Keep or Cut - Offensive Decisions

Keep or Cut - Offensive Decisions

The Packers are facing decisions on James Starks and 17 others in the very near future.
The Packers are facing decisions on James Starks and 17 others in the very near future.

Decision time looms for the Packers front office on 18 free agents this off-season. 14 of those free agents-to-be are unrestricted, two are restricted, and two have their exclusive rights held by the Packers. Based on this list provided by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, let's play Keep or Cut with the gentlemen on the offensive side of the ball whose futures with the Packers will be decided in the next few months.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Don Barclay - T

The Good - Barclay remains a versatile backup at two positions along the offensive line. He can still play both guard and tackle, though he's less effective now than before his ACL tear. At 26, he should still have plenty of football ahead of him.

The Bad - The 4th year man was badly exposed during the Arizona game and struggled during other appearances as well. He seems to be diminished as a player following his knee injury, although that is to be expected.

The Verdict - Cut. The Packers have other ascending linemen with cleaner bills of health.

Mason Crosby - K

The Good - Crosby tied the second best mark of his career in terms of field goal accuracy this year, hitting 24 of 28 attempts. He was one of just a handful of kickers league-wide to convert all of his PAT's at the new, longer distance.

The Bad - His game winning attempt against Detroit was probably his worst miss ever, judging both by the circumstance and the result.

The Verdict - Keep. Crosby has an elite leg and is one of the NFL's premier kickers, especially from long distance. He's converted more than 80 percent of his kicks every year since 2011, barring his 2012 disaster.

Brett Goode - LS

The Good - Was virtually un-noticeable as a long snapper, which is the best possible trait for a long snapper to have.

The Bad - Tore his ACL late in the season, which could put his availability for the start of the 2016 season in jeopardy.

The Verdict - Keep, provided he can recover and be ready for the start of the season. Even if he can't, injured reserve would be a great option for a long snapper as consistent as Brett Goode.

James Jones - WR

The Good - Returned to the Packers during a period of dire need and came up pretty big, leading the team in receiving yards and touchdowns.

The Bad - Jones isn't getting any younger, and his already suspect speed put the Packers in a bind when they needed a field stretcher to take the top off the defense.

The Verdict - Cut. If breakout performances from Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis in the playoffs didn't seal it, Jordy Nelson's return certainly should. Jones was a rental player from the moment he returned to Lambeau, no matter how great his story may have been.

John Kuhn - FB

The Good - Despite his advancing age, John Kuhn somehow seemed even more valuable to the Packers in 2015. He was involved more on offense down the stretch and earned praise from Aaron Rodgers time and time again.

The Bad - Though his beard is as red as ever, Kuhn isn't getting any younger and the fullback position isn't getting any more desirable in the NFL. Ted Thompson didn't draft Aaron Ripkowski for nothing, and the younger fullback contributes much more on special teams than does Kuhn.

The Verdict - Keep, but only at a bargain price. As much as he adds to the offense, an aging fullback is a luxury, not a necessity.

Andrew Quarless - TE

The Good - Highlights were few and far between for Quarless in 2015. A knee injury kept him on the sidelines for the majority of the season, and when he was on the field he didn't offer much.

The Bad - See the "good" section. Quarless is a pretty unremarkable player at this point in his career, past performances aside.

The Verdict - Cut. The Packers had a serious lack of production at the tight end position in 2015, and bringing Quarless back won't help with that.

James StarksRB

The Good - Starks had a career year in 2015, notching career highs in rushing attempts, rushing yards, receptions, receiving yards, yards per reception, and receiving touchdowns. He also played all sixteen games for the second consecutive season. Though he may never have become a feature back, Starks finally blossomed into the best version of himself that we've ever seen.

The Bad - Starks will be 30 next season, and it's likely he will not duplicate this year's output. He also fumbled five times, equal to his previous career total.

The Verdict - Keep. 30 year old running backs are affordable, and the Packers know exactly what they have in Starks. He's in phenomenal shape, he has fewer than 700 career carries, and the Packers have finally found a perfect niche for him.

Scott TolzienQB

The Good - Tolzien played his part perfectly in 2015 in that he never appeared on the field in a significant capacity. Good job, Scott!

The Bad - There's nothing really to say here. Tolzien didn't do much negatively in 2015.

The Verdict - Keep him, but only at the right price. Tolzien is a backup quarterback, and there's no sense paying extra for a backup QB if you don't have to.

Restricted Free Agents

Lane Taylor - G

The Good - Taylor got two spot starts with the Packers during the worst of their offensive line woes, and filled in just fine. He may never be a starter, but he's not a slouch either. Taylor is a little bit shorter, but about 30 pounds heavier than Don Barclay, and his extra girth could make him a better fit long term.

The Bad - Taylor is likely a career backup and could be replaced with a draft pick or free agent pickup.

The Verdict - Keep. He's a known commodity and should be available on a low-end restricted free agent tender.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

Justin PerilloTE

The Good - Perillo finally managed to get some extended play in 2015 after two games on the active roster in 2014. He added some sorely needed athleticism to a tight end corps lacking in any sort of explosive qualities.

The Bad - Production came in fits and starts for Mr. Perillo. He never recorded consecutive games with more than one reception and was held without a catch in four of the nine games in which he appeared.

The Verdict - Keep. He'll be cheap, the Packers have exclusive rights, and he's shown enough in his two years on the roster to merit further consideration.

Keep or Cut - Defensive Decisions

Keep or Cut - Defensive Decisions

2015 and 2010: So What's the Difference?

2015 and 2010: So What's the Difference?