Free agency has come and gone for the NFL, and the Green Bay Packers broke their traditional mold and made some splashes in the free agent market.
There was a predictable loss of veteran Julius Peppers, but losing T.J. Lang and Eddie Lacy could loom large in the fall. Lang has been a mainstay for the Packers offensive line the past few seasons and has established himself as one of the top guards in the NFL. Having him jump ship for division rival Detroit adds a little salt in the wound, but losing veterans who are looking to cash in other places is part of the free agency dance.
Lacy missed most of last season due to injury and his constant weight issues the past few seasons have been more noteworthy than anything he did on the field. There was a chance Lacy could have come back, but barring a commitment to a more rigorous diet regiment and a pay cut, his return seemed unlikely.
The biggest move that Packers made in the free agency period was signing Martellus Bennett for three years. Bennett has been much maligned for his outspoken and controversial opinions about his former teammates and coaches in Chicago. Bennett blasted his former employers for the culture in the locker room and was instrumental in the New England Patriots Super Bowl run.
On the field, Bennett is a classic “move tight end” which fits nicely with the way the Packers run their offense. If he can accept his role in the offense and not make too many waves off the field, the Bennett signing could be a huge shot in the arm for the Pack. He is essentially an upgraded version of Jared Cook and would provide a reliable third down target for Aaron Rodgers.