The NFL season has finally come to a close. This is always a sad time for football fans- Sunday’s will not be the same anymore for quite some time. The good news, however, is that we can start gearing up for next season. The Packers will have their work cut out for them, so it will be interesting to see what moves they make this offseason. The Packers had a successful season, despite losing multiple players to injuries all year. They went 10-6 during the regular season, and defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFC Wild Card round, before losing to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC divisional round. The Packers’ main goal every year is to bring back the Lombardi Trophy to Title Town USA, but for that to happen next year they will have to bolster the roster and resign a few key free agents. Below you will find what the Packers should address this offseason.
Offense Tackle, Don Barclay,
Kicker, Mason Crosby,
Fullback, John Kuhn,
Cornerback, Casey Hayward,
Wide Receiver, James Jones,
Offensive Linebacker, Mike Neal,
Offensive Linebacker, Nick Perry,
Defensive Tackle, B.J. Raji,
Running Back, James Starks
The first player that comes to mind is no other than kicker Mason Crosby. He had yet another successful season for the Green Bay Packers. Nowadays, it can be rather difficult to find consistency at the kicker position, so you know if Crosby hits the free agency market he will sure be a hot commodity for NFL teams. Over the past three seasons he has connected on 89.2%. 81.8%, and 85.7% of his field goal attempts. Now do you get why he should be re-signed? Oh, and he connected on ALL 36 extra points this past year. For those of you who watch football, know this is not an easy task anymore since they moved the extra point up this past season.
Aside from re-signing Mason Crosby, upgrading the Linebacker position will be another priority for GM Ted Thompson.The Packers need someone to take all the pressure off of Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews. Will they look to Jake Ryan, who showed flashes as a rookie to take on more of a role next season, or will they look to free agency? It will be exciting to see what happens in the next few months.
Tight End, Richard Rodgers, enjoyed another good season, catching 58 passes along with 8 touchdowns. One of his best moments was catching a hail mary pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, in the closing seconds, to defeat the Detroit Lions back in November. However, Rodgers did not give the Packers the playmaking ability they needed. He averaged 8.8 yards per catch which was 67th among all TEs with a reception. He lacked the playmaking ability the Packers desperately needed. There are a number of talented prospects in the NFL draft this year that have the potential to make an impact right away. The Packers can also opt to see what is available in free-agency and it may not be a bad idea to roll the dice on Veteran Tight End, Vernon Davis. You can get him cheap, and with new scenery and a Pro Bowl Quarterback he may be able to rejuvenate his career.
While they have a lot of work to do, the Packers upcoming season looks promising. The Packers are not far from competing for a Super Bowl title, but it will take some work from the Packers front office. The return of star receiver, Jordy Nelson, will really help the offense next season, adding more depth to their wide receiving core as well as a true leader on the field. Whether the Packers decide to upgrade through the draft, free agency or from within remains to be seen, but as a die-hard packers fan it will be exciting to see what happens.