FanSided gave the Green Bay Packers an A grade for their work in free agency.
Being big spenders in free agency is never the expectation for the Green Bay Packers, but here we are. The Packers made four big signings shortly after free agency got underway, addressing key positions of need ahead of the draft.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst stuck to his word of being active in free agency. He strengthened the defense by signing pass rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, as well as safety Adrian Amos. The Packers also added a potential starter to the offensive line with Billy Turner.
Joe Soriano of FanSided recently handed out grades for every NFL team following free agency, and he gave the Packers an A for their work.
Soriano had high praise for the additions Gutekunst made:
"“The Packers brought in some high-impact players at critical positions, too. The pass rushing duo of Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith will end up being one of the NFL’s best.”"
Za’Darius and Preston Smith replace Clay Matthews (not re-signed) and Nick Perry (released) as the top two pass rushers on the roster. Along with Kyler Fackrell, who posted 10.5 sacks in 2018, Green Bay has to feel a lot better about its pass rush moving forward. What’s going to be interesting now is whether Gutekunst is done adding talent to the pass rush, and if and when he brings in an edge rusher via the draft.
Soriano was also spot on with his evaluation of Amos, writing that he is “consistent on a snap-to-snap basis and just might be one of the best overall safeties in the league”. That will be music to the ears of Packers fans. The safety position was a mess in Green Bay last season, especially after Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was traded away.
The strangest decision in free agency was to let Bashaud Breeland walk, but considering the contract he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, one has to assume Gutekunst didn’t have any intention to re-sign him. That’s better than being outbid. Cornerback is a bigger need than it was two months ago, but Gutekunst will have a plan at the position.
It’s difficult to judge a free agency class in the offseason, but the Packers have to be pleased with the moves they’ve made.