The Packers could go a lot of different directions this off-season. They could keep rebuilding by patching a few holes here and there and continuing to attempt to be the youngest team in the league, allowing their current personnel to dictate scheme. They could go all-in, acquiring several free agents who fit their schemes perfectly. Let’s look at a free agency few scenarios and decide what it means for the future.

Shoring up the secondary with free agency

Let’s say the Packers sign a veteran starter at safety, a Jonathan Owens type, and a good fourth corner who can play outside or in the slot and then sits out the rest of the free agent period.

If this happens, I think the Packers will focus on the trenches in the draft. If a freak athlete corner falls to them in the second, I’m sure they’ll take him but otherwise, don’t be surprised with three o/d-line picks in the first two days of the draft.

A lot of people think that the way to run this defensive scheme is to constantly generate pressure with the d-line. You need some guys in the secondary, sure, but the line is where you should concentrate your capital. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers devote a lot less money to the secondary than we might think. Trading for a Josh Sweat type and also using a top-50 pick on a 3-tech is definitely in play. Make it so that you can rotate defensive linemen constantly, keep them all fresh and able to pin their ears back and go. This is how the Jets, 49ers and Texans do it. It’s how the Seahawks did it.

Spend BIG on Safety

The other option is that the team decides to really focus on the secondary – Jeff Hafley is a secondary coach after all. They could go big by signing someone like Xavier McKinney, getting serious about slot corner, and then using their first-round pick on a corner.

If this happens, I would expect a lot more press man paired with heavier boxes and blitzing. Either you invest in the front and depend on them to protect the secondary, or you invest in the secondary and use scheme to handle the short-changed front.

Having a slot corner who can actually cover, a safety who can defend tight ends in the pass game and make plays in the run game, and another outside corner who can effectively play on an island would allow the team to stifle the opponents pass game while focusing on the run game.

Keeping David Bakhtiari

OK, I don’t think keeping or cutting Bakh will affect the team’s plans one way or another, but I really want them to keep him so I’m using it as a subhead. This is one of my most contrary opinions right now. Keep Bakh and don’t spend a day 1 or day 2 pick on offensive line.

If Bakh takes a pay cut there’s a good chance that they could have the best pass blocking left tackle in the league at a relatively low cap hit. That doesn’t mean a cap hit that is low absolutely, but relative to what it will be no matter what – the $20mm+ they would have to take on in dead cap if they released him.

Either way, if Bakh does stay it won’t affect how the Packers deal with offensive line in free agency or the draft – there’s no way they would depend on him being with the team long-term. So, they’ll either take a tackle in the first, like everyone thinks, or use a lower pick to build up the interior line – trusting in their history of drafting and developing offensive linemen taken in the fourth round or later.   

Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.