Please Don’t Go!
The Packers can’t afford to lose either of these guys. We debated so much about who to put at the top of the list, we’re just going to call both of them priority No. 1.
1b. Jared Cook, tight end
Statistically speaking, Cook’s 2016 season was pretty mediocre: 30 catches, 377 yards, one touchdown. The problem is, he missed six games. He also started the season with zero chemistry with QB1 because QB1 is too important to play in the preseason. In the three playoff games, Cook caught 18 for 229 and two touchdowns. It’s very similar to what happened with this next guy last year — mediocre, injury-plagued regular season followed by a huge postseason. Nick Perry earned his last contact based solely his postseason performance. Cook will earn his next contract based on his postseason performance. As we’ve seen — the Packers’ offense works much better when Richard Rodgers isn’t plodding around out there and they actually have a deep threat at tight end.
1a. Nick Perry, outside linebacker
Perry took a one-year, $5 million deal last offseason. This offseason, he’s going to cash in. Career high 52 tackles, career high 11 sacks, career high four passes defended, career high one interception. That’s what you do in a contract year! He even missed two games and put up those numbers. Look, I’ve got some bad news for you. The Packers’ defense is straight-up screwed if they lose Nick Perry. He’s the best run defender on the team. He’s also become their best pass rusher. Peppers is as good as gone. Clay Matthews has regressed. Forget the run, who are your pass rushers next year if Perry is gone? Matthews is always injured (and should be playing inside anyway). You feel good about a 1-2 punch of Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott?