With Desmond Bishop receiving a contact extension, defensive end Cullen Jenkins should be the top priority for the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have several key players who are scheduled to be free agents under the current system, which is expected to be extended at some point. In addition to Jenkins, they include fullbacks John Kuhn and Korey Hall, kicker Mason Crosby, safeties Charlie Peprah, Atari Bigby and Anthony Smith, running back Brandon Jackson, guards Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz and receiver James Jones.
Of the group, Kuhn, Crosby and Colledge are the only players who would seem to have the inside track to open next season as starters, if they’re retained. However, Jackson and Jones are solid contributors and Jones may be a starter when Donald Driver finally hangs it up.
Hall is a valuable special teams player, but the Packers also have Quinn Johnson on the roster at fullback. If the team doesn’t re-sign one or possibly two of the safeties, they’ll be extremely thin at that position.
Colledge is adequate at best and Spitz hasn’t played well in two seasons.
Let’s go back to the top, though.
Although he only started eight games and posted 18 tackles this season, Jenkins is a valuable pass rusher. He recorded seven sacks in the 11 games he played in.
The Packers have been playing waiver-wire pickup Howard Green and rookie C.J. Wilson extensively in Jenkins’ absence. While both guys have made plays, they haven’t given the Packers the pass rush Jenkins has.
Mike Neal, a second-round pick this season, might also be an option if Jenkins isn’t retained, but he’s missed most of the year with an injury.
After Jenkins, the most valuable players are Crosby, Kuhn and Jones.
Crosby will never be confused with a top-flight NFL kicker, but he’s been decent this season, and might be harder to replace than anyone else on this list.
Likewise, Kuhn will never be a top-flight NFL running back, but he’s a solid blocker, solid on special teams and he’s developed into the Packers best short-yardage option.
Jones, meanwhile, posted career highs in receptions (50), yardage (679) and tied a career high with five touchdowns. If he proves he can hold onto the ball, he can become a solid NFL receiver.
Who would you like to see the Packers re-sign?
I’m not a huge James Jones fan. Too many mistakes that nullify his positive plays. Rodgers can talk him up as someone who could be a #2, but he’s too inconsistent and is not someone deserving of taking over for Driver. Although not as big and physical, I feel a lot better about Jordy Nelson than I do Jones.
Hmmm… I think I remember saying something about this last night.
Glad to see we think the same.
Go Pack Go!!!
Agreed. Also Brett Swain makes the most of the few chances he gets. If anyone remembers his huge game in the pre-season, he has huge up-side. Could easly be the #3 givin the chance. James “dont lay a finger on my butter fingers” Jones isn’t needed and has dropped his way out of town after this year in my opinion.
It is a shame that James Jones can’t live up to his potential. He could be so good if he just found a way to be a bit more consistent.
As far as Jenkins, I have a feeling he will not be back next year. He is a beast, but I feel his health issues aren’t able to be ignored. Plus, he is going to cost a significant amount of $$. Only way he comes back is for a contract favorable for the Packers.
Agreed. Swain instead of James “big drops” Jones & Mike Neal instead of Jenkins. I love Cullen but I think someone wont be back. Only so much $$$ to go around.
Charlie Peprah is someone we need to resign and drop Bigby, Peprah supplies crucial depth at a crucial position and I don’t think he would be that expensive. I agree that Jenkins will only be back if it is Packer friendly and that’s too bad but we did draft for that eventuality. Jones would be nice to keep but his inconsistency will far outweigh what I believe he thinks he’s worth.
Kuhn is quickly becoming a Packer fan favorite and I think he appreciates where he is in his career, I think (hope) he will be back with a Packer friendly deal.
Moral of the story seems to be . . . if it’s Packer friendly they will be back.
-Let Bigby (3mil) and Jones walk.
-Trade Barnett (6mil) for whatever you can get.
-Release Poppinga (4mil)
-Tauscher retires (4mil).
Use the 17mil thats freed up to resign Peprah (2mil per), Jenkins (add 3mil to the 4 per he’s already getting), Hawk and add the best available free agent Guard and Kicker.
Sounds good to me.
Mike Neal was a 2nd round draft pick that will seriously contribute next season and Jolly should be welcome back too…i wanted Alan Faneca but the Cardinals got him…i’d also like to see Mason Crosby tar-and-feathered. Barnett and Peprah are a ‘brain-trust’ decision.
How about drafting a hybrid like a Percy Harvin or a Dexter McCluster???
James Jones is a good #2…yes, he drops a few but they ALL do that. James is our physically imposing WR and he can provide a lot of route options in this offense. He is a better route runner than Nelson, anyday. Did anyone catch Jordy’s 3rd down catch from this past weekend where he simply chose to go outof bounds before reaching the first down marker (even though the blocking was there to push for the extra yardage)? I’m not a James Jones lover, but I think he’s pretty damn good option.
Jenkins deserves to remain here, but the #’s may not work out between what he and his agent are looking for and what the Pack are willing to spend for his services. Also, it was mentioned that Jolly could be back next year and that Neal could be a very viable option as well – either of those guys don’t hold a candle to a healthy Jenkins, but as we’ve seen under Don’s system, people can just be plugged into the scheme and have success. The real issue is KEEPING DOM CAPERS!!! Career advancement is a realistic possibility, especially when you consider all of the head coaching vacancies.
so glad they resigned bishop. id like to see them keep big cullen mcmullen jenkins but he, like his brother, seem to becoming injury prone. cant wait to see who they draft!! im goin offensive line or running back 1st round
Yeah, we talked about most of this on the Bishop thread.
Jenkins is just too injury prone. It doesn’t matter how good you are if you are always on the sideline. Some team will hope Jenkins finds the fountain of good health and throw a ton of money at him. The Packers are prepared for his departure. We have a dominant NT in Raji, who can also rush the passer. We have Pickett locked up, and we have younger and cheaper options in Neal, Wynn and Wilson, all of which have shown flashes. We also have Green and some rights to Jolly, who we can use a tag on if he becomes a free agent. The Packers have too much young talent at that position to spend a ton of money on a guy who is an IR case.
I am not a huge Crosby guy, but you better have someone in mind before you just let him go.
Charlie Peprah needs to come back and shouldn’t be an expensive option.
John Kuhn absolutely has to come back. Considering the guy isn’t a lights out blocker, I don’t see anyone offering a big contract. He is more valuable to us than he is to anyone else.
Same goes for James Jones. He is in the perfect situation here. The guy has made big plays for us ever since he was a rookie. Not only is he more valuable to us than to anyone else, but he is also a guy like Crosby that if you decide he has been too inconsistent and isn’t worth the money, then you better have someone in mind (draft someone) to take his place. Brett Swain is NOT a #2 WR.
Guys, there is a reason James Jones is 2/3 and Swain is barely a number 5. To say that he is a better receiver is insane? Based on what – a couple nice catches and some solid special teams tackles? Jones has had some drops and fumbles, but the more reps he and Jordy get the less that will happen.
Swain is a solid player but lacks the size and speed of Jones and Nelson.
I’m unsure about Jolly, but him and Neal would go a long ways to help against the loss of Jenkins. Peprah and Bigby is trouble, I can’t see either one sitting all season. I think it depends on if Capers is back next year, he can use people to get them in the game.
I’m all over Nelson over Jones, I’m sad he doesn’t step up to the plate more often (Jones). If Nelson gets the reps I’m certain he’s a better receiver and Swain as the 5th is pretty solid.
Jones fast. Swain not that fast. DD will not last forever.
Rather have fast guy than slow guy.