With roughly a little over $11 million in cap space — a portion of which will be dedicated to the upcoming rookie class — the Packers should have at least a few million they may be willing to part with in order to add a couple useful pieces to the mix.
The shiny new sports cars have long left the showroom floor, but plenty of subcompacts are there for the taking, as Brian Gutekunst has final say in determining if any of them are worth kicking the tires on.
Here are notable free agents who are currently looking for a team to call home. Let’s dive in and parse out the free agents who can offer excellent value from the lemons that will more likely leave NFL GMs with a profound sense of buyer’s remorse.
Damon “Snacks” Harrison DT
The 351-pound colossus picked up right where he left off after being traded from the Giants to the Lions midway through the 2018 season, as he registered 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 10 games.
Since then, Harrison has fallen on hard times by admittedly playing through groin and knee injuries this past year, as both his tackle (49) and sack (2) totals regressed as a result. Overall, Detroit’s run defense suffered as well, with the Silver and Blue allowing the 9th most yards to running backs, along with ranking 31st in total yards allowed.
Harrison was so disappointed after Detroit’s season-ending loss to Green Bay that he publicly contemplated retirement. The 31 year-old knows the end is near and there’s no reason for Green Bay to invest in what looks to be a damaged player.
Verdict: No. Pump the breaks
Prince Amukamara CB
The Giants’ 2011 first-round pick has never developed into an elite cover man over his nine seasons, but he’s been nothing if not consistent.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently pointed out how the 30-year-old cornerback has earned overall grades between 66.3 and 81.0 throughout his pro tenure. Amukamara is particularly reliable in shadowing No. 1 receivers in tight coverage, although he isn’t nearly as effective versus the run and his ball skills (10 interceptions in nine seasons) are similarly lacking.
While some still hold out hope for starting corner Kevin King, the University of Washington product is prone to giving up chunk plays. According to FanDuel.com, King allowed the fourth-most yards (864) in coverage last season. But those who have watched the 24-year-old on a weekly basis can also attest to the tall corner’s penchant for coming with big, acrobatic plays in key moments.
Picking up Amukamara at a bargain price would provide much-needed competition for King if his production continues to vacillate. The former Bear hasn’t proven to be very durable and is slightly past his prime, but he can provide an immediate boost to the secondary on a one-year deal.
Verdict: Yes. Let’s take this jalopy out for a spin.
Kamalei Correa LB
The $64,000 question with Correa is: Can he handle an expanded role? In small samples, the Hawaii native has been a disruptive force, particularly as an outside pass rusher. And while dropping into coverage will never be the linebacker’s strong suit, he has developed into a steady tackler, as evidenced by the fact that he missed only 5.1-percent of his tackles in 2019, according to Bleacher Report.
Those who followed Tennessee’s surprising playoff run, witnessed Correa 3 sacks combined versus Baltimore and Kansas City.
All told, the former Boise State Bronco is fun to watch given his intensity to laterally run down plays and lay the wood when he gets to the ball carrier. Correa is only 25-years-old and has all the upside and physical tools to compete with Ty Summers and/or Oren Burks for a spot on the Packers roster.
Verdict: Yes. Roll the top down and drive.
Wesley Woodyard LB
For years, Woodyard has been one of the more versatile linebackers, offering loads of speed versus the run and pass, along with being able to generate sacks and contribute on special teams.
The long-time defender, though, is coming up on his 13th season and is no longer a three-down player. That doesn’t make him useless since he continues to perform as a run defender, with a 72.4 PFF grade in that department.
The 34-year-old would look better on a more complete defense and wouldn’t be a fit on a Packers’ team that needs more team speed.
Verdict: No. Pull over to the right and leave the keys on the dashboard.
Timmy Jernigan DT
When the 27-year-old defensive tackle is healthy, he shows the quickness to get around blockers and strength to disengage from them.
The issue with Jernigan is that he’s only played 13 games over the past two seasons, as he’s dealt with a herniated disc and a foot injury. His general lack of consistency as a Philadelphia Eagle raises concerns about if he’ll ever return to prior performance levels.
Jernigan has age on his side and can excel in a one-gap attacking scheme.
Verdict: No. We’re approaching a sharp valley — engage the emergency brake.