Between now and the start of the new league year in March, TGS is providing brief summaries looking ahead at the offseason from the perspective of each NFL team. In this edition, we look at the Green Bay Packers.
2016 record: 10-6 — 1st place, NFC North
What’s new? They’re about as hot as they’ve ever been.
Projected salary cap space: $41 million — Which is just above the middle of the pack.
Key in-house free agents: G T.J. Lang, TE Jared Cook, OLB Nick Perry, OLB Julius Peppers, S Micah Hyde, RB Eddie Lacy
Lang is coming off another great year, Cook and Perry had breakout seasons, Peppers ranked second to only Perry with 7.5 sacks, Hyde is a valuable and versatile piece and the talented but often unreliable Lacy could be needed at running back. The Packers like taking care of their own. Every guy here should be taken care of. But if they do lose someone, it might be the 37-year-old Peppers due to retirement.
Key needs: Running back if they lose Lacy, edge-rusher if they lose Perry and/or Peppers and guard if they lose Lang. They could also use help at cornerback, inside linebacker and tight end/wide receiver.
Draft breakdown: They pick 29th overall and have two fifth-round selections.
Other potential priorities: Stellar safety Morgan Burnett is entering a contract year.
Outlook: The core is there, especially on offense, but there’s work to be done.