Green Bay Packers 2019 roster preview: Marcedes Lewis
Marcedes Lewis is the best blocking tight end on the Green Bay Packers roster, and it’s not even close.
This offseason, the Green Bay Packers decided to bring back veteran Marcedes Lewis on a one-year deal worth $2.1 million.
Lewis’ best work comes as a blocker, but will he get more snaps in the Packers’ new offense?
Lewis had just three receptions on four targets for 39 yards in 2018. It was the first time in his 13-year career that he didn’t finish with double-digit catches, and his first season with less than 100 receiving yards.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Packers didn’t use Lewis much last season despite signing him to a one-year deal in the offseason. Lewis was used on just under 18 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 2018, according to Pro Football Reference. It’s not like he was a key special teams player, either, only playing 15.71 percent of the Packers’ special teams snaps.
So the question is — why did the Packers sign him in the first place? Lewis is a good blocker, but the Packers often used their other tight ends in that role.
Odds of making roster: 70 percent
The fact Lewis was re-signed suggests new head coach Matt LaFleur plans to use him more often than McCarthy did last year. But given the depth at tight end currently with Jimmy Graham returning, the addition of third-round pick Jace Sternberger and the decision to bring back Robert Tonyan, it’s possible the Packers only keep three tight ends.
If the Packers cut Lewis, it’d only cost them $500,000 in dead cap, according to Spotrac. It would be a surprising move, but it’s still a possibility to consider.
What to expect in 2019?
If Lewis makes the 53-man roster, we can assume LaFleur was involved in the decision to re-sign him. Jimmy Graham and Jace Sternberger aren’t known for their blocking, so LaFleur could value Lewis’ blocking ability and plan to give him more snaps this season.
Lewis will mostly be used for his ability to block, but as he’s shown throughout his career, he can also catch passes and make an impact as a receiver. With 33 career touchdowns, the Packers should look to get Lewis more involved in the red zone.