The 2015 NFL free agency period is almost here. As the rumors fly, agents and teams are likely behind the scenes, trying to spin reports in the media to gain an advantage in various contract negotiations. We've seen examples of this just in the past few days with the reports about Randall Cobb's contract demands. Of course, it is impossible for anyone outside of the reporters and their "anonymous sources" to know which side is pushing which buttons.
Still, the Packers have numerous free agents, and several of them are looking at cashing in on big paydays this March. With the legal tampering period kicking off on Saturday March 7th and free agency officially opening at 4:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday March 10th, there is little time left to get up to speed on what's going on before the signings start to roll in.
We'll update this page with any news and additional updates as they roll in throughout the next few days.
Cobb is of course the big-ticket name in Green Bay, and there are numerous reports flying around about the asking price that he and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, have set. Is it $9 million per year? Perhaps not, as Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the Packers have offered Cobb a deal worth $8-9 million annually over 5 years. McGinn instead reports that Cobb wants something in the range of $12 million annually, which would put him in the top five of all NFL receivers.
Still, keep in mind that the rumors were flying about Sam Shields leading up to the legal tampering period last year, and he has an even more notorious agent in Drew Rosenhaus. What happened with Shields? He re-signed with the Packers on the second day of the tampering period, presumably after finding the rest of the market was not to his liking. Keep in mind this possibility when thinking about Cobb's situation.
March 7, 11:40 a.m. CT: Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Jaguars will "miss on" Randall Cobb, among other free agents. Meanwhile, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Chargers could make a run for Cobb.
March 7, 12:15 p.m. CT: Randall Cobb would reportedly take $1-2 million less per year to remain in Green Bay.
March 7, 1:39 p.m. CT: Houston has now entered the running for Cobb, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Perhaps surprisingly, there has been little to no news about Bulaga's free agent status out of Green Bay. Then again, his agent Tom Condon tends to fly under the radar more so than Sexton. I would expect to start hearing more about the Packers' right tackle in the coming days, however.
The Packers cornerback has been linked to the Seattle Seahawks and former Packers executive John Schneider. Reports also suggest that Williams turned down the Packers offer of two years and $8 million total, thinking that he can get a longer term and more guaranteed money elsewhere.
According to Paul Imig of FOX Sports Wisconsin, the Packers have not talked to House or his agent. This report comes as of about 2:30 PM Central on Friday.
According to ESPN's Ben Goessling, Minnesota has expressed interest in another former Packer: A.J. Hawk.
Restricted Free Agents
Here's a report from ESPN's Rob Demovsky regarding the three RFAs, Don Barclay, Jarrett Boykin, and Sean Richardson, basically saying that there is no news on any of them:
Two of the #Packers RFAs -- Barclay and Boykin -- are still waiting to hear about tenders. Not sure about the third -- Richardson.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) March 6, 2015
The Packers have until the start of free agency on March 10th to tender these players.
Yeah, that's a real thing. ESPN's Adam Schefter just reported it Friday morning. The Bears will eat a little over $5.5 million in dead money this year on their cap as a result of this move, but it still is a net gain of close to $4 million in cap space.
Inside Linebackers re-signing
A pair of 3-4 inside linebackers went off the market on Friday after re-signing with their old teams. David Harris of the Jets signed a new three-year deal worth $21.5 million in total (somehow with $15 million guaranteed). Likewise, the Chiefs re-signed a starter, Josh Mauga to a three-year deal; his is worth around $8 million in total.