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The Packers spent two offseason preparing for the departure of Corey Linsley



Corey Linsley (Corey Linsley) is extraordinary. The sooner Green Bay Packers fans accept this, the better. It’s a pity, because Linsley (deservedly) is the NFL’s first team All-Pro Center and the Packers’ Walter Payton (Walter Payton) 2020 Person of the Year nomination, but due to the reality of the league and the team’s finances in 2021 Situation, return to the virtual impossible.

Packers realized that this was very possible, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the salary cap to fall into chaos, they had already taken up their house to handle Linsley’s departure for most of the two years. General manager Brian Gutekunst (Brian Gutekunst) thoroughly strengthened the Packers’ offensive line internal efforts can be traced back to the 201

9 offseason, which shows that the Lincoln team can continue when Linsley’s contract expires The intention to move forward.

This three-year contract is one of Ted Thompson’s final gifts to the team and a new contract with Davante Adams. Both expansions took effect before the 17th week of the 2017 season, just a few weeks before Thompson stepped down as general manager. Linsley received US$25.5 million in that deal and received a signing bonus of US$8 million in advance. The bonus was divided into four years (including 2017) to keep his total salary throughout the contract. tasty.

Three main factors may prevent Linsley from signing a third contract with the Packers. First, he turned 30 in the offseason, which shows the second point: his recent injuries. Although he has only missed three games in the past four years, Linsley has been persistent in dealing with problems. Finally, there is finance, because the top centers should expect to receive at least 10 million U.S. dollars, and may get fair market value for 11 million U.S. dollars per year.

Similarly, if you observe carefully, the writing is already on the wall. This is the chronology of Packers’ mergers and acquisitions within the offensive line.

2019 Free Agent: RG/RT Billy Turner

Although Turner was mainly tackles in 2020, jumping back and forth between the left and right sides, he was the team’s starting right back for most of 2019. Packers signed a four-year contract with Gutekunst. This is Gutekunst squandering free agency. Although his total transaction value is surprising, it is actually a stable value of $7 million per year.

As the team’s right back play was an unquestionable disaster in 2018, Justin McCray took an important step, while veteran Byron Bell performed poorly, the Packers will Turner sees it as a short-term investment to consolidate the guard position, and a long-term job to provide insurance in case Bryan Bulaga leaves the free agency market in 2020. It is worth noting that when Linsley (Linsley) played three games this season, Turner (Turner) did switch back to right back, although now Wagner (Wagner) is released, the correct tackle should belong to as long as he is very good. Just be healthy.

2019 NFL Draft: Egerton Jenkins

In the second round of the 2019 draft, the Packers found a stud inside guard who could play almost any position in the top five. Elgton Jenkins (Elgton Jenkins) settled in the left back position, early as a rookie to replace Lane Taylor (Lane Taylor), but his flexibility will be shown in 2020, because he is in other than right back Place to line up. Jenkins’ background as a college center (or at least his main position at Mississippi State University) suggests that the Packers may see him as the long-term answer to the center, but he started the right offensive in the first week. Showing excellent versatility may lead him to play almost anywhere along the line.

In any case, Jenkins is at least one of the best inside players in the NFL. His selection in the second round of 2019 indicates that the Packers need long-term internal talent injection.

Contract renewal in 2019: Lucas Patrick (Lucas Patrick)

Patrick (Patrick) was an undrafted free agent, not a rookie mini camp invitee. Last season, Patrick (Patrick) developed from that humble identity to a key substitute to a full-time starter. But in December 2019, he signed a two-year contract extension for less than $3 million to purchase restricted and unrestricted free agents. That contract was made at the end of a season. In that season he played 14 games but didn’t start, and only got 137 spikes, even though he had doubled the number of spikes in each of the first two seasons. Fan.

However, the packers still regarded Patrick as a key internal part and a potential starter. Indeed, he was forced into the starting lineup almost in 2020, because Taylor injured and fell at the end of the second consecutive season in the first week and eventually scored into all three inside positions. This two-year bridge contract allowed him to stay in Green Bay for his final year in Linsley (probably the first year after he left) to ensure continuity. Patrick’s ability to play a center like Jenkins may also be a key consideration here, because both will be candidates to succeed Linsley, and the other may be one of them. Line up for the guard position.

2020 NFL Draft: Three sixth-round inside forwards

This brought us into the final offseason, when the Packers did almost nothing in the free agent market. However, their work on three sixth-round picks-a compensatory pick, a selection from the Titans, and their own sixth pick-shows that a team wants to play a few more games. Late lottery.

The choice of using three straight draft picks for inside forwards reminds people of Gutai Kenster’s large-scale catching frenzy in 2018, when he captured three players in that position on the third day of the draft. By choosing Jon Runyan, Jr., Simon Stepaniak and Jake Hanson, the team has tripled again, hoping to find diamonds on the rough stone and lay the foundation for the future.

In the first year, they seemed to have a certain goalkeeper, because Runyan showed encouraging backup performance in the regular season to support his excellent Combine performance (he is one of the few to achieve Packers ideal sports One of the threshold college tackles) game. The team also fully considered Stepaniak, even if he did not participate in the game, he was eliminated from the PUP list at the end of the season, and Hanson struggled in the training team throughout the season.

If one of these three picks is even a reliable starter, it is also a worthwhile attempt. Based on early returns, Runyan has the best chance, and he is likely to become a starter in the first week of 2021.


If Linsley continues to move forward, the Packers will have a stable group of players internally and provide a clear choice for succession planning. When David Bakhtiari returns in 2021, this line will most likely look like a combination of:

  • Bakhtiari, Runyan, Jenkins, Patrick and Turner
  • Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Patrick, Runyan, Turner
  • Bakhtiari, Runyan, Patrick, Turner, Jenkins

The last choice is a bit outrageous, but Janus started with the correct tackle in the first week of Turner’s injury, which is not as crazy as people think. The Packers can even sign Ryan Taylor at a low price, sign a contract as a veteran, and let him and Roon Young start him-after all, Taylor is the starting right back in the first week of 2020.

Taylor’s return may make more sense with Bakhtiari earlier. This allows the Packers to roll with the lineup of Turner, Roon Young, Patrick, Taylor, and Jenkins, thus starting the season and alleviating the need to increase the depth of the veteran in the tackle position.


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