Packers free agent target isn’t a term that you’re likely to hear often this offseason. The team is already over the cap and isn’t likely to do the same type of can kicking that it did in the latter Rodgers years to open up space. That said, the defense is undergoing a schematic change and it’s likely that Gute will pick up a few bargain free agents to beef up the depth on that side of the ball. Let’s talk about one on each level of the defense.
OK, just give it a chance. Burks has excelled in his role on the 49ers over the past few seasons. He hasn’t had to play a lot of defense, but when he’s been on the field, he’s played better than he ever did with Green Bay. Well, guess who will be running the same scheme as the 49ers next season.
He’s also continued to be a plus special teams player and dynamic athlete. Burks played everything from safety to edge rusher in college and was maybe a mild disappointment in Green Bay as a third-round pick. Bring him back on a cheap contract to help shore up the special teams, only play in the base defense, and help make that original pick look a little better.
Lawson was an amazing edge at Clemson and surprised many with how quickly he became a top edge in Cincinnati. Then he tore his Achilles with the Jets and everything changed. Now he’s PFF’s 99th ranked free agent and had a pass rush grade of just 71 last year. Green Bay is the perfect spot for him.
With the Packers, Lawson would be able to settle into a pass rush specialist role for a year. Coming in on obvious passing situations and third downs for a year could get him back into the double digit million per year contract territory and pick up the slack created by Kinglsey Enagbare’s ACL tear.
Fuller probably isn’t a low-key target and will be sent to Green Bay in a lot of articles over the next month. Fuller played for new Packers defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley for a year at Ohio State and can be the type of rangy deep centerfielder at safety that the Packers haven’t had since Nick Collins.
The Packers aren’t exactly set at corner, but safety is a far higher need and if the team is really going to switch to a scheme with one deep safety and one box safety, it’s more important to get the deep safety. Box safeties are a dime a dozen. Adrian Amos, Morgan Burnett, Rudy Ford, Jonathan Owens, and even Darnell Savage were playable box safeties. The team hasn’t had a good centerfielder in over a decade.