The 2021 season has started! NFL free agency opens in less than two weeks and teams are busy evaluating their rosters to put the best groups on the field next fall. It’s no different at 1265 Lombardi Avenue for the Green Bay Packers. The team’s front office might be over the cap as it’s article drops, but GM Brian Gutekunst stated if the right guy is there they can make it work. That means there is still hope to see some Packers 2021 Free Agent Targets come to Green Bay.
In an unprecedented offseason and the salary cap numbers still not set, there will be a lot of moving players in the next few weeks. As free agency gets closer here are five guys I think that could really excel in Green and Gold.
1. Curtis Samuel – WR
Age 24 – 5’11” – 200 lbs
Yes yes and yes. Curtis Samuel is my number one free agent signing for the Packers. After a strong 2020 showing, Samuel will hit the market as a sought-after weapon. He checks all the boxes for a long-term contract in Green Bay. With 4.31 speed, Samuel can take slot targets to the house at any time. He also has running back experience and Matt LaFleur could use him on jet sweeps. Just get this man touches and good things will happen.
Unfortunately, Samuel will get plenty of offers and should get north of 10 million per year. The Packers are tight with cap space and while they could make the move it might be just too steep of a price.
2 William Jackson – CB
Age 28 – 6’1″- 196 lbs
When it comes to age and ability William Jackson quietly might be the best cornerback if he hits the market. Why Cincinnati would let him walk is a mystery because Jackson is a great piece to any secondary. Ask to cover team’s top wide receivers, Jackson holds his own. He hasn’t been as good as his first few seasons in the league but paired with Jaire Alexander, Green Bay would have one of the best cornerback duos in the league. Jackson still possesses speed and the ability to be left without secondary help. Again, the Packers might get out bid, but if he can be had for around 8 million annually he is an absolute steal.
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3. Xavier Rhodes – CB
Age 30 – 6’1″ – 218 lbs
Admittedly, the first two free agents might be reaches with Green Bay’s tight cap space. The Packers may be forced to find lower-salary players who can still bring value to a contender. Xavier Rhodes can be that guy. After an awful 2019, Rhodes had a nice bounce-back season in Indianapolis. In a heavy zone concept, Rhodes would fit well. He has great size and good speed to fit what Joe Barry wants to do. A low one or two-year deal would be a good band-aid while the Packers bring on a rookie corner for the future.
4. Breshad Perriman – WR
Age 27 – 6’2″ – 215 lbs
Another possible bargain addition. Breshad Perriman has never lived up to his first-round draft capital but he certainly has flashed elite ability at times. Perriman isn’t in the mold of a quick slot-type but he has the explosive step to separate rapidly. With Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Allen Lazard all drawing coverage, Perriman would thrive against nickel and dime cornerbacks. At the very least, this wide receiver in his prime adds insurance to a group with nobody under contract after 2021. Just a low risk move with James Jones type production as a 4th option.
5. Jurrell Casey – DT
Age 31 – 6’1″ – 305 lbs
After all the JJ Watt buzz dust has settled, Green Bay can look at more realistic options. Jurrell Casey is just the kind of low-risk addition that can really boost a contending team. Casey was a dominant force just a few years ago when he was grading out as a top ten interior defensive lineman every season. Last year in Denver he only played three games before a torn bicep ended his 2020 season. Still, Casey in a limited role would be our second-best defensive lineman behind Kenny Clark. He is a proven pass-rusher and as solid against the run. On a one-year rental he is an instant upgrade and veteran presence.
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