Jim Owczarski and Olivia Reiner dissect the ups and downs of the 2018 Packers' linebackers. Packers News
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with ESPN's Bill Barnwell detailing the first five offseason moves that he believes each NFC team should make. Here's a condensed version of his list for the Packers:
1. Let Clay Matthews leave. The six-time Pro Bowler just finished a five-year, $66 million extension that didn't live up to expectations. In the five seasons before the extension, Matthews produced 50 sacks and 106 quarterback knockdowns. Over the five seasons covering that extension, Matthews generated 33.5 sacks and 83 hits. Matthews is still a useful player, of course, and he'll have a market if the Packers don't re-sign him. But in a year in which there are plenty of other edge-rushing options in free agency and at the top of the draft, Matthews is probably looking at something in the yearly range of $5 million to $6 million if he goes to a contender.
2. Bring back Muhammad Wilkerson. The former Jets standout impressed with the Packers before going down with a broken ankle in Week 3. He had signed a one-year deal to try to rebuild his value after a disappointing end to his tenure in New York, and after the ankle injury, he likely is going to be staring down another prove-it deal. The Packers should give him a second chance to do that.
3. Bring in a free safety. The Packers traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington and moved Tramon Williams to free safety last season. But even if you think Williams played well in his new role, he will turn 36 in March. The free safety market is full of options this offseason, and if GM Brian Gutekunst wants to make a return foray into unrestricted free agency, the Packers could viably add someone like Tyrann Mathieu or Lamarcus Joyner.
4. Use one of the first-round picks to draft an edge rusher. If the Packers let Matthews go, they'll run into 2019 with Kyler Fackrell and Nick Perry as their edge defenders. It's tough to think they're going to be a great duo next season. Green Bay isn't in position to draft someone like Nick Bosa, but with the 12th and 30th picks, the Packers should be able to come away with at least one impact pass-rusher to replace Matthews.
5. Add at least one wide receiver. Davante Adams was targeted 169 times last season, the second-highest total in the league, behind Julio Jones. The Packers might have the worst receiving corps in football if Adams were to go down injured. The free-agent wideout class isn't exactly appealing, although it sure seems like Golden Tate would be able to develop an easy rapport with Aaron Rodgers out of the slot. Jamison Crowder also could make sense at a cheaper price point. Using one of their four top-75 picks on a wide receiver might be more plausible.
You can get the full details on Barnwell's thoughts on the Packers here, along his views on the other 15 NFC teams:
The Packers could use another weapon opposite star wide receiver Davante Adams, but unhappy Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown isn't the answer, writes Pete Dougherty:
Marquez Valdes-Scantling vows that big things are ahead for the Packers' young receiving corps:
New Packers coach Matt LaFleur will introduce his coaching staff Monday:
When Aaron Jones was able to play, he excelled:
But given Jones' history of knee injuries, the Packers could look at spending a high draft pick on a running back. The MMQB looks at some of the best who might be available:
Former Packers personnel executive finds a new home:
Packers edge rusher Kyler Fackrell is in some pretty good company here:
Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes about how Packers receiver Jake Kumerow is hoping to show what he can do when he's healthy:
Dusty Evely of CheeseheadTV breaks down Aaron Rodgers' 59 throwaways from 2018 in a film study:
And finally: Two former Packers came up big Sunday for the San Antonio Commanders in the Alliance of American Football: