The first signing of the first day of NFL free agency is here, and believe it or not it is the Green Bay Packers who have landed that first big fish.
The Packers have their off-ball linebacker, reportedly signing former Cleveland Brown Christian Kirksey to a two-year, $13 million contract with extra money possible through incentives. The report comes from Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, who obtained the details from Kirksey’s agents.
Kirksey came to Green Bay on a free agent visit late last week after meeting with the Las Vegas Raiders. This contract reunites him with Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who was the Browns’ head coach during Kirksey’s first two seasons as a pro.
UPDATE: According to Aaron Wilson, the deal actually contains $13 million in non-incentive money, with a $4 million signing bonus. He will also have a large portion of the contract wrapped up in per-game active roster bonuses, with $1.5 million in incentives each year and extra incentives in 2021 for Pro Bowl honors.
With Kirksey in the fold, the Packers are unlikely to make a move for another free agent linebacker, whether that would involve re-signing Blake Martinez or making a run at a player like Cory Littleton. Likewise, a top draft pick at the position seems unlikely, as the Packers could realistically focus on other pressing positions.
Stay tuned for more free agency news as the next few days roll along.