You know what you’re going to get with Mike Neal. Neal isn’t a star, but he is a reliable player and an important part of the pass rush rotation. A player’s best ability is availability, and Neal now hasn’t missed a game since 2012. After struggling with injuries early on his career, he’s become an ever-present in recent years.
Neal finished 2015 with numbers similar to expectations with 36 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble. He added two sacks against Washington in the wild-card round in what was his best performance of the season.
Neal is an unrestricted free agent, and the Packers need to make a tough decision on whether to bring him back. Neal is a valuable member of the pass rush rotation, and bringing him back would add depth at a key area on defense.
As ever, it all comes down to the price tag. Neal should be considerably cheaper than Nick Perry, which could tempt Ted Thompson to bring him back. Could both come back? Neal is older than Perry and isn’t as productive, but would be a solid piece to the defensive puzzle should he return.
Next: Jake Ryan