As the Chicago Bears prepare for the upcoming season, we’re taking a look at what the other teams in the NFC North did this offseason to bolster their chances of grabbing a playoff berth.
Today, our focus moves north of the border (so to speak) as we examine the Green Bay Packers’ offseason.
The Packers didn’t really make any notable additions to their roster this offseason, but they were able to retain the services of a couple of key cogs. Wide receiver Randall Cobb headlines that list as he’ll stick around to provide protection to Jordy Nelson and another great target for Aaron Rodgers to throw to, and tackle Bryan Bulaga also signed an extension with the team.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers were able to retain the services of defensive lineman B.J. Raji, inking him to a one-year extension.
The draft was also kind to the Packers, as they acquired some really good talent during the selection process. Most of the headlines surround safety Damarious Randall and quarterback Brett Hundley, but perhaps the most intriguing pick was wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Green Bay can still use Cobb in return situations, but Montgomery gives them a tremendous option as well if they’d prefer to take that route.
The Packers were able to retain several of their key players this offseason, but a few were jettisoned to make room. The biggest name on the list was probably linebacker A.J. Hawk, who ended up signing with the Cincinnati Bengals after eight seasons with the Packers. Another defensive stalwart also left town as cornerback Tramon Williams signed with the Cleveland Browns.
A couple of lower-tier players also left town, as wide receiver Jarrett Boykin joined the Carolina Panthers and linebacker Jamari Lattimore made his way to the New York Jets.
What It Means:
The Packers are a team that seemingly reloads on the fly and remains competitive even if good players head out, and this year should be no exception. Replacing Hawk with Jake Ryan (who was drafted in the fourth round) is a possibility, and adding Quinten Rollins into the mix likely means that they have Williams’ replacement at the cornerback position.
The team’s reputation for using homegrown players to achieve success could once again be on display this season, and it will be interesting to watch the new pieces develop.
Games vs. Bears: Week 1 (Sept. 13) and Week 12 (Nov. 26)