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NFL Free Agency 2014 Primer: Packers Needs, Targets, and More

Here's everything you need to know in a nutshell about the Packers as the start of free agency is upon us.

Tom Lynn

Free Agency officially begins in a few hours, at 3:00 PM Central Time. To get you ready for the next few weeks, we have compiled all the critical pieces of our offseason and free agency coverage here to make this your one-stop shop for background information on the Green Bay Packers and their efforts in the free agent market.

Packers' Needs

To refresh your memory, we assigned a "Need" rating to each position on the team of 0 through 10, with 10 being the most urgent need. You can find all of those ratings compiled at the link above, in our Offseason Review summary.

The most urgent need is of course at safety, which earned a "perfect" 10. Also critical are the tight end and defensive line positions, as well as both outside and inside linebackers. Cornerback received a 6/10, but with the team re-signing Sam Shields that position probably is now only about a 2/10.

Defensive Free Agent Targets

Our Josh VanDyke broke down a number of defensive free agents from around the league who make sense for the Packers to at least investigate.

Packers' Free Agent Tracker

We will keep this page updated with news of any confirmed signings by the Packers or by other teams signing players who were Packers in 2013. As of 11 AM Central on Tuesday, the only signings the Packers have made are cornerback Sam Shields and safety Chris Banjo.

Salary Cap Tracker

Here we will endeavor to update the team's salary cap situation. This tracker will be delayed a bit behind the signing tracker, mainly because contract structures are not announced or leaked right away. Still, we will update this as soon as we have a reasonable estimate of a signee's contract to try to reflect the effect he will have on the Packers' salary cap room for 2014. As of 11 AM Central time on Tuesday, the Packers are estimated to have just under $29 million in cap space.

Restricted Free Agents

The Packers have two restricted free agents this year: inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore and safety M.D. JenningsReports indicate that the Packers will not tender either player, however, and that both of them will hit the open market when free agency begins at 3 PM.