The Green Bay Packers still have eight of their own free agents that remain unsigned and these 3, in particular, should be brought back for 2020.
The NFL’s free agency period is in full swing and for the Green Bay Packers, this year has been much quieter than last. With limited spendable cap space this offseason, the Packers have had to search for value signings rather than making a big splash or two.
Of course, up to this point, those additions have been linebacker Christian Kirksey, as well as Rick Wagner to take over as the right tackle. Green Bay has also re-signed Marcedes Lewis and Will Redmond. And these middle tier, inexpensive contracts are what we should expect to see from Green Bay moving forward.
However, in addition to looking elsewhere, Green Bay still has eight of their own free agents that remain unsigned at the moment. This list includes Geronimo Allison, Tramon Williams, Jared Veldheer, Tyler Ervin, Jason Spriggs, Ryan Grant, Ibraheim Campbell, along with Malcolm Johnson.
And for a Packers team that is on a budget, there are three players in particular from that group that should be re-signed for the 2020 season.
Many will scoff at the idea of bringing back Tramon Williams since he is 37-years-old, but he is coming off of a very solid season as the go-to slot corner and the Green Bay Packers have a number of question marks surrounding the cornerback position.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), in 2019 Williams allowed a completion percentage of 63.5 percent, he gave up only two touchdowns, and he also had two interceptions, five pass breakups, and opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 86.5 when targeting him. And take it as you will, but Williams coverage grade of 82.2 was the seventh-best in football last season.
There is also plenty of uncertainty surrounding this position heading into the new season. Kevin King has fought injuries during his career and he is a free agent after 2020. Meanwhile, although we saw the emergence of Chandon Sullivan last season, it remains to be seen if he can duplicate that second-half performance. On top of that, Josh Jackson rarely saw the field and even though Ka’dar Hollman popped in the preseason, he is still a relative unknown.
Given Williams’ age, obviously price and contract length are going to be huge factors. But for a reasonable price, having his experience to lean on, even if his playing time decreases a bit, will be quite valuable to Green Bay.
Tyler Ervin was the mid-season addition that saved this Green Bay Packers’ punt return team from what was going to be a historically bad performance. He would finish the season averaging 9.6 yards per punt return along with 26.7 yards per kick return. But it wasn’t just on special teams that Ervin gave Green Bay a boost, as the season went on he started to see more reps on offense as well.
Now in terms of his offensive production, his numbers won’t leap off the page as he totaled just 11 receiving yards and 35 rushing yards, although there were some near misses, but he did give Green Bay an element that they didn’t really have for much of the season.
Ervin had shown that he can lineup out wide as a receiver or in the slot, he was also used on some jet sweeps and handled the ball out of the backfield as well. At the combine, Matt LaFleur discussed the importance of having a third running back option this season, and Ervin would certainly be a solid candidate since he knows the offense, he’s versatile, and he can double as a return man.
Although we didn’t see much of Ibraheim Campbell in 2018 before he was injured, in his short time with the Green Bay Packers, we saw that he was a reliable tackler and his versatility at the safety position is something that Mike Pettine covets.
For the Packers who love to play with three safeties along with the two reasons mentioned above, bringing Campbell back as an insurance policy just simply makes a lot of sense. With Raven Greene missing a majority of the 2019 season, once Campbell was available, he helped fill that role as the physical box defender that can drop into coverage as well.
Campbell isn’t going to break the bank by any means, he knows Pettine’s system, he can play meaningful snaps when needed, and he provides the Packers with depth at the safety position. This decision seems like a no-brainer to me.