Defensive back Jim Leonhard could be a valuable pick-up for the Green Bay Packers. Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Jim Leonhard: Could he be headed to the Green Bay Packers?


Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin fans would be giddy if the Packers were to sign free agent safety Jim Leonhard – as has been the rumor the past couple of days.

Even Leonhard himself has been talking about the possibilities.

Leonhard, the Tony,Wisconsin, native and Flambeau School District graduate, has been a fighter his entire life. Coming from a school that is merely a dot on the Wisconsin school landscape, he was a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin.

Leonhard, the Tony,Wisconsin, native and Flambeau School District graduate, has been a fighter his entire life.

But since he found his way onto the NFL landscape, he been nothing but successful. He was an undrafted starter with the Buffalo Bills starting in 2005, but has spent time as a valuable backup and spot starter since with the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and most recently again with the Bills.

So, why would the Packers want a player like Leonhard? He’s not torn up the league with his play. He’s been nothing better than a spot starter and he’s what one may call a journeyman.

Well, during that time he’s been highly valued as a kick and punt returner and as a hard hitter and playmaker in the defensive backfield.

He could be that player who would help stabilize the Packers inept defensive backfield.

Here are his career defensive statistics, which include 12 interceptions – two that have been returned for touchdowns:


Here is how he was quoted Friday night at a function in Eau Claire:

It would mean a lot, but we’ve had a lot of conversations with teams, Green Bay being one of them. They’re a great organization, I’d love to play for them but it hasn’t worked out up to now. You never know what can happen in the future, but we’ll see. They’re a great organization and it’s always fun to see the fans and have a lot of family that follows them closely.

The Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton -Dix with their first pick in the 2014 NFL draft to help shore up a position of need. Adding Leonhard to the mix would bring experience and playmaking abilities to the team’s defensive backfield.

With the team’s roster bound to take a turn in the coming weeks, in my opinion bringing in Leonhard would be a no-brainer.

Will Ted Thompson feel the same?

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  • David Hofstedt

    He wouldn’t cost the Packers a draft pick as a FA signing because it’s after July 1st, and he brings experience, something this defense could always have a little more of. Sign him to the minimum and see what happens.

  • White Rabbit

    A little on the small side, a little north of 30, and hasn’t stuck with a team for an extended period of time. Jim Leonard was a good player, and certainly fills a role but does he really fill that role in Green Bay?
    I have my doubts. Green Bay may have talked with him, they may kick the tires a little bit and they may just keep an eye on Jim just for the sake of being prepared should there be a problem. I strongly doubt there is much to this story.
    Let’s wait two weeks for camp to really get rolling and see what happens.