The Green Bay Packers got what will likely be its biggest win of the offseason before free agency even started by agreeing to terms with wide receiver Randall Cobb on a four-year, $40 million contract.
Common sense prevailed on both sides with Ted Thompson upping his offer and Cobb realizing that taking less money from Green Bay could lead to more money in endorsements and on his next contract by being able to put up stats and win games with Aaron Rodgers. Re-signing Cobb was essential, and the Packers were able to do it without absolutely breaking the bank.
With Cobb out of the way, the Packers can move onto Bryan Bulaga, Tramon Williams and Davon House next. If the Packers were to re-sign Bulaga, they could definitely move forward to the draft without making any more major moves. However, with the free agent tackle class weak to begin with and already thinning by the day, they will have tons of competition for him if they allow him to reach free agency tomorrow.
According to Tom Silverstein, the Packers are deadset against paying Bulaga $7 million per season and would let him go if that’s the case. Obviously, with what just happened with Cobb and Sam Shields last year we need to take these reports with grains of salt, especially when the reasons mentioned made little sense.
The article mentions a hesitancy to pay Bulaga much more than Josh Sitton, since he is their best offensive lineman. That is utter nonsense since Sitton is a guard, and tackles are the more important position and get paid more. Also, Sitton’s contract was signed four years ago, so there obviously has been a ton of inflation since then. So, while Sitton is the team’s best offensive lineman, Bulaga’s contract should exceed his.
Don Barlcay is also mentioned as a solid prospect to replace Bulaga, which is also a fallacy. Anybody who remembers Barlcay filling in for Bulaga two seasons ago would know he should not be a starter. The drop off from Bulaga to Barclay is huge, and the Packers should consider drafting a replacement before giving Barclay the job. His pass blocking is just never going to be good enough.
The Dallas Cowboys reportedly signed Doug Free to a three-year, $15 million deal, with $6 million guaranteed, and the Houston Texans reportedly signed Derek Newton to a five-year, $26 million deal with $10 million guaranteed. Bulaga is a much better and younger player than both of them and $7 million a year should probably be the least he should sign for. The Packers need him because even though they’re awesome on the interior of the offensive line they would be weak at tackle if he departed. David Bakhtiari is above average at best and average at worst, and than the other tackle spot would be a ginormous question mark.
As for the cornerbacks, the reports have not been positive about either returning. House reportedly has not been contacted by the Packers and Williams turned down a two-year, $8 million contract from the team, according to Bob McGinn. The Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles have been linked to having interest in Williams.
The corner market has been out of control thus far, and the Packers also have to think about extending Casey Hayward before his contract runs out after next season. Signing House to a long-term contract would likely mean the end of Hayward after next season, and I would rather pay Hayward. He has proven to be more versatile, as he played the well outside when asked to in his rookie year and even with his hamstring injuries is more durable than House. House plays well against bigger receivers, but struggles against quicker ones. His struggles on the fast track in New Orleans is a good example of that.
I would be comfortable going with Shields, Hayward, Micah Hyde and say drafting Marcus Peters with the 30th overall pick or another cornerback high in the draft, especially if it means re-signing Bulaga. Thompson passed his first test of the offseason with flying colors and now it’s up to him to keep that momentum going.——————