5 best free-agent signings under Packers GM Brian Gutekunst

Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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4. De'Vondre Campbell

In 2021, the Packers needed to find an upgrade at the inside linebacker position. They drafted Isaiah McDuffie in the sixth round but needed more competition for a starting job for Oren Burks and Krys Barnes.

Fast forward to June, and Gutekunst signed veteran De'Vondre Campbell to a one-year, $2 million deal. It was a smart, low-risk move. The Packers were getting a veteran and former fourth-round pick who was instantly the best linebacker on the roster.

He soon became one of the best in the league.

Campbell enjoyed a dominant first season in Green Bay, finishing with 146 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, six quarterback hits, five pass defenses, and two interceptions. He made plays against the run, didn't give up much in coverage, and used his speed to limit big plays in the middle of the field.

Campbell was arguably the Packers' best player on defense, earning first-team All-Pro honors and a new multi-year contract in the offseason.

The Packers' need for an inside linebacker had been a concern for several years, and previous attempts to find a long-term starter had failed. Gutekunst's signing of Campbell proved to be one of his smartest decisions in free agency. Campbell has started 40 games across three seasons in Green Bay.