Packers GM Brian Gutekunst sees value in late free-agent signings
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst recently made a couple of late free-agent additions to his roster and, until this week, had not addressed them.
Speaking on the "Nagler’s Never Right podcast," Gutekunst indicated that the signing of veteran offensive lineman Byron Bell was not about a lack of confidence in the team’s regular starter at right tackle, Bryan Bulaga, and his ability to be ready for Week 1. Bulaga is recovering from a torn ACL suffered late last season.
“I think moreso for us, we had an opportunity to add a guy who not only has started and played tackle, but guard as well,” Gutekunst said. “Having a guy that’s going to be able to compete with our group that has 40-some starts under his belt, I think that was something that was attractive to us.”
“It was one of those things that as we moved on, we felt it would improve the entire group.”
Gutekunst also spoke about the addition of veteran free-agent tight end Marcedes Lewis and indicated that his availability was a bit of a surprise.
“I don’t think that’s something we expected, for him to come loose,” Gutekunst said. “Obviously he had not only been a really good player for (the Jaguars) but an exceptional leader and teammate there.”
“For us, I just think that we’re tickled to be able to get him. The amount of experience he has at that position, I think it’s really going to be valuable to us. The tight end position is one of those positions that it’s really tough for young players to come in and make an impact. Obviously, as much experience he has not only in the passing game, but as a blocker as well, I think it’s something that will hopefully provide a lot of positive things for us coming forward.”