What’s next for the offensive line?
Looking at the starters alone, the Packers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The group of tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang and center Corey Linsley form excellent protection for Aaron Rodgers.
The fun ends there.
JC Tretter is a valuable asset to have. He filled in admirably at center and left tackle when injuries hit — but outside of Tretter, there is a concerning lack of depth. Don Barclay looked out of his depth when filling in this year. Maybe it’s due to the ACL tear he suffered in 2014. Josh Walker struggled, too.
Ted Thompson spent a lot of time evaluating offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"“An NFL source who was in Mobile, Ala., for the week leading up to the Jan. 30 game said Thompson was “glued” to the offensive line drills. Asked if he had noticed the same thing, another league source who was there said, “It’s true. He was, it seemed.””"
And for good reason.
Not only does Thompson need to bolster the depth along the line, he also has a keen eye on the current contracts. Bakhtiari, Sitton, Lang and Tretter are all set to become free agents after the 2016 season.
There’s little chance the Packers are able to bring all four back. It’s more likely one or two return to Green Bay, meaning replacements need to be ready to go in 2017.
Next: A decision for this free agent