Wow! What a week for the entire Green Bay Packers organization, General Manager Brian Gutekunst, and the fans. It started out slow but on the second, Brian Gutekunst agreed to terms with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 free agents. Something that hasn’t been seen in these parts in many years. It is the biggest free agency day in Green Bay since the team signed Reggie White.
Packer fans have been complaining for years about how former General Manager Ted Thompson wouldn’t use all of the tools available to improve the team. In his first two off-seasons, General Manager Brian Gutekunst has demonstrated that he is willing to improve the team through all avenues available. This year, it appears he has used free agency to set-up the draft by filling the need holes on the team.
During his press conference today, Brian Gutekunst stated, ‘This is something that we had to do to help our team.’ In regards to signing 4 free agents.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst kicked off free agency by signing former Baltimore Raven defensive end, Za’Darius Smith. It is being reported that he signed for four years, $66 million.
He wasn’t done there. Next, he signed former Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos on a four-year, $37 million deal. After missing out on Kyle Fuller last off-season, the Packers finally steal a player from the division rival. This was a massively huge upgrade over Kentrell Brice. Who the Packers haven’t tendered and hits the free agency market. Amos gives the Packers a quality safety to pair with their young cornerbacks, who can be the leader in the backfield for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Not to settle with two free agents, Brian Gutekunst continued to improve the front seven and create more of a pass rush on opposing quarterbacks by signing former Washington Redskins Linebacker Preston Smith. The linebacker signed for four years and $52 million. Smith is extremely durable, as he has not missed a regular season game in his 4 seasons in the league. The Packers pass rush is now much more improved over last season and should provide Mike Pettine’s defense with a boost. This pass rush will also help the secondary out, forcing the quarterback to get the ball out quicker.
To provide depth the offensive line, Gutekunst then signed former Denver Bronco Billy Turner to a four-year deal worth $28 million. He is a versatile offensive lineman who can play multiple positions.
These signings filled needs, upgraded the team and provides Gutekunst with options throughout the draft. They now do not have use their first pick on a pass rusher, they can go a variety of different directions. What is even more exciting, during his press conference today, Gutekunst mentioned that they will be keeping their eyes on free agency. Who will the Packers sign in the next wave of free agents?
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