New Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst in his introductory press conference stated that he wanted to be in on every free agent conversation. It was music to the ears of many fans of the green and gold. When the Seattle Seahawks released Richard Sherman, some early reports indicated that the Packers had preliminary interest in him. Whether they were going to bring him or not we will never know as he did make it out of San Francisco, as it is being reported that the 49ers and Sherman have agreed to terms of a deal. With Gutekunst trading Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns over the weekend, not only did it signal a reshaping of the secondary, it all but guarantees that he will be signing a free agent or two to rebuild that position group.
So who is a possibly free agent corner back that Gutekunst will target? He could obviously trade for one with several of the plethora of draft picks that he has. Granted with a lack of talent now currently in the cornerback position group, we can expect Gutekunst to sign a free agent and draft a cornerback. We that, if you are a free agent cornerback in the NFL looking for work, you can expect a call from the Packers brass.
Over the weekend, the New York Giants released Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie because he refused to accept a pay cut. It was no surprise to me to see NFL pundits connect him to the Green Bay Packers almost immediately.
Rodgers-Cromartie, was entering the final year of a five-year, $35 million contract and he would have counted $8.5 million against the Giants salary cap this year. He will be 32 years old when the season starts in September. He is a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback who has 30 career interceptions but had recorded zero in 2017 after matching his career high with six in 2016. He also only knocked down one pass in 15 games in 2017.
Being over 30 years old, no interceptions and 1 knock down last year, could possibly indicate there is little left in the tank and he is on the downside of his career. On the other hand, he would be probably be the best cornerback on the roster. I say that because we still need to see Kevin King for a full season.
He would definitely be a good addition to this defense but I think they would still have to sign another free agent cornerback to strengthen the position. The other name is Trumaine Johnson, who is the top free agent corner on the market. The only problem with all of this is that Johnson is probably going to warrant a contract averaging about $15 million per year. The Packers simply do not have the cap to sign Johnson for that price, their draft picks and additional free agents. Like everyone has been saying all along the Packers are going to have to restructure contracts of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews.
Last week the Packers brought in defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, who have have expressed mutual interest. Could you imagine an off season where they sign Wilkerson, Rodgers-Cromartie and Trumaine Johnson? Gutekunst would definitely please a lot of Packer fans. We will definitely see what type of salary cap genius Russ Ball is and what type of GM Gutekunst will be. This is shaping up to be a fun and exciting off season.
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag