Packers Should Turn Focus to Extensions for Three Veterans
The Green Bay Packers seem finished with big free agent spending this year. But which of their own players are in line for extensions in the near future?
The Packers made some splashes in free agency. They added Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks and gave extensions to Nick Perry and Christine Michael. While several players signed elsewhere, their contracts proved to be out of Green Bay’s price range.
As it stands, the Packers have about $23 million remaining in cap space. Rookie contracts will take some of that, but the team will roll over some to next season. They have a few key players set to hit the market in 2018, while others are simply deserving of new deals. At this point, Green Bay should focus more on retaining these three players than looking at the remaining free agents available for 2017. Clinton-Dix, Adams, and Rodgers are essential to the Packers’ success. The team would be wise to extend their careers in Green Bay before next offseason even begins.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
The first player due for a new contract is the Packers’ young safety. The team will almost definitely pick up his fifth year option, securing his spot through 2018. But Green Bay needs to get an extension done quickly. He just posted his first Pro Bowl season, made second-team All-Pro, and led the team with five picks in 2016. His on-field presence helps anchor the secondary, and Clinton-Dix can still get better. He could very well become the face of the defense and remains a crucial part of rebuilding the defensive backfield. The Lions’ Glover Quin currently ranks 10th among safety salaries at just under $8 million. Clinton-Dix should make around that (or more), and he’s worth that price tag.
Adams represents a more pressing need regarding the Packers’ contract extensions. His rookie contract expires after 2017, at which point he’ll hit the open market. But Green Bay would be wise to extend Adams during the season. He showed in 2016 what kind of talent he possesses, and emerged as a major receiving threat opposite Jordy Nelson. If Adams mirrors that production again, he’ll become a top commodity on next year’s market. Losing Adams would leave a top tier offense in doubt, as Nelson will be 33 next year and Randall Cobb struggled somewhat last season. The tighter window means Adams’ contract extension could take precedent over that of Clinton-Dix.
Finally, the Packers’ MVP quarterback is due for a reworked deal. He recently talked about potentially needing a new deal after the Bears signed Mike Glennon to a hefty contract. In fact, Rodgers will make just $13.65 million in 2017. Sure, that gives the team room to sign other players, but he deserves more given his value to the team. Players like Brock Osweiler, Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, and Sam Bradford will all make more than Rodgers in 2017. It’s no secret that Rodgers stands significantly above all of them, and should make more money as well. He’s under contract until 2019, but extending Rodgers now to more appropriately value his worth should be near the top of the team’s to do list.