We’re all excited about what the 2020 season has in store for the Green Bay Packers, but we still need to think about the future. Here are three potential free agents to keep your eye on.
As it stands, the Green Bay Packers have $6 million in cap space for the 2021 season. That’s sure to change in the future but we can’t be sure how. Word on the street is that the cap is sure to drop in 2021 due to the likely lack of revenue this year. That will force the Green Bay Packers to make some moves during the 2021 offseason. Cap casualty will be a popular term.
The 2021 offseason won’t mirror the 2019 offseason where the Packers signed Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, and Billy Turner to lucrative deals. Those salaries will keep the Packers from making any huge signings but hopefully, there’s enough cap space to add a starting piece through free agency.
These three players have contracts expiring after the 2020 season and could fit perfectly with the Green Bay Packers. Where they wind up will depend on how they perform this year. Let’s check ’em out.
Demario Davis, Linebacker
Demario Davis has developed into one of the top linebackers in the NFL. He earned his first All-Pro nomination last year, after recording 97 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 interception. Davis is on the last of his three-year, $24 million contract with the Saints. After four straight years of stellar play, he’ll be looking to collect again.
However, Davis is already 31 years old so a high-paying, multi-year contract may be out of the question. Enter the Green Bay Packers, who are in need of a productive linebacker who can stay on the field without commanding a huge contract. Christian Kirksey hasn’t had the opportunity to prove himself in live situations yet, but he has a long history of injuries. He may not be the answer but Davis could be.
Throughout his eight-year career, he’s never missed a game. He’s seen a steady climb in production since being drafted in the third-round by the Jets. Davis is one of the top coverage linebackers in the NFL. His strength, speed, and 6’ 2”, 248-pound frame help him shut down some of the top tight ends in the league. The Packers have been hemorrhaging yards to the position for years and could use a player like Davis to stop the bleeding.
Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver
We all know Sammy Watkins. He was drafted 4th overall by the Bills in 2014 but was widely considered a bust in Buffalo. He rekindled his career a bit in Kansas City but has yet to justify his draft slot, but who cares…
Second, third, and fourth contracts don’t care about your draft slot. Watkins is currently on his third contract (one-year, $9 million) and thinking about his fourth. He’s already made over $50 million throughout his career and stated during the 2020 offseason that he would take the year off if the Chiefs chose not to re-sign him.
It’s worth questioning what Watkins’ commitment to the Packers would be but I have no questions about his ability to operate as a number two receiver in this offense. Watkins is a smooth route-runner with solid hands, and he’s been in the league for what seems like forever, though he’s only 27 years old. He’s a vet who is sure to gel with Aaron Rodgers and help ease the transition to Jordan Love.
Watkins will have to prove his worth again in 2020 and he’ll get the opportunity in the Chiefs high-powered offense. He’ll probably never be on another multi-year $10+ million contract, which should make him an attractive target for the Green Bay Packers.
DaQuan Jones, Defensive Line
DaQuan Jones has never been invited to a Pro Bowl but has quietly outplayed his three-year, $21 million contract. He’s been a consistent piece of the Titans defense since he was drafted by them in the fourth-round in 2014. At 6’ 4”, 322-pounds, he’s a stud against the run and has started 16 games in four of the last five seasons.
Operating as a 3-4 defensive end, Jones has already shown that he’s capable of manning that position for the Green Bay Packers. He’s a safe bet to have success in the Packers system but there are two big questions that need answering.
Will the Titans just let him walk? The Titans traded long time starter Jurrell Casey to the Broncos, possibly to make room for Daquan Jones. However, the team isn’t in a great cap situation and may not be able to afford Jones’ contract… which leads me to my second question.
How much money will Jones ask for? Maybe too much. He’s only 28 years old and could command up to 10 mil per year which would be out of the Packers’ spending range, having just signed Kenny Clark. But man… Clark and Jones would look great next to each other. Include the budding Kingsley Keke and the Packers defensive line could be the best in the division. The Packers need a run stuffer like DaQuan Jones.
Davis, Watkins, and Jones are all on contract years. They’ve had varying amounts of success in the NFL but seem to have a few years of productive play left in them. We’ll be paying close attention to these three throughout the 2020 season, here at Game On Wisconsin.