Green Bay Packers: Early look at 2018 free agency

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Davante Adams
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Davante Adams /

With the Green Bay Packers’ playoff hopes all but over, here’s an early look at free agency.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson will likely resume his conservative approach to roster building in the offseason. But before we begin to think about the draft and big name free agents Thompson can pass up on, he must take care of the Packers set to hit the market.

Every NFL team has to make tough decisions in free agency. It’s impossible to keep everyone. Who must be re-signed and who can be replaced?

The Packers’ 2018 free agency class isn’t as loaded as in recent years, and that’s a good thing.

Last year they lost T.J. Lang, Micah Hyde, JC Tretter, Jared Cook and Julius Peppers. Each of these departures hurt the Packers in 2017. For a team that believes firmly in drafting, developing then keeping its best players, letting so much talent leave the building can’t continuously happen.

Here’s a list of the Packers’ upcoming unrestricted free agents. Highlighted in bold are the players who should be priorities to re-sign for Thompson.

Packers 2018 unrestricted free agents

Davante Adams

Ahmad Brooks

Morgan Burnett

Quinton Dial

Jahri Evans

Brett Goode

Demetri Goodson

Davon House

Jeff Janis

Corey Linsley

Richard Rodgers

Adams has proven he can be the Packers’ No. 1 receiver. The 24-year-old has 885 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this year, which is all the more impressive considering Brett Hundley was the starting quarterback for half of the season. In that time no other receiver could produce as consistently as Adams.

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Corey Linsley may not stand out on the stat sheets, but when healthy he’s offered stability and continuity at the center position. After allowing JC Tretter to walk a year ago, the Packers can’t afford to let Linsley follow him out the door.

Morgan Burnett should also be a priority. Yes, the Packers are deep at the safety position. And Burnett will be 29-years-old next season and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career.

But he’s such a valuable player in the secondary. He is not only the best safety on the team, but he wears a number of hats in Dom Capers’ defense and also offers experience, which is so important late in the season.

Green Bay has lost a lot of talent in the secondary the past couple of years. And just because the safety position appears to be deep now, that can change. There weren’t many complaints when Casey Hayward left via free agency as the Packers were believed to be strong at the position.

According to Spotrac, Green Bay should have around $42.3 million in cap room next year.

Randall Cobb’s cap hit in 2018 is the second highest on the team behind only Aaron Rodgers. The Packers could free up over $9 million if they decided to release him ahead of the final year on his deal.

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Who do you think the Packers should re-sign?