While it’s not as simple as picking either Nick Perry or Mike Neal to return to Green Bay this offseason, it could very well end up that way. It will be tough to pay both pass rushers, but the Packers can’t afford to let both walk. If they are forced into a decision, Perry should be the one to re-sign.
Of course, there are a number of variables that go into this. Perry is the younger, more talented pass rusher, but this could lead to him demanding a higher salary which is over the Packers’ estimate. In such a case, Thompson would be wise not to overpay and negotiate a deal with Neal.
But in terms of what they can bring to the Green Bay defense, there is higher upside with Perry. The one red flag is with his health: Perry has missed 18 games over the past four years and is yet to complete all 16 regular season games. But if he can finally kick the injury bug, the Packers sure wouldn’t want to come up against him if he’s playing somewhere else.
It’s arguably more of a gamble to bring back Perry, who will likely receive a more expensive contract than Perry. But in terms of getting after the quarterback, Perry is the better option.
Next: An invaluable asset