Down the stretch last season, outside linebacker Nick Perry showed what kind of value he can provide the Green Bay Packers' defense.
No, the Packers' 2012 first-round pick never developed into an explosive pass rusher. His three sacks and 23 tackles last season were one fewer than the year before. When it came time for the Packers to pick up Perry's fifth-year option this offseason, the team declined.
But Perry proved to be a solid situational player, especially on running downs. He did it despite playing through a shoulder injury that only knocked him out of one game but required offseason surgery, according to multiple reports. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Tuesday he was pleased with Perry's contributions.
"I really like the way Nick played down the stretch," Capers said. "I don't know how much the shoulder hindered him, but I saw him play some pretty good football for us. Obviously, Nick's biggest deal is when you – to play and be able to stay on the field."
Perry has been unable to practice this offseason following the surgery, preventing him from building on the momentum from last season. Capers is hopeful Perry can return for training camp.
"I think he played some of his best football," Capers said, "and we just have to get him out there and keep him on the field. I think he can do some really good things for us."
-- email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood