Ideal Packers Free Agent Targets Before Training Camp

As training camp creeps closer, Brian Gutekunst and the Packers are still looking for ways to enhance and fortify their roster with. While the draft answered many questions about the direction the roster is taking, there are still unsigned veterans that could help propel the team towards a championship in 2022. Similar to last season’s finds of Dennis Kelly and De’vondre Campbell, there are a few targets that could be the next Packers free agent find.

Justin Houston

New Packers Jason Rebrovich has made it clear that he wants four effective pass rushers on his unit. After emerging start Rashan Gary and veteran Preston Smith, there isn’t a lot of proven talent. A veteran addition like Justin Houston is exactly what is needed to round out the room. He has the physical attributes that the Packers value at the position and has demonstrated that he still has juice in the tank.

Houston showed that he can still be an effective rotational pass rusher last year in Baltimore, racking up 4.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits in 2021. While he is no longer an 8-10 sack player, he can contribute in a rotational role and still provide quality snaps to a pass rush rotation. Additionally, he is effective enough at the point of attack to hold up against the run.

He would also bring veteran leadership to a room and knows how to win in the NFL. He likely would not command a large contract and would be an effective option for the Packers to augment their two starters with a player Joe Barry can trust to know his job and get it done.

Jaquiski Tartt

Unfortunately for Jaquistki Tartt, his 2021 season is best known for the dropped breadbasket interception in the NFC championship game. That overshadows an impressive 2021 campaign where he logged over 90% of defensive snaps in San Fransisco.. Similar to edge rusher, the Packers have two very established starters in Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage but lack proven depth.

Tartt can provide not only effective depth at safety but can also give the Packers defense another option in ways it can deploy personnel. Last season the Packers often utilized three safety looks, allowing them to rotate Amos and Savage into playmaking roles closer to the line of scrimmage. Tartt would undoubtedly be an upgrade in that 3rd safety role and enhance the three safety package.

He also has experience playing on special teams in his career, so it’s another area that he could contribute to the team. Safeties are often key cogs on special teams units, and a veteran like Tartt would be a perfect addition to a unit that is re-writing itself.

At this point in free agency, Tartt would be a cash friendly option to provide a safety net on the backend of what is the making of an elite defense.

Kyle Rudolph

There are question marks abound on offense. Even more questions exist at the tight end. How is the healing process for Robert Tonyan and will he return anything close to his 2020 breakout season? When will age catch up to the venerable Mercedes Lewis?

To hedge again these questions, Kyle Rudolph could be brought in as another veteran option at tight end. The 32 year old brings a savvy veteran skillset. He’s a do-it-all player who has sure hands and is an effective run blocker.

The catch is that he isn’t the player he once was and struggled last year with the Giants. If he is a piece of the greater whole, the former Viking can be an effective piece of the offensive puzzle for the Packers in 2022.

Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.

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