percent of defensive snaps in 2019 and another 33 percent in 2020, and he started in the three games over those two years that Darnell Savage missed due to injury. Redmond’s performance has been disappointing, however, as he has recorded just two pass breakups in total while struggling as a tackler.
The lasting memory of Redmond for the 2020 season will be an easy potential interception that he dropped just before halftime of the NFC Championship. A few plays later, the Buccaneers connected on a touchdown pass that changed the complexion of the game and sent Tampa Bay into halftime with a 21-10 lead instead of a four-point advantage.
Furthermore, Redmond missed seven tackles during the 2020 regular season while recording 28 total stops. That 20 percent missed tackle rate is a big reason why he allowed almost nine yards after the catch per reception last season — his average depth of target when in coverage was just 5.4 yards, but receivers totaled 14.3 total yards per completion against him.
Still, Redmond is a solid special teams player, which is a useful commodity at the league-minimum salary he is likely to command. While it would behoove the Packers to find some additional talent at the safety position behind Savage and Adrian Amos, the team needed a depth piece and Redmond is at least familiar with the organization while coming cheaply — a key factor for a team that has been pushing significant cap money off into future years this offseason.