Packers free agency 2020: Importance of re-signing Bryan Bulaga

Green Bay Packers, Bryan Bulaga (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Bryan Bulaga (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers should re-sign Bryan Bulaga this offseason.

Bryan Bulaga is still one of the most reliable tackles in football. Even at 30 years old and with a lengthy injury history, the Green Bay Packers should make bringing him back one of their top priorities this spring.

According to ESPN, the Packers offensive line had the best pass block win rate in the league this season. The two tackles played a key role in that. David Bakhtiari led all tackles in the metric. Bulaga more than played his part on the right side of the line, shutting down a number of elite edge rushers.

And in terms of his availability, Bulaga hasn’t missed a whole lot of time in recent seasons.

While he did leave a couple of games early due to injury, Bulaga started all 16 regular-season games in 2019. In total, he played on 83 percent of the offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. The one full game he missed was the divisional-round win against the Seattle Seahawks, but that was due to illness and not an injury.

He only missed two games in 2018 and played all 16 games in 2016. His most recent significant injury was in 2017, a torn ACL that meant he only played in five games. But Bulaga has bounced back from the injury and remains one of the top tackles in the league.

And the Packers need to make sure he’s back this offseason. This is an offense entering year two in Matt LaFleur’s system. The offensive line was a strength this season, particularly in pass protection. For a team in win-now mode, it’s important to keep key players in the building. If he walks, the Packers will have a major need on the right side of the offensive line.

If Bulaga returns, there would be less pressure on GM Brian Gutekunst to find a future starter at the position. It would still make sense to draft a tackle at some point, but he wouldn’t be rushed into a starting job unless there was an injury.

Bulaga is still a very good offensive tackle and he’ll help whichever team he’s on in 2020. Gutekunst needs to make sure that team is the Green Bay Packers.