The Green Bay Packers haven’t been able to find a concrete starter at Right Tackle since the departure of Bryan Bulaga in 2019. That’s not to say the position has been a revolving door, there have been some good players in between. But the Tackle position tends to be the one you want to have your most reliable linemen in, so your Quarterback isn’t victim of an endless edge rush. Possibly the best option at the Right Tackle position the Packers currently have, is 3rd year big man, Yosh Nijman.
Nijman was an afterthought when he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He spent the first 11 games of the season on the Practice squad until being signed to the Active roster in late November. Nijman basically batted clean-up for David Bakhtiari in 2020 only entering when games were out of reach. It wasn’t until 2021 that he received a real shot. Appearing in all 17 games, with eight starts at Left Tackle, Nijman began turning heads. In 2022, Nijman was considered a fixture at tackle, playing all 17 games.
Heading towards the 2023 season however, Nijman is a restricted free agent. Most are saying the Packers will likely place a second-round tender on Nijman. This means Nijman has a predetermined salary worth $4.3 million. He can talk to other teams about a new contract, but if that is agreed upon, and the Packers don’t match it, that team owes the Packers a second-round pick in this year’s draft.
Will an offer come?
If you think the same way I do, a restricted free agent might as well be just a guy signed to a pre-determined 1-year extension. Unless a team is willing to pay the draft capital in a trade, you don’t see a lot of bids. Even so, the holding team can still match the offer if they don’t want to trade.
But that might not be case for Yosh Nijman. There actually could be some potential suitors for his services at the trade price.
Much like what is shown in the tweet above, some tackle-needy teams could be willing to pay the price for Nijman’s services. If Orlando Brown is no longer a Chief, they could consider Nijman a cheap reliable option that’d only cost them pick 63. Nijman might not be a household name but could be a solid starting Tackle for a team with little option.
Will the Packers allow it?
Last season saw the emergence of 5th round pick, Zach Tom. Zach Tom definitely made his case last year to be a starter on the offensive line in 2023.
The Packers have also been linked to possibly drafting Northwestern’s standout lineman Peter Skoronski. Let’s leave alone the fact that I love linemen from the Big Ten conference on the Packers. Skoronski is also the grandson of Packers Hall of Famer, and captain of Lombardi’s Packers, Bob Skoronski. He’s practically Packers royalty, and if drafted, will likely be given his fair chance to start. Skoronski or not, any lineman drafted in the first four rounds could pose a threat to Nijman.
All of this could put Nijman in a camp battle that he could lose.
If a team comes knocking for Yosh Nijman, I could easily see the Packers taking the 2nd round pick compensation. As said before, that’s a second-round pick for a possible backup tackle. A second-round pick for a player that might not be re-signed after 2023.
If I’m the Packers, I’m easily taking that trade for Yosh Nijman. If not, we could end up losing him to free agency anyways. The Packers might as well get something for him that’ll be with the team for four or more years instead of just one.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.
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