A look back at Ahmad Brooks’ first season with the Green Bay Packers.
As it turned out, even with Brooks, the unit struggled to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Let’s take a look back at Brooks’ time in Green Bay.
Season in review
Signed to a one-year, $5 million deal back in August, Brooks was added to provide depth to the Packers’ pass rush. This was particularly important with rookie Vince Biegel sidelined at the start of the year.
The 33-year-old did give the Packers defense a boost, and more experience, but he added just 1.5 sacks. The pass rush was a problem all year for Dom Capers’ defense. Not only did the group of edge rushers fail to produce consistent pressure, but they also struggled to stay healthy.
Brooks missed four games and played through injury in others.
In Green Bay, his production dropped from the year prior in San Francisco. Brooks’ sack total was his lowest since he was a Cincinnati Bengal in 2007.
Brooks played a total of 346 defensive snaps this year, according to Pro Football Reference. Considering his age and the fact he was signed in preseason, this isn’t a surprise. Brooks played on 32.89 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, which was fourth-most among the outside linebackers.
A Pro Bowler in 2013 and twice a second-team All-Pro, Brooks proved he still has value to any team. But if he returns to Green Bay, it won’t be in a featured role.
Looking ahead to 2018 season
The Packers need to get better at outside linebacker.
Brooks could come back on another one-year deal, although it’s unlikely he would receive quite as much money this time. But whether the former 49er returns or not, new general manager Brian Gutekunst needs to make upgrading the pass rush a top priority.
Whether through the draft, free agency or a combination of the two, the Packers need more depth at outside linebacker.
Maybe Biegel will become a bigger factor with a full offseason behind him and a chance to get fully healthy.
Brooks, too, could be part of Mike Pettine’s plans defensively.
He would offer experience and provide depth, but the price has to be right.