Packers 2022 offseason position review: Inside linebackers

Green Bay Packers, De'Vondre Campbell (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, De'Vondre Campbell (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Inside linebacker had been an issue for many years for the Green Bay Packers, but not in 2021.

Few expected that when the Packers signed De’Vondre Campbell in June, he would go on to have a first-team All-Pro season. But he’s now set to become a free agent, so what’s next for the Packers?

Will inside linebacker become a position of need for this defense yet again?

2021 season review

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst knew inside linebacker remained an area of concern on defense, which is why he signed free agent De’Vondre Campbell in the summer. The expectation was that Campbell would compete for a starting job and provide some much-needed experience.

He did all of that, and more. Much more.

Campbell finished the regular season with a team-best 146 tackles, two sacks, six quarterback hits, two interceptions, five pass defenses, and two forced fumbles. He did a bit of everything in Joe Barry’s defense and was deservedly named an All-Pro.

Campbell dominated the snaps among inside linebackers. Krys Barnes was the next closest, playing on 48.84 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference.

What’s next in 2022?

Campbell’s All-Pro season was great for the Packers in 2021, but not so much now in the offseason. Campbell is set to become a free agent in March. After such a dominant year, there should be a number of teams interested in signing him.

That means if the Packers are to keep Campbell, they will need to pay up. That won’t be easy considering they currently need to clear over $50 million just to get back to $0 in cap space, per Over The Cap. Not to mention that All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams is a free agent and could be franchise-tagged.

Being able to compete with other teams for Campbell won’t be easy, but he’s so important to this defense. Without him, inside linebacker will again be one of the team’s top needs in the offseason.