24. Green Bay Packers
Talk about your upset? We are less than two weeks into free agency and Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has already dipped into the open market twice. We’re not kidding. For now, tight end Jared Cook remains unsigned but the Pack has added both Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks. The latter was left unsigned by the New England Patriots this month after he helped the team win a Super Bowl. Kendricks was cut loose by the Los Angeles Rams this offseason after six years with the club.
Now the bad news. The club’s losses are somewhat substantial, especially when it comes to the offensive line. Center J.C. Tretter (Cleveland Browns) and guard T.J. Lang (Detroit Lions) have signed elsewhere, as has playmaking defensive back and punt return threat Micah Hyde (Buffalo Bills). The team managed to retain their top sack artist of 2016 by re-signing outside linebacker Nick Perry. But Julius Peppers opted to move and is back with the franchise (Carolina Panthers) that made him the second overall pick in the draft way back in 2002.
And to make matters even more interesting, running back Eddie Lacy (who missed 11 games in ’16) is off to the Pacific Northwest. Via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he’s inked a one-year deal with the defending NFC West champion Seahawks. Meanwhile, Ty Montgomery has been moved to running back on a full-time basis and James Starks was cut loose. Hence, you get the feeling Thompson isn’t quite finished with free agency this year.