What’s next for Packers at center after losing Corey Linsley?

Green Bay Packers, Corey Linsley (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Corey Linsley (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Corey Linsley impressed from his very first game with the Green Bay Packers. Seven years on, he becomes the highest-paid center in the league with the Los Angeles Chargers.

According to Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Linsley is signing a five-year deal worth $62.5 million with the Chargers.

A first-team All-Pro in 2020, Linsley deserves every penny not just for his performances last season, but each year he’s been in Green Bay. An ultimate pro and one of the most consistent performers at his position, Linsley is a great signing for the Chargers and will be a big loss for the Packers.

Linsley was overlooked and underrated for much of his career, but no longer.

It also means that two-fifths of Green Bay’s great offensive line from 2014 — Linsley and right tackle Bryan Bulaga — are reunited in Los Angeles.

Linsley played in 99 regular season games for the Packers — all of which he started — over seven seasons.

What’s next for the Packers?

After losing their All-Pro center, what’s next for the Packers?

Fortunately, they have a few different options. Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins has proven himself at center and could be the top choice to shift over from guard. Another veteran interior offensive lineman like Lucas Patrick could also be a candidate to play center.

Perhaps a long-shot would be to keep the starting guards as they are but promote a second-year player like Jake Hanson to a starting job. If he impresses over the summer, don’t rule it out. Another player from last year’s draft class, Jon Runyan Jr., could step into a starting spot at guard which could allow Jenkins or Patrick to move to center.

Another possibility is Jenkins moves out to right tackle with Billy Turner returning to guard once David Bakhtiari is healthy.

There’s still more. The Packers could also sign a free agent who can play at center. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported they are interested in Brett Jones, who has played both center and guard.

The good news is that Green Bay has plenty of options given its talent and versatility across the offensive line. The bad news is it’s tough to replace a player as talented as Linsley.