Packers 2018 Free Agents: Who's Coming Back Next Year?

Packers 2018 Free Agents: Who's Coming Back Next Year?

The Packers navigated the ups and downs of free agency this year. While adding tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks, Green Bay saw guard T.J. Lang sign with rival Detroit and running back Eddie Lacy leave for another rival, Seattle.

With the offseason almost behind us, let’s take a look at the Packers who will become a free agent next year. What are the chances Green Bay brings these soon-to-be free agents back in the 2018 offseason?

He’s gotta come back next year

WR Davante Adams
Age at free agency: 25 years old

Wide receiver is a position of strength in Green Bay, for now. Jordy Nelson isn’t getting any younger, and Randall Cobb has struggled to consistently produce after signing his last contract. Adams’ breakout 2016 campaign and likely success in 2017 means his price tag will be high. The Packers will lead the league in spending at wide receiver this season ($31 million), and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

G Lane Taylor
Age at free agency: 28 years old

As of now, Lane Taylor is in position of strength to negotiate his third contract with the Packers. Green Bay is using veteran Jahri Evans to replace T.J. Lang, and only invested a sixth-round draft pick on the offensive line. If the undrafted free agents don’t pan out this season, Taylor will have leverage with the Packers to cash in.

C Corey Linsley
Age at free agency: 26 years old

Can you name the Packers’ backup center right now? It’s likely one of Jacob Flores or Thomas Evans as of now. (It’s okay if you don’t recognize either of those names.) When starting center JC Tretter signed with the Browns this offseason, the Packers were content to let him leave and continue at center with Linsley.

Green Bay may move on

SS Morgan Burnett
Age at free agency: 29 years old

Burnett is one of the most valuable Packers, and his future with the team likely will go as the development of rookie safety Josh Jones goes. If Jones continues to prove he’s a game-changing safety, Green Bay will have three starting caliber safeties. Burnett, close to 30 years old when he hits free agency, seems to fit the profile of a player the Packers like but move on from due to age and his asking price.

OLB Jayrone Elliott
Age at free agency: 26 years old

Elliott has a fantastic opportunity to dazzle the coaching staff and earn playing time as a pass rusher this offseason. He’s been primarily a special teams player during his tenure with the Packers, but the departure of Datone Jones and Julius Peppers opens a door. Considering the team has both Vince Biegel and Kyler Fackrell under contract in 2018, Elliott may be the odd-man out.

Don’t count on him being back

G Jahri Evans
Age at free agency: 34 years old

The early returns on Evans are encouraging. He’s been a veteran presence and has helped the younger offensive linemen hone their craft, all while practicing at a consistent level. However, he’s going to be 34 when he hits free agency next season. At the start of last season, only one starting guard was older than 33 (Evan Mathis, 34).

DE Ricky Jean Francois
Age at free agency: 31 years old

In the long term, rookie Montravius Adams will likely fill the role Ricky Jean Francois plays for the Packers this season. Jean Francois chose the Packers because of the chance to chase a Super Bowl ring, something he’s hasn’t done since playing for Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers. It’s likely he finds another team after a one-year stint with Green Bay.

OL Don Barclay
Age at free agency: 29 years old

For the past three seasons, it’s felt as if we’ve all read the same “This is probably the end for Don Barclay with the Packers” headline. But as he nears 30 years old, the longtime backup offensive lineman is certainly closer to the end of his career than the beginning. The better the Packers’ younger offensive linemen perform in camp, the harder it will be to justify bringing Barclay back again.

The price is probably too high

TE Richard Rodgers
Age at free agency: 26 years old

Richard Rodgers is not going to command a large contract in free agency, but anything over the veteran minimum is likely too high for the Packers. It’s not that Rodgers isn’t a valuable player, but Green Bay invested in high-profile free agents at tight end this offseason and have both under contract for 2018.

He’s gotta make the team first

CB Davon House
Age at free agency: 27 years old

Coaches have been high on House in OTAs, praising his leadership and comparing the way he works alongside the younger corners to how Charles Woodson used to work. House appears to be safely on the Packers’ 53-man roster, but that could change if a few of the undrafted free agents prove to be good.

LB Jordan Tripp
Age at free agency: 27 years old

Tripp arrived in Green Bay late last year, and will try to make the team out of camp. It’s going to be a hard road for him to stay on the roster, as the Packers used him almost exclusively on special teams last year. Tripp will have to prove he has something to offer as a defender if he’s going to stay on the team.

CB Demetri Goodson
Age at free agency: 28 years old

An ugly knee injury ended Goodson’s season in November, and it’s unlikely he will be back at full strength by the start of training camp. The 2014 sixth-round pick will be facing younger, more athletic cornerbacks and needs to take a big step forward to even make the team out of camp.

WR Jeff Janis
Age at free agency: 26 years old

The fan favorite has his work cut out for him just to make the 53-man roster this season. Green Bay brought in two wide receivers through the draft – DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre – and signed Montay Crockett, who reportedly clocked as low as a 4.25 in the 40-yard dash. Janis has been given ample time to learn the playbook and sharpen his receiving skills. It’s time to see if he can produce as a wide receiver.

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