2015 Packers Free Agency: Five Players the Packers Should Pursue

Well, it’s basically that time of year again. The time where Packer faithful get their hopes up that Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson finally puts his hand on the trigger and scores a high priced free agent.

Well, keep dreaming. The only high priced free agent Thompson will ever sign is someone who is already a Packer.

Speaking of Packer free agents, wide receiver Randall Cobb and right tackle Bryan Bulaga should be at the top of their priority list.

Cobb is looking for around $9 million a year, and at this point, what Bulaga is looking for is unknown.

The Packers do own a nice amount of cap space this offseason though, as the cap number for this year has been raised to around $143 million. Given that, the Packers should be able to afford Cobb and Bulaga.

However, just because the Packers won’t be going after some high priced outside free agents, doesn’t mean they can’t make an impact this offseason.

The Packers only made two outside signings last year, linebacker Julius Peppers and defensive lineman Letroy Guion, and they both had a significant impact on the 2014 season.

So, here are three outside free agents that could greatly benefit the Packers next season.

  1. Shane Vereen: Running Back, New England Patriots

Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots I love the idea of Vereen coming to Green Bay. Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy is a great physical runner, but he is nowhere near the receiving threat that Vereen is.

Vereen is a lot like Cobb, but a running back. If Cobb returns, and he likely will, then Green Bay could very well be a matchup nightmare next season.

Hopefully Vereen sees the potential of working with Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers because it would definitely make the number one offense in the NFL even more dynamic.

  1. Charles Tillman: Cornerback, Chicago Bears

Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears This possibility is only if the Packers do not resign cornerback Tramon Williams because they would probably rather have him over Tillman. However, if the price for Williams is too much, the Packers would definitely not hesitate in letting the ageing cornerback go.

But, exit one ageing cornerback, and insert another.

Tillman will probably not demand much money on the free agent market and could come as a bargain. The Packers are not afraid to take ex-Bears players as we saw last year with Peppers, and Tillman could come in and play well in a limited role. He’s got a knack for forcing fumbles which could really help the Packers come next season.

  1. Brain Orakpo: Linebacker, Washington Redskins

Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins Call me crazy, but I like linebacker Clay Matthews in the inside role. He played better than expected at that position last year and really helped the run defense when he made the change, if the Packers sign Orakpo this offseason, he can stay there.

Orakpo could very well be a risky signing given his injury concerns, but those injury concerns will probably drive his price tag pretty low. He might want to sign a one year prove-it-all deal, and the Packers would most likely be happy to do it for the right price.

Orakpo is an effective pass rusher when healthy, and the upside to him far outweighs Packers’ linebackers Mike Neal and Nick Perry.

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Rodgers Wins MVP

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersI know that no one really wants to look back on what could qualify as the worst loss in Green Bay Packers history, but now that we’ve had over a week to put the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in perspective, I’m ready to talk about the game and move on.

Probably the biggest reason why this game will be difficult for most to get over is that there isn’t one play to look at to why the Packers lost, there’s about eight. Whether it’s Morgan Burnett sliding with open field in front of him, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix failing to cover a Hail Mary two-point conversion, or Brandon Bostick going for the ball instead of doing his job, neither play is more responsible for the loss than another.

There are about five other plays we could look at, but it would be pointless. The game is in the past and gone, so now we have to look forward to the 2015 season.

But first, the NFL Honors took place this past weekend, and it was actually really good. Seth Myers hosted the event and with the past season the NFL just had, there were dozens of punchlines available to him.

New York Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and St. Louis Rams’ defensive lineman Aaron Donald won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Dallas Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award, and Houston Texans’ defensive lineman J.J. Watt was a unanimous decision for the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersThe last award of the night was given to Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the NFL MVP. It was the second time in Rodgers’ career that he won the award and it was definitely well deserved.

In the 2014 season, Rodgers passed for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 112.2 which is second best in his career, only trailing his NFL record of 122.5 back in 2011.

Rodgers received 31 of 50 votes and Watt placed second with 13. No other player received more than two votes.

Rodgers also won the FedEx Air Player of the Year, and the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year for his week six two minute drive and touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless with three seconds left on the clock.

Looking back, this season was filled with memorable moments just like the week six comeback. Rodgers’ R-E-L-A-X speech before playing a perfect game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers’ six touchdown first half in the Packers second game against the Bears. Defeating the New England Patriots in the first Brady vs. Rodgers matchup, Rodgers coming back from injury to defeat the Detroit Lions in week 17, and finally, the comeback against the Cowboys in the divisional playoffs to finish the season undefeated at Lambeau.

These are just a few of many memorable games in 2014, proving that this season does not have to be defined by the late collapse against the Seahawks.

The Packers were as close as it gets to the Super Bowl this year and fans should feel confident that as long as Rodgers is leading this team, they’ll be contenders every year. The Packers are always planning for the future, so this team will only get better. They are young and I believe that the experience gained in 2014 will motivate them and not loom.

Here’s to 2015 and Super Bowl L! (50)