Pass Rusher Market Could Improve

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Dwight Freeney

One of the Green Bay Packers top offseason priorities will be improving the pass rush. While we fully expect them to address that need through the draft, there may be some intriguing options available as teams continue to pare their rosters to get below the salary cap.

The top pass rusher on the free agent market, Houston’s Mario Williams, figures to be out of the Packers’ price range. There’s no guarantee either of these guys will be in the Packers’ range either, but we fully expect them to be making less than they currently do if they’re released, which looks like a real possibility.

The most interesting option is Oakland linebacker Kamerion Wimbley. The Raiders have to cut around $20 million to get below the salary cap and Wimbley is scheduled to make $11 million this season. If he doesn’t agree to a renegotiated deal, the team will part ways with him.

Wimbley is 28 and had 63 tackles and seven sacks last season. He has 42.5 sacks in his six-year career and would presumably provide the Packers with something they clearly lacked in 2011 — a pass rush threat opposite Clay Matthews.

The other player to keep an eye on is Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. Indianapolis just gave $36 million to their other defensive end, Robert Mathis. Freeney, meanwhile, is scheduled to make more than $14 million this season and has a cap number of $19 million, which could make him a cap casualty.

There are some red flags with Freeney — he’s 32 and he’d have to switch to outside linebacker in the Packers’ 3-4. He’s still one of the best pass rushers in the league, though. He had 8.5 sacks last season and 42.5 over the last four. He doesn’t tackle anyone (19 stops all of last season), but he’d be a hell of a situational pass rusher if nothing else.

We’d still consider it unlikely for the Packers to sign either one if they’re released, but if the price is right, you’d think they’d at least consider it.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

4 Comments on "Pass Rusher Market Could Improve"

  1. Shawn iltarion

    IF the Packers don’t sign Wells, then it is POSSIBLE they could make a move on someone.

    However, Mathis is not an OLB and never will be. He would have to play DE on pass rushing downs. That would be his role.

  2. AZPack

    Wimbley would be a stud for us, but the dline needs the most improvement. We need more depth at that position as Pickett is in the last years of his career, Neal is still unproven and could very well be a flop, and Raji is overworked by playing too many downs. Another solid DT would be awesome at this point.

  3. peter

    I think they need another fatty next to bj. You watch the video from the super bowl season and notice the major impact cullen had if not with pressure being doubled and freeing someone else.

    I think we have young LB talent So Oto was a beast with no preseason I’m interested in seeing what he can do with that and learning from Kevin Greene for a year. Depending on Nick;s status they may have to address that as well.

  4. Vijay

    Re Sign Wells, trade up in the first round and draft Melvin Ingram or Nick Perry please!!! (wishful thinking)

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