Last summer, undrafted free agent rookie defensive lineman Jack Heflin went from a relative unknown to a preseason fan favorite. With only one year of Power Five experience after a transfer to Iowa, few had high expectations for Heflin when he signed with the Green Bay Packers post-draft. That changed in the preseason when the little-known rookie turned his “trash can full of dirt” evaluation into on-field production.
Heflin did enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster for the entire regular season but was waived leading up to the Packers’ divisional-round game against the San Francisco 49ers when outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and receiver Randall Cobb were all activated in the same week. After clearing waivers, unlike fellow defensive lineman Kingsley Keke, Heflin found himself as a free agent once again. According to Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber, Heflin has signed on with the team as a futures contract player, joining 10 other Packers who signed similar deals on Tuesday.
Per Huber, the team has also signed receiver Rico Gafford and cornerback Kiondre Thomas to future deals, despite those players never having played for the Packers in the regular season or preseason. Green Bay worked out Gafford and Thomas, along with running back LaVante Bellamy, on Tuesday.
As it stands today, former Packers practice-squadders Kerrith Whyte, David Moore, Josh Malone, Bronson Kaufusi, Ben Braden, Abdullah Anderson, R.J. McIntosh and Peter Kalambayi are still unsigned. One would assume that the team would at least look to re-sign Moore, Braden, Anderson and McIntosh, who have either played regular-season snaps for the team or were protected practice-squadders during the season. News of their additions to the Packers’ offseason roster could come sooner rather than later if they choose to return to Green Bay.