Packers bring back Jayrone Elliott on one-year deal

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers will re-address their need for outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott in 2018 after re-signing him on a one-year, $1.6 million contract.

Elliott has spent his first three NFL seasons in Green Bay, mostly contributing as a member of the special teams unit. His role on the defense could increase after Julius Peppers left for Carolina, leaving just Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, and Kyler Fackrell as outside linebackers. Datone Jones is currently testing the free agent market.

After the Packers declined to tender the restricted free agent, Elliott met with the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. The former undrafted free agent out of Toledo signed with Green Bay in 2014 on a three-year, $1.535 million contract.

Lions sign ex-Packers RG T.J. Lang

GREEN BAY, Wis. — For the first time in his NFL career, right guard T.J. Lang will wear colors other than green and gold after his agent announced he’d signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Lions.

Lang was a mainstay in keeping Aaron Rodgers upright, spending the first eight years of his career in Green Bay. Terms of his new deal weren’t released, but Lang was told prior to the 2016 season that he was not among the team’s priorities in terms of contract extensions. That same reasoning led to the outright release of Josh Sitton last fall.

29-year-old Lang has never played fewer than 12 games in a given season, but will come into training camp this year fresh off foot and hip surgeries. He was injured late in Green Bay’s NFC championship game loss to Atlanta.

Ex-Badger TE Kendricks returns to Wisconsin after being signed by Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson continues to surprise, signing former Los Angeles Rams tight end Lance Kendricks Saturday afternoon.

The signing was reported by Rob Demovsky and Adam Schefter, per unnamed sources. It was also noted that Kendricks has been working out with Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and David Bakhtiari this offseason in southern California.

Kendricks was drafted 47th overall by the Rams in 2011 out of Wisconsin, logging 50 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.

Report: Packers paid more for Bennett than sources indicated for Cook deal

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Former New England Patriots and Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett is now a Green Bay Packer on a three-year deal worth more than Jared Cook would have received, a source tells ProFootballTalk.com.

It was originally believed Bennett would be coming to Green Bay on a three-year, $18.45 million contract, but after the official figures were released, it actually checks in at $21 million. Cook, now presumably out of a job in Green Bay, says he never turned down an offer from the Packers, so there’s no way to know for sure what kind of offer would have been made. ProFootballTalk.com’s source says the Cook deal would not have been larger than the $21 million Bennett signed for.

Bennett will earn an average salary of $7 million, with a $2 million roster bonus coming his way in March of 2018 when the new league year begins. Spotrac.com lists Bennett’s market value at $6 million per year.

The unnamed source says Green Bay was willing to offer Cook no more than $6 million per year — a deal which included incentives.

Packers announce the signing of free agent tight end Martellus Bennett

The Green Bay Packers have dipped into the free agent market in a major way.

Tight end Martellus Bennett, most recently of the New England Patriots, is expected to sign a multi-year deal with the Packers, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports.

Green Bay had reportedly made re-signing tight end Jared Cook a priority, but it appears once talks broke down earlier on Friday they moved on to Bennett, who should be an upgrade at the position. With the Patriots last season, the 30-year-old caught 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns as New England claimed its fifth Super Bowl title. The signing will give the Packers a chance to stretch the middle of the field, something Cook was able to do and something that had been missing since Jermichael Finley was forced to retire in 2013.

Bennett is known to speak his mind, and that’s likely at least partly responsible for him moving around so much during his 9-year career, with stops in Dallas, New York, Chicago and New England.

A foray into the free agent market like this is a rarity for Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Bennett will be the first unrestricted free agent he’s signed since 2012, the longest streak of any team in the NFL.

Bennett will join Richard Rodgers as the only experienced tight ends on the roster.

Julius Peppers leaving Green Bay, headed back to Carolina

Julius Peppers is no longer a Green Bay Packer. The 15-year veteran is returning to the Carolina Panthers according to his agent Carl Carey. Peppers spent the first eight years of his career in Carolina.

Peppers was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Panthers before joining the Chicago Bears in 2010 and then the Packers in 2014.

The Packers signed Peppers to a three-year, $26 million contract in 2014 after he was released by the Bears. In three seasons with the Packers, Peppers recorded 24.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles. He went to his ninth Pro Bowl in 2015. As a part-time player in 2016 Peppers still finished second on the team with 8.5 sacks.

Peppers turned 37 in January. He currently has 661 career tackles, 47 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions and 143.5 career sacks.

Safety Micah Hyde signs with the Buffalo Bills

Two of the Green Bay Packers unrestricted free agents will be playing for other teams in 2017.

A few hours after it was reported that center/guard J.C. Tretter would be signing with the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills announced they had signed safety Micah Hyde.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Bills gave Hyde a five-year, $30.5 million contract.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2013, Hyde played in 63 games, including 33 starts, amassing eight interceptions, two forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He also was a solid punt returner for the Packers, averaging 9.7 yards per return and three touchdowns.

Hyde was a versatile player for Green Bay, lining up as a safety, cornerback and slot cornerback during his four years.

Report: J.C. Tretter headed to Cleveland

The Green Bay Packers managed to hold onto one of their own in outside linebacker Nick Perry, but will lose another in center J.C. Tretter.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the Cleveland Browns will sign the 26-year-old Tretter when the new league year starts at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

A fourth-round pick in 2013, Tretter struggled with injuries during his time in Green Bay, playing in just 31 of a possible 48 games, including 10 starts. He was playing at a high level in 2016 through the first seven games before an injury ended his year.

Tretter was replaced by Corey Linsley, who played well in the final nine games of the regular season. Linsley underwent ankle surgery this offseason, but he’s expected to be ready to go when training camp gets underway in July.

Packers announce they’ve re-signed OLB Nick Perry

The Green Bay Packers will be keeping at least one of their own.

The team announced Thursday afternoon that they had re-signed outside linebacker Nick Perry. Multiple outlets are reporting it’s a five-year deal worth $60 million, including $18.5 million guaranteed.

Perry is the only one of the Packers 11 unrestricted free agents that re-signed before the 3 p.m. start of the new league year and the ability for players to sign with any other team.

A first-round pick out of USC in 2012, Perry’s first four years were injury plagued and consisted of more missed games (18) than sacks (12.5). But 2016 was different. Playing on a one-year contract, the 26-year-old started a career-high 12 games and led the Packers in sacks with 11. He missed two games with an arm injury, but returned earlier than expected and played with a cast yet remained productive.

Perry solidifies an outside linebacker group that is light on experience, considering the only other player under contract with more than one season in the NFL is Clay Matthews.

NFL Free Agency: Packers updates

NFL free agency got underway Thursday with a myriad of big and surprising deals around the league, but in Green Bay it was the status quo for what fans have come to expect of Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Negotiate (T.J. Lang, Jared Cook) and sign (Nick Perry) guys you want to keep and let the others (Micah Hyde, J.C. Tretter) walk.

There will likely be more of that Friday and into the weekend, and we’ll be following all the movements right here.

Packers announce they’ve re-signed outside linebacker Nick Perry

Report: Center J.C. Tretter will sign with the Cleveland Browns

Safety Micah Hyde leaves Green Bay after four seasons, signs with the Buffalo Bills

(note: newest updates are at the top)

Friday 3/10

11:42 a.m. — Julius Peppers’ agent tweets that his client is headed back to Carolina where he played the first eight years of his career.

10:26 a.m. — NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Carolina Panthers are working to sign pass rusher Julius Pepper, who spent the last three seasons in Green Bay.

8:19 a.m. — ESPN’s Adam Shefter tweets that negotiations between the Packers and free agent tight end Jared Cook have broken off and that he’s expected to visit other teams.

Thursday 3/9

7:10 p.m. — The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Michael Cohen reports that the Packers have re-signed guard/tackle Don Barclay to a one-year deal.

6:35 p.m. — Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post tweets that the Seahawks have made guard T.J. Lang a priority and want to get a deal done.

4:52 p.m. — Safety Micah Hyde tweets a thank you to Packers fans, while also revealing the team didn’t even make him an offer to stay in Green Bay.

4:10 p.m. — ESPN’s Adam Shefter reports that running back Eddie Lacy will visit the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, in addition to meeting with the Packers.

3:48 p.m. — The Packers announce they’ve officially re-signed outside linebacker Nick Perry.

3:47 p.m. — The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that running back Eddie Lacy doesn’t have an offer from Green Bay and will visit other teams.

3:45 p.m. — Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that safety Micah Hyde signed with the Buffalo Bills on a five-year, $30.5 million contract.

3:17 p.m. — ESPN’s Rob Demovsky tweets that guard T.J. Lang will visit the Detroit Lions tomorrow and the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.

3:15 p.m. — CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reports that center J.C. Tretter’s deal with Cleveland is for three years and $16.8 million.

12:11 p.m. — ESPN Rob Demovsky reports that outside linebacker Nick Perry’s contract is a 5-year, $60 million deal that includes an $18.5 million signing bonus.

10:09 a.m. — Green Bay is losing guard/center J.C. Tretter to the Cleveland Browns, reports NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo.

10:01 a.m. — NFL.com reporter Mike Garafolo reports the Cleveland Browns are working to sign Green Bay guard/center J.C. Tretter.

8:46 a.m. — Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels tweets his congratulations to outside linebacker Nick Perry on his new deal to stay in Green Bay.

8:31 a.m. — Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets the team’s priorities are clearly in re-signing guard T.J. Lang and tight end Jared Cook, while not making a push for safety Micah Hyde

8:11 a.m. — NFL.com reporter Mike Garafolo tweets that Green Bay tight end Jared Cook is receiving interest from the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills.

7:31 a.m. — Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Packers are nearing an agreement to keep outside linebacker Nick Perry, but the deal is not done yet.

7:09 a.m. — Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets the Packers have a long-term agreement in place with outside linebacker Nick Perry.

Wednesday 3/8

9:24 p.m. — Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Packers have keyed in on outside linebacker Nick Perry and guard T.J. Lang as priorities to get signed before free agency opens.

8:33 p.m. — Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets that the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts are showing interest in outside linebacker Nick Perry, but that the Packers want him back.

7:38 p.m. — NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that safety Micah Hyde is “aggressively pursuing other options” out of Green Bay.

7:26 p.m. — ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports that safety Micah Hyde will hit the open market as the Packers did not make him an offer.

3:14 p.m. — Bill Huber of PackerReport.com tweets that the New York Jets are prepared to make an offer for outside linebacker Nick Perry.