Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Armchair GM Thoughts on Green Bay Packers 2020 Free Agents

Never did provide a weekly update on first Fantasy Football experience. Oh well, maybe next cause... I won the League Championships in both leagues! Beginner's luck, I guess. Relying on the computer wasn't the straight-jacket I dreaded. Active management helped tremendously though.

But, I digress. I am not blogging about my Fantasy Football experience except how it may or may not lend itself to doing what many team sports do. Be an armchair general manager on what a given sports franchise should do with their roster. March, or is it April?, marks the beginning of the 2020 season and the start of free agency. Every football team has a number of players whom are free agents. In the NFL there are three categories: Unrestricted, Restricted, Exclusive-Rights.

I am going provide my thoughts on the 2020 free agents of my favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers.

Exclusive Rights

While technically free agents, an NFL team only needs to exercise their right to retain and the player is locked up for another season. Generally, only players undrafted players and those whom were cut (although this is murky to my understanding) are Exclusive Rights Free Agents. My understanding is a team only has this option for roughly two seasons - extendable by total accrued season time. They eventually become restricted free agents.

The Packers have the following players locked under Exclusive Rights:

Allen Lazard WR
Tyler Lancaster DL
Chandon Sullivan CB
Jake Kumerow WR
Robert Tonyan TE

As a Packer fan, what excited me the most about this season was how many reps Rodgers was getting with wide receivers whom would be on the bottom of the depth chart. Sure, the season proved the Packers need better quality at receiver; but should injuries strike next season the team knows the bottom of the depth chart can play on an NFL level. Heck, Lazard will likely be vying for the WR3 spot in camp. Kumerow is also a lock.

Tyler Lancaster for some reason or another became a starter. While the run defense was lacking, Lancaster remains a good depth option. Keep.

Chandon Sullivan was the swiss army cornerback leapfrogging over former 2018 2nd round draft pick Josh Jackson for snaps. Could he become the next Sam Shields? Keeper.

Robert Tonyan has been slated as the heir apparent at Tight End for two seasons. Considering Lewis is a free agent and Graham may be cut/traded to clear cap space, Tonyan is a lock.

Restricted Free Agents

Restricted Free Agents are one season removed from becoming Unrestricted Free Agents whom can sign with whomever once free agency begins. A team places a tender on a restricted free agent.

Malcolm Johnson Fullback

Camp body, practice squad body, on the team because Vitale was often unavailable. I'd let him walk. Green Bay can always draft a new fullback or sign an undrafted player.

Unrestricted free agents

NFL teams receive compensatory picks based on the balance of the average salary of free agent they sign versus the average salary of player they lose. Since the Green Bay Packers played in the NFC Championship game, some of their players may receive significant salaries. Furthermore, Green Bay doesn't have much cap space with which to sign other teams' free agents or extend their own. Consistency plays a huge role so I wouldn't let everyone walk.

Bryan Bulaga  RT

The Packers don't really have a replacement lined up at right tackle. Free agency occurs before the draft and they pick at number 30. I doubt a starter falls to them during the first round. I would keep Bulaga; but how long and how much plays a role. A one year, $9 million contract? Keeper.

Blake Martinez ILB

I greatly respect Blake Martinez; however the team does require more speed on the inside than Martinez would be able to provide at the high price tag he'll command on the market. He's gone.

Geronimo Allison WR

Performed poorly. Gone.

Tramon Williams CB

He's 36 and the primary reason Josh Jackson isn't playing. Either give up on Jackson or let Williams walk.

Mason Crosby K

A kicker who kicks well inside Lambeau is hard to find. I'd keep him for as long as Rodgers has on his extension but structure such that it's only a one or two year deal.

Marcedis Lewis TE

Guy can block, which is important to the Packers scheme, as the 49ers demonstrated... Keep so he can help the new tight ends develop their blocking skills. Another incentive contract.

Kyler Fackrell OLB

Gone. Maybe he can acquire a better contract on the market. Maybe street free agent i.e. sign after the draft.

Will Redmond DB

Street free agent.

BJ Goodson ILB

Street free agent.

Ibraheim Campbell DB

THE dime linebacker. I don't think the team can be confident on ILB Burks's development. Keep.

Danny Vitale Fullback


Jared Veldheer OT

Provided depth at OT. If he wants to stay for the cheap, keep him.

Tyler Ervin RB

Revitalized the return game and opens of the jet sweep motion. Keep.

Ryan Grant WR

Never saw the field. Gone.

Jason Spriggs OT

Bust. Gone.

Those are my thoughts on the 2020 GB Packers free agents.

Next time.

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