Ranking the 20 Best Free-Agent Signings in Packers History

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4. Ryan Pickett, Defensive Lineman, 2006

When the Packers signed Ryan Pickett in 2006, they were looking to bolster their defensive line with a proven run-stopper. Pickett, a former first-round pick by the St. Louis Rams, inked a four-year, $14 million deal with Green Bay. Over the next eight seasons, Pickett would prove to be one of the most reliable and consistent players on the Packers' defense.

Pickett's impact was felt immediately. At 6'2" and 338 pounds, he was a formidable presence in the middle of the defensive line. His primary role was to clog running lanes and take on double teams, allowing linebackers like A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett to make plays. Pickett’s ability to occupy blockers was crucial to the Packers' 3-4 defensive scheme, and his performance helped the team significantly improve their run defense.

During his tenure with the Packers, Pickett played in 119 games, recording 319 tackles and 3.5 sacks. While his stats might not jump off the page, his contributions went beyond the box score. Pickett's consistency and durability were invaluable to a defense that saw its fair share of injuries and turnover. He was a cornerstone of the unit that helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV, providing veteran leadership and stability.

After his contract ended in 2013, Pickett played one more season with the Houston Texans before retiring. His eight seasons in Green Bay left a lasting impact, and he remains a beloved figure among Packers fans. Pickett's signing in 2006 might not have made headlines, but his contributions were crucial to the Packers' success during his tenure.