The Green Bay Packers are heading into the offseason with key free agents hitting the market, including players like James Jones, Mason Crosby, BJ Raji, John Kuhn and James Starks. The Packers also could consider dipping into the free agent class, as players like Travis Benjamin, Percy Harvin, Dwayne Allen, Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green could be potential targets.
The Packers had an interesting season in 2015, as the team made the playoffs and won a postseason game, but overall the team was not as consistent or productive as they had been over the past few years. Aaron Rodgers still put up strong numbers, but the offense struggled at times and the team also dealt with numerous injuries. Heading into the offseason the Packers could look at making upgrades at certain positions on offense, including at tight end and wide receiver.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reportedly wants the team to do more in free agency, as Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that McCarthy has been frustrated by general manager Ted Thompson's approach to free agency. McGinn writes that "several sources" have said that McCarthy wants the team to add more veteran players to the roster that have "the talent to contribute."
The team has some strong depth at wide receiver, but if James Jones doesn't return, there is a chance the team could go after one of the second level players on the market. Jordy Nelson will be coming back to join Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis and Davante Adams at the position and someone like Travis Benjamin, Jermaine Kearse or Rishard Matthews could be a nice fit with that group. The tight end position is also one the team could target, as the Packers did not get enough production from that spot this season.
The Packers have concerns with their own free agents as well, as players like James Jones, Mason Crosby, BJ Raji, John Kuhn, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, James Starks and Andrew Quarless are unrestricted free agents. The Packers have around $20 million to work with heading into the offseason with the salary cap and the team can free up more space by making cuts or restructuring contracts. Jones said that he is hoping to return, while Raji, Starks and Kuhn also could be options to come back.
Crosby is a key player and the team likely will try to retain him, while Quarless could be let go. The team also has to decide if they want to keep Scott Tolzien as the backup for Aaron Rodgers or if they want to give Brett Hundley the chance to move up the depth chart. McCarthy called out Eddie Lacy at the end of the season for being overweight and the running back likely will have to shed some pounds by the time the offseason program begins. Lacy had a career low 758 rushing yards this season.