Green Bay Packers 2018 roster review: Nick Perry

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 22: Nick Perry
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 22: Nick Perry /

The Green Bay Packers spent big money on Nick Perry a year ago, but we was inconsistent for much of the 2017 season.

Perry is a talented player. The Packers paid him for a reason. But his biggest challenge has been staying healthy.

This continued in 2017, and it affected Perry’s production. Let’s take a closer look at his 2017 season.

Season in review

In his first season after signing a five-year, $59 million deal to stay with the Packers, Perry had to produce. Unfortunately it was a somewhat disappointing season for the veteran edge rusher.

While Perry produced his second-best season sack total with seven, he was inconsistent and too often failed to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Like so often in his career, injuries played their part. Perry missed four games, making it six consecutive years he’s failed to complete all 16 regular season games. That’s concerning for the Packers given how much they spent to keep him in town last spring.

Perry failed to register a sack in seven games. His best performance was in the Packers’ 23-16 win at Chicago. That afternoon he posted three sacks.

In total Perry played 542 of the Packers’ defensive snaps, which works out at 51.52 percent, according to Pro Football Reference. This was down from 2016, when he played 603 snaps (58.60 percent).

He ranked third among linebackers for snaps played, behind Blake Martinez and Clay Matthews.

Despite an underwhelming season, the Packers were a better football team with him than without. Imagine they had let him walk in free agency. The pass rush would have been an even bigger mess than it was.

Looking ahead to 2018 season

Perry’s biggest obstacle is staying healthy. The 27-year-old is a strong, powerful player who has proven he can be a reliable pass rusher when he’s not injured.

History suggests he’ll continue to miss games, which means the Packers must take the pressure off Perry by adding more talent. While he will remain a starter in Mike Pettine’s defense, the Packers need to add depth at outside linebacker.

Finding more consistency to the pass rush would give the entire defense a major boost, and it would also ease the pressure on the secondary.

When healthy Perry is a fine player, but injuries have been a regular problem.

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Avoiding injury throughout 2018 would be huge.