Green Bay Packers: Tracking 2021 Free Agency News & Rumors

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: A detail shot of the helmets on the Green Bay Packers bench during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: A detail shot of the helmets on the Green Bay Packers bench during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The NFL’s legal tampering period has officially opened, which means the Green Bay Packers and the rest of the league can begin negotiating contracts with players.

Now, these contracts won’t become official until Wednesday afternoon when free agency opens and the new league year begins, but there will still be plenty of news from now until then.

In addition to any potential signings, the Green Bay Packers also have several Exclusive Rights Free Agents — Allen Lazard, Malik Taylor, Yosh Nijman, and Randy Ramsey — along with what is now four Restricted Free Agents — Chandon Sullivan, Robert Tonyan, Perry Nickerson, and Tyler Lancaster — that they have to make decisions on by Wednesday as well.

On top of that, while we still don’t know exactly where the Green Bay Packers stand with the salary cap, after the Aaron Jones signing, they are certainly over. Meaning more salary-cap moves are sure to follow.

It’s without a doubt going to be a busy week, and here you can stay up to date on everything that’s taken place.

Raven Greene is not tendered (Monday)

When a restricted free agent is not tendered, as Raven Green was per Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, they become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with whomever they please. So this doesn’t entirely mean that Greene won’t be back, but he’s likely going to explore other options and could very well be on a new team in 2021.

Under the Mike Pettine defensive system, Greene played an important role as the hybrid linebacker or third safety. When on the field, his impact was felt against both the run and the pass; however, staying on the field was the issue.

Greene has appeared in only 20 total games over the last three seasons, with one start, and never played in more than 10 games. If Greene is in fact gone, on the roster options for that third safety role include Henry Black and Vernon Scott, but don’t be surprised if the Packers address safety somewhat early on in the draft.

Reported Interest in OG/C Brett Jones (Monday)

We’ve all come to terms with the fact that Corey Linsley won’t be back, and that does create some question marks along the interior offensive line. And according to Tom Silverstein of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers have expressed some interest in Jones—although how much interest is unknown.

Jones was an undrafted rookie in 2013 by the New York Giants and saw his first full season as a starter in 2017 at center. That year he allowed two sacks and 10 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus ($).

However, since then, Jones hasn’t seen much playing time. In 2018, he took 192 snaps at center for the Vikings. He then missed all of 2019 with a knee injury, and last season he took 144 snaps at right guard.

If this addition were made, it would be for added depth and competition along the interior. There is no guarantee that Jones would be a starter.

Packers place ERFA tender on Yosh Nijman (Monday)

First reported by Tom Silverstein, this move doesn’t come as much of a surprise as the Green Bay Packers place an exclusive rights free agent tender on offensive tackle Yosh Nijman, which comes with a league minimum contract for one year.

At 6’7” – 314 pounds, Nijman has the size and athleticism that teams covet at the tackle position. However, he joined Green Bay two seasons ago very raw, and we don’t really know where he’s at in his development.

In 2020, Nijman saw his first regular-season action, totaling 14 snaps at left tackle.

Corey Linsley becomes highest-paid center with Chargers (Monday)

It was first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network that the Los Angeles Chargers were going to sign Corey Linsley to a deal that would make him the highest-paid center in football. Then Mike Garafolo, also of the NFL Network, reported that it was a five-year deal worth $62.5 million.

Linsley has been the starting center in Green Bay since his rookie year in 2014 and is coming off the best season of his career. Linsley was named a first-team All-Pro in 2020 and allowed just one sack and seven pressures, according to PFF ($).

Current in-house options to replace Linsley include Elgton Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, and Jake Hanson. At this time, I’d guess that Patrick is the front-runner.

Green Bay Packers tender ERFA Malik Taylor (Monday)

Per Tom Pelissero, the Green Bay Packers will tender ERFA Malik Taylor. You can expect all of the Packers’ ERFAs to be brought back.

Taylor saw some action in 2020, hauling in five of six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. He was also the Packers’ kick returner for part of the season where he had mixed results.

Green Bay Packers tender ERFA Randy Ramsey (Monday)

Again, this move shouldn’t come as a shock. The Green Bay Packers are still over the salary cap, and by tendering Ramsey, they only have to pay him the league minimum for this season while keeping a player who did see some regular-season snaps in 2020.

According to Pro Football Focus, Ramsey was on the field for 75 defensive snaps totaling two pressures and a tackle. This was first reported by Tom Silverstein of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Green Bay Packers reportedly “active” in CB and IDL markets (Monday)

It was a quiet first day of the legal tampering period for the Green Bay Packers, but according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, they are “active” when it comes to adding a middle-tier cornerback and/or interior defensive lineman.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise at all, considering that cornerback is what many would consider the biggest need on this roster and interior defensive lineman is near the top of that list as well.

Green Bay Packers also interested in addressing the OL (Monday)

With Corey Linsley now in LA and David Bakhtiari still going to miss some time, there are some question marks surrounding the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line entering the new season.

The good news is that they already have on the roster options to fill those needs at center and tackle, but adding depth and competition is always welcomed. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Packers could look to address the position once the first wave of free agency comes to an end.

Green Bay Packers tender a ERFA Allen Lazard (Tuesday)

I mean, was there ever any doubt? This was about as easy of a decision as you’ll see in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers can keep a key player in their offense for the 2021 season and do so on a very inexpensive contract.

Last season, Lazard hauled in 609 receiving yards, catching almost 70 percent of his targets at 15.2 yards per catch with four touchdowns. Over the last two years he’s really gained Aaron Rodgers trust, becoming a reliable third down target, and is incredibly valuable in the run game as a blocker.

This move was first reported by Ken Ingalls.

Green Bay Packers tender RFAs Robert Tonyan and Chandon Sullivan (Tuesday)

Two big decisions have now been made as the Green Bay Packers tendered Robert Tonyan and Chandon Sullivan, per Tom Silverstein and several others.

Tonyan was placed with a second round tender and comes with a cost in 2021 of $3.384 million. Meanwhile, Sullivan received a right of first refusal tender and will cost Green Bay $2.133 million this season.

For more info on these moves and what it means for the Green Bay Packers, click here.

Packers will not tender RFA Tyler Lancaster (Tuesday)

Tyler Lancaster was an undrafted signee in 2018 and has spent the last three years with the Green Bay Packers in a rotational role along the defensive front. Known more as a run defender than a pass-rusher, we saw Lancaster flash at times during his tenure.

In 2020, he was on the field for 382 snaps — down from the 442 in 2019 — and totaled four pressures, 22 tackles, and 11 stops–or plays that end in a “failure” for the offense, according to PFF ($). However, per Rob Demovsky, the Packers will not tender Lancaster, making him an unrestricted free agent.

He could still make his way back to the Packers, but even so, with Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Willington Previlon, and Anthony Rush as the only on the roster options at IDL, this is a position that must be addressed this offseason–and preferably in free agency.

Jamaal Williams signs with Detroit (Tuesday)

Prior to the Green Bay Packers re-signing Aaron Jones, I did think that there was the possibility that Jamaal Williams could be brought back as RB2 behind AJ Dillon. However, once Jones was signed, the writing was on the wall.

According to Tom Pelissero, the Detroit Lions have signed Williams to a two-year deal worth up to $7.5 million. A fan favorite stays in the NFC North.

Reported interest in C David Andrews (Wednesday)

With some unknowns at center and tackle heading into the new season, on Monday, Tom Pelissero mentioned that the Green Bay Packers could be looking to address the offensive line here in free agency.

Today, Ben Volin reported that former Patriots center David Andrews is drawing some interest from the Packers, as well as a few other teams.

In 2020, Andrews gave up 2 sacks and 12 pressures over 370 pass-blocking snaps, per PFF. He also ranked ninth among centers in ESPN’s run-blocking win rate metric. Spotrac has a projected AAV of $7.1 million on Andrews’ next deal.

Green Bay Packers restructure Za’Darius Smith’s deal (Wednesday)

Given what we had heard in recent days, I thought that the Green Bay Packers were going to extend Za’Darius Smith. But instead, they choose to restructure his deal and created $7.38 million in cap space this season, according to Field Yates.

However, any cap space saved in 2021 has to hit the books in 2022–the final year of Smith’s current deal. According to Over the Cap, his cap hit next year is now $28.1 million. An extension either later this season or next offseason is absolutely in play.

Tim Boyle signs with Detroit Lions

The news came out last Friday that the Green Bay Packers would not be tendering restricted free agent Tim Boyle. Although a fan favorite, it was a fairly obvious move to make as Jordan Love needs as many of those QB2 reps that he can get this season. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett told reporters recently, that this is a big offseason for Love and his development.

So Boyle became an unrestricted free agent, and like Jamaal Williams, he will be signing with the Detroit Lions. Per Tom Pelissero, this is a one year deal worth $2.5 million.

Montravius Adams signs with New England (Thursday)

The Patriots continue on with their spending spree, signing former Green Bay Packers’ third-round pick Montravius Adams to a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million, according to Adam Schefter.

Adams was never really able to get a foothold here in Green Bay, battling injuries and just a lack of playing time. This past season he was on the field for just 130 defensive snaps, the fewest since his rookie year in 2017.

Be sure to bookmark or save this article and check back in throughout the day to see what else has taken place.