Lang was referring to the Packers‘ typical approach to free agency. If the team hasn’t reached out about an extension this far into the offseason, there’s a good chance they never will.
And Lang looks to be spot on with his assessment of Linsley’s future.
According to Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated, there have still been no talks between the Packers and Linsley over a new deal. Huber added that the “expectation” is Linsley will sign elsewhere in free agency.
Unsurprising. Understandable. But also incredibly disappointing.
The Packers are in a tough spot with their salary cap. While they could make a new deal work with Linsley, it could come at the expense of re-signing another star player like Aaron Jones or bringing in other free agents. The team can’t sign everybody they want to.
It’s also understandable as the Packers have strong depth at the interior offensive line spots and have a few candidates to replace Linsley. Add in his age and potential big contract, and it’s not a surprise.
However, it’s hard not to be disappointed. Linsley is one of the best centers in the league. He is a first-team All-Pro. Linsley’s performances this past season proved to be so important to the success of Green Bay’s No. 1-ranked offense.
Yes, Elgton Jenkins could slide to center and the Packers would still be in great shape at the position. But they’d then need to replace Jenkins, a Pro Bowler, at guard. If they could find a way to re-sign Linsley, they’d have both star players available along the offensive line.
It’s the Packers way. For many years, they’ve drafted and developed star players, signed them to a second deal, then let them walk at around the age of 30.
When the Packers selected Linsley in the fifth round back in 2014, they couldn’t have imagined what a great player he’d go onto become. Unfortunately, an incredible career in Green Bay looks to be coming to an end.