Clay Matthews signs with the Rams

Clay Matthews’ tenure with the Green Bay Packers is over. According to Ian Rapoport, the former green and gold pass-rusher is signing with the Los Angeles Rams.

According to Mike Garafolo, it’s a two-year deal for Matthews worth a max of $16.75 million. Apparently, he had better offers on the table, but he just welcomed his third child and really wanted to play close to home. Matthews played his college football at USC.

This is a perfect situation for Matthews as he will get a chance to compete for a ring. Also, he will be on a defense loaded with pass-rushers which should allow him for more free runs at the quarterback.

Matthews will finish his 10-year career in Green Bay as the Packers all-time sack leader.

This is what Matthews will look like in a Rams uniform.

Former Packers WR Randall Cobb headed to Dallas

Randall Cobb is the latest veteran to leave Green Bay.

As first reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the wide receiver has agreed to a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it’s a 1-year contract worth $5 million.

Cobb finishes his time with the Packers after eight years. The club’s second-round pick in 2011, Cobb had 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career. That included his best year in 2014 when he had 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 scores.

But Cobb struggled to stay healthy, especially last year, when he played in just nine games. He finished with 38 catches and two touchdowns. And since he averaged 14.1 yards per grab in 2014, he hasn’t been better than 10.5 in the four seasons since.

Green Bay took three wide receivers in the NFL draft last year and the Packers could look for more when they’re on the clock next month.

Packers lose a pair of defensive backs

The Green Bay Packers took a minor hit to their defensive depth losing CB Bashaud Breeland and S Kentrell Brice. Breeland agreed to a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs and Brice signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Losing Breeland hurts because he was a quality experienced veteran who the young corners looked up to. Jaire Alexander, Kevin King and Josh Jackson have a lot of potential but are young and inexperienced. Alexander established himself in his rookie year as the top corner in Green Bay. King has showed flashes but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Jackson struggled much of his rookie season, but the Packers will be in good shape if all their young corners make a jump this season.

Tramon Williams is still the veteran leader and can help bring the young guys along.

As for Brice, he was a liability both in coverage and as a tackler. According to Pro Football Focus, Brice allowed a passer rating of 150.1 on 29 throws into his primary coverage and missed 12 of 57 tackle attempts last season.

Packers’ salary cap may be less than previously reported

The Green Bay Packers came into free agency with about $35 million in salary cap space. They’ve been active signing Adrian Amos, Za’Darius Smith, Billy Turner and Preston Smith. Also, Green Bay brought back Marcedes Lewis and Geronimo Allison.

Now, they may be in a difficult salary cap situation. According to Tom Silverstein, the Packers aren’t in as good salary cap shape as previously reported.

There is no doubt the Packers have improved, at least on paper. However, if the report is true, it will be difficult to bring in any other names in free agency.

 

Packers re-sign one free agent, lose another to Kansas City

Green Bay re-signed one of its veteran free agents on Monday, but another is moving on.

The Packers announced tight end Marcedes Lewis had agreed to come back on a one-year deal. He signed with the club last offseason and was barely used. He had just three catches and some have said his once elite run blocking fell off a bit.

New Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has a lot of familiarity with Lewis, as the two were together in Jacksonville, and new coach Matt LaFleur is expected to use the tight ends more than his predecessor, Mike McCarthy, did.

Meanwhile, cornerback Bashaud Breeland will not be back. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the veteran will sign with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Breeland signed with the Packers in September of last year after an injury hurt his free agent status. He ended up playing in seven games (five starts), finishing with two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown.

Another Green Bay free agent – wide receiver Randall Cobb – is reportedly visiting the Dallas Cowboys, while former Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson has a visit set with the Seattle Seahawks.

Geronimo Allison, Packers agree to one-year deal

Geronimo Allison will be back in the green and gold next season. According to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers and Allison agreed to a one-year deal.

The Packers originally used the original round tender on Allison making him a restricted free agent. The new deal takes the tender off the table. No other team will be able to sign Allison to an offer sheet.

Allison got off to a terrific start last season. He hauled in 19 catches for 289 yards through his first four games. His season was ended after only five games due to a concussion in October and a tear of a core muscle during a practice in November. He and Aaron Rodgers should be able to build on their connection this season.

Davante Adams has established himself as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL today. If Allison can step up to fill his role as the number two option, the Packers can be extremely dangerous offensively.

Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst: ‘We’re in a win now mode all the time’

Brian Gutekunst dipped his toe into free agency last year, his first as the Green Bay Packers general manager. It didn’t pay off, necessarily, as the team struggled to a 6-9-1 record. When presented with his second chance to build his team from the outside, Gutekunst dove head first, acquiring four free agents at a heavy cost. Some wondered if the moves were designed to make the most of what will be the last few seasons of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ career.

“No, I don’t think so,” Gutekunst said Thursday afternoon when they introduced the new additions. “Obviously, this is Green Bay, Wisconsin. We’re in a win now mode all the time.”

The moves certainly suggest that. With no member of their own 2015 draft class still under contract, Gutekunst and the Packers went out and grabbed three members of that draft from other teams and one from the class of 2014. Linebackers Za’Darius Smith (Baltimore) and Preston Smith (Washington) were signed to four-year deals worth $66 million and $52 million, respectively. Green Bay also got Chicago safety Adrian Amos on a four-year deal for $36 million. Then they added Denver offensive lineman Billy Turner for four years and $28 million.

All four are 27-years-old or younger.

“We did want guys where their best football was ahead of them,” Gutekunst said. “It doesn’t always happen that way, but I think all four of these guys have really good football ahead of them.”

The money dished out, including $56 million in signing bonuses, is a lot for guys that haven’t had All-Pro seasons yet. But Gutekunst bristled at the notion none of these guys were great players.

“I disagree with your comment,” Gutekunst responded to a reporter when asked whether they were rolling the dice with some unknowns. “I think there’s some really great players in this group. We’ll see if they become great Packers and they produce for us. We’ll find out.

“This is about team, right? It’s about wins and losses. I think these guys will help us win.”

Report: Packers re-signing veteran TE

Marcedes Lewis will be back in Green Bay for another year.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the veteran tight end has agreed to a one-year deal with the Packers.

One of general manager Brian Gutekunst’s late acquisitions in free agency last year, Lewis did not play a big role in former coach Mike McCarthy’s offense. Known as more of a blocker at this point in his career, he didn’t even get to do that very often. He finished with just three receptions for 39 yards.

However, new coach Matt LaFleur could use Lewis, who is entering his 14th year in the league, more and he does have a connection with new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was in the same role with Jacksonville when Lewis was there.

The signing leaves Green Bay with three tight ends — Jimmy Graham, Lewis and Robert Tonyan. The Packers could add to the room in the draft, as there are several intriguing prospects, including Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson.

Packers look to retain WR Geronimo Allison, will let S Kentrell Brice walk

The Green Bay Packers are hoping to retain one of their restricted free agents and letting another walk.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the team did not tender safety Kentrell Brice a contract, making him a free agent and he’s now able to sign elsewhere.

Brice spent three years with Green Bay after signing as an undrafted free agent, playing in 36 games, including 14 starts. He did struggle with injuries last season, but he played through them to finish with 50 tackles and two passes defended.

The Packers reportedly agreed to a deal with Chicago safety Adrian Amos in free agency, so moving on from Brice is not a surprise.

Meanwhile, another former undrafted free agent — wide receiver Geronimo Allison — was tendered the lowest level ($2.025 million) for a restricted free agent, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein. It gives the Packers the right of first refusal if another team tries to sign him and allows them to match it. However, if they decide not to match it, they would get nothing in return for losing him.

Allison was off to a really good start before a groin injury ended his season, though he dealt with head and hamstring injuries earlier in the year. Still, he ended up with 20 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns in five games.

When healthy, Allison seemed to have a good connection with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and figures to fight to be the No. 2 or No. 3 receiver behind Davante Adams.

Packers release linebacker Nick Perry

The Green Bay Packers 2012 draft class is down to one member.

General Manager Brian Gutekunst announced Tuesday that the team had cut outside linebacker Nick Perry.

“We want to thank Nick for his contributions to the Green Bay Packers and the community over the last seven seasons,” Gutekunst is quoted as saying in a statement. “He did a tremendous job on the field, was a great teammate and a true professional. We wish Nick, his wife, Audrianna, and their family all the best.”

Green Bay’s first-round pick in 2012, Perry signed a 5-year, $59-million deal just as free agency was opening in March of 2017. He was coming off his best season when he had 11 sacks. But he managed just 8.5 the last two years combined while missing 11 games due to injury. The USC product never played all 16 games in a season during his seven years with the club.

Perry became expendable after the Packers agreed to deals with a pair of edge rushers — Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith — earlier on Tuesday.