The Green Bay Packers spent most of their money this offseason to keep their own players in Green Bay. Since the start of free agency, GM Brian Gutekunst has been able to re-sign RB Aaron Jones and veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis. The Packers also inked CB Kevin King to a reasonable prove-it deal that should have him in Green and Gold for one more year.
But what about the Packers other remaining free agents. Here is a look at each of the team’s remaining free agents and a discussion about their chances of returning to Green Bay in 2021:
G Lane Taylor
Taylor has played a total of three games over the past two seasons due to injuries. He won the starting right guard spot in training camp last season after taking a pay cut to remain with the Packers.
Taylor could be welcomed back to compete for a roster spot and possibly even a starting position if the price is right. With David Bakhtiari set to miss the start of the season as he recovers from his knee injury, Taylor’s presence could allow the Packers to move Elgton Jenkins to tackle until Bakhtiari returns.
DL Snacks Harrison
Harrison was signed by the Packers late in the 2020 to help fortify the defensive line against the run. He played in only one game during the regular season and both playoff games but didn’t see a lot of action. Harrison has indicated he will not be back with the Packers in 2021.
WR Tavon Austin
The Packers signed Austin after Tyler Ervin was injured but he failed to produce much as a return specialist or as a gadget player on offense. It is almost certain Austin won’t be back in Green Bay next season.
DL Tyler Lancaster
The Packers let Lancaster go when they didn’t tender him. He is a reliable run stuffer but provides next to no help rushing the passer. The only way Lancaster returns is if he can’t find a better deal elsewhere and comes back at or near the veteran minimum.
S Will Redmond
Redmond played 13 games for the Packers last season and started one. He has value to the Packers because he has been one of the team’s best special teams players in recent seasons. Redmond played 33 percent of the team’s snaps on defense last season but is a liability in coverage. The former Mississippi State star could be back on a reasonable contract primarily for what he provides on special teams.
OT Jared Veldheer
Veldheer rejoined the Packers during the playoffs but never played because he was placed in the Covid-19 protocol. He has signed with Green Bay late in each of the last two seasons. If he doesn’t decide to retire permanently, the Packers could bring him back to add experience and depth along the offensive line especially with Bakhtiari set to miss the early part of the season as he recovers from his knee injury.
LB James Burgess
Burgess is another player who contributes mostly on special teams. In fact, he didn’t take a snap for the Packers on defense. He may return at the veteran minimum if he doesn’t find another taker on the free agent market.
CB Parry Nickerson
Nickerson played one game for the Packers before going on the injured reserve. He is unlikely to return in 2021. If he does, it will be for the veteran minimum.
S Raven Greene
Greene has provided the Packers with depth at safety and often played the hybrid safety/linebacker position. Greene’s biggest issue was staying healthy and he missed significant time again in 2020. He did play in a career-high 10 games. Greene was a favorite of departed defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He may not fit into Joe Barry’s plans but if he is willing to come back at a reasonable rate, the Packers may sign him one more time.
RB Tyler Ervin
Ervin gave the Packers special teams unit a jump late in 2019 but wasn’t as successful in 2020. He can create solid gains on gadget plays on offense if he gets the ball in space. The former San Jose State star visited with the Bills last week. Ervin could be re-signed at a reasonable contract but he is likely to find a better offer elsewhere.
OT Rick Wagner
The Packers let Wagner go to free up cap space. He was a valuable pickup last season and filled in admirably at right tackle when injuries struck the offensive line. The Wisconsin alum may retire. If he doesn’t, returning to Green Bay is possible if he doesn’t receive a more lucrative offer from another team.
DL Billy Winn
Winn played well in his brief stint with the Packers last season. Winn was a great story, seeing his first NFL action since 2016, but he is unlikely to be back in Green Bay next season.
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