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backups." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesAcme Packing Company homepageHorizontal - WhiteAcme Packing Companya Green Bay Packers communityFollow Acme Packing Company online:Follow Acme Packing Company on TwitterFollow Acme Packing Company on FacebookFollow Acme Packing Company on InstagramLog in or sign upLog InSign UpSite searchSearchSearchAcme Packing Company main menuFanpostsFanshotsSectionsPackersOddsAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 321 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections The APC PodcastPackers Film RoomFantasy Football Adviceweakness to strengthNew White Ty Summers Jersey ,20commentsSavage and Amos anchor the back end as three players stick as backups.CDTIn 2019, the Green Bay Packersí roster looks very different from how it appeared at the end of the 2018 season. A large group of free agents, draft picks, and undrafted rookies will come to training camp to challenge for roster spots and a role on the teamís regular season 53-man roster. Over two weeks, Acme Packing Company will break down the roster position-by-position and reveal our compiled predictions for the 53-man roster.Kentrell Brice and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (with a dash of Josh Jones) made up the early season safety battery for the Packers in early 2018. Brice was an undrafted free agent overmatched in the modern NFL, especially when paired with Clinton-Dix, who will forever serve as a cautionary tale about taking members of the Alabama secondary. In their place, the Packers will now start a technically sound veteran still in his prime and a hard-hitting first round rookie. The new blood will almost certainly be more exciting, more aggressive, and more effective.Starters: Darnell Savage and Adrian AmosI mentioned Clinton-Dix as a cautionary tale because the Alabama secondary has the benefit of playing behind one of the fiercest college front sevens there is. Clinton-Dixís style of playing a ball-hawking center field works well in that scenario, and may actually work wellin Chicago behind Khalil Mack and company. When you pluck a safety from the NFLís Alabama defense equivalent, you do run a risk that he is generating production in a similar fashion, and may struggle outside of it. In this case, you can put your fears at ease. Far from a passive participant, Amos was as aggressive and sure as any player on the Bears defense. He can move from safety valve to slot to run support seamlessly and should provide excellent versatility and confidence for the rest of the secondary. The Bears are justifiably higher on strong safety Eddie Jackson, but donít underestimate Amosí role on that great defense. The Bears were as strong up the middle as any team last season, but a good chunk of that strength now plays in Green Bay.Itís easy to be overly optimistic about any first round rookie, but itís hard not to see Savage stepping in and excelling. The learning curve on safety is pretty low, and one of the reasons he went as high as he did is his NFL-ready technique combined with his ability. Iím wrong about rookies all the time, and I could be wrong here Davante Adams Jersey , but his college tape is encouraging, and the Kentrell Brice bar is a pretty low one to clear.Backups: Raven Greene, Josh Jones, Natrell Jamerson Greene acquitted himself well enough in limited play last season, and should one of the starters suffer an injury he wonít kill you for a few games. Greeneís a smart player, and should remain a calming presence and solid depth. Jones, for all of the trouble heís caused and lack of production, still may offer something in the right scheme. Heís still debatably the best athlete on the team, and as more of a quasi-linebacker/downhill guy, heís worth taking one more shot. But only one more.Jamerson is a willing and able special teamer, and a better emergency safety than youíll find on most teams. If he can stay healthy for another year there may even still be a decent prospect waiting to be uncovered.
Released: Tray Matthews, Mike TysonThough it may sound as if Iíve made up both of these players, nothing could be further from the truth. Matthews is an athletic project with a big school pedigree and may stick as a practice squad guy. Tyson has been used out of his natural position for most of his NFL career, and a return to safety gives him a puncherís chance, but no more than that. Despite missing 16 games over the past three seasons, Justin Houston remains a highly effective pass rusher who fills a massive void in the Packers defense."NFL Free AgencyFor Packers, Justin Houston is a risk worth takingDespite missing 16 games over the past three seasons, Justin Houston remains a highly effective pass rusher who fills a massive void in the Packers defense.CDTShareTweetShareShareFor Packers, Justin Houston is a risk worth takingThough the Green Bay Packers have weaknesses to address on both sides of the ball, the need to improve the pass rush inarguably ranks among the top priorities of the offseason. Longtime outside linebacker Clay Matthews hits free agency later this week Ray Nitschke Jersey White , and fellow edge defender Nick Perry could join him should the team decide against paying his $4.8 million roster bonus. The loss of either or both would deplete an already shorthanded position group, forcing general manager Brian Gutekunst to spend an inordinate amount of his resources to restock.While the incoming rookie class features an abundance of enticing pass rushers, many will struggle to contribute early in their careers. That puts the onus on Gutekunst to explore free agency for veteran aid, though that path contains complications as well. The franchise tag removed most of the top options from the market, leaving a handful of flawed free agents with overwhelming leverage. Even Dee Ford, a Pro Bowl edge defender limited by the tag, will likely cost a premium draft pick and a lucrative multiyear extension to acquire. The combination of high demand and limited supply has left the Packers and Gutekunst with no easy choices.But another possibility arose Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs announced the release of Justin Houston. The team reportedly made the decision earlier this month after failing to find a trade partner. Now, the veteran edge rusher has a head start in his search for a new home.Houston occupies a unique space among the available pass rushers. He doesnít possess the long career runway offered by Trey Flowers yet has more recent production than Anthony Barr or Preston Smith. Houston generated nine sacks in just 12 games last season, a robust figure that would have ranked second on the Packers. More impressive still, his 54 total pressures in 2018 nearly matched his output from the year prior when he registered 62 over 15 games. When he plays, Houston can still produce at an extremely high level.If signed, Houston would immediately upgrade a Packers defense that too often relied on interior pressure and blitzes to generate a pass rush last season. After injuries decimated the line -- Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, and Muhammad Wilkerson missed a combined 22 games in 2018 -- coordinator Mike Pettine lacked the horses necessary for an effective defense. An edge rusher like Houston, while not a cure-all at this stage of his career, diversifies Pettineís personnel and reduces the burden to harass the quarterback on the rest of the defensive front.At the same time, availability has become a major concern for Houston. Knee and hamstring injuries have cost Houston 16 games over the past three years, the equivalent of a full season. Those issues, combined with an unwieldy contract paying $15.5 million this year and $17.5 million in 2020, undoubtedly contributed to the soft trade market the Chiefs encountered earlier this offseason. Now over 30 and four seasons removed from his last 16-game campaign Aaron Rodgers Jersey White , the risk of further injury only increases.Still, capable pass rushers always have appeal, and despite the Chiefsí inability to trade Houston, a number of teams could pursue the veteran in free agency. That list includes the Packers, who not only can offer Houston a starring role in an aggressive defense but also now employ his former position coach. Mike Smith coached outside linebackers in Kansas City this past season and drew strong praise from Houston. When the team fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton following the AFC Championship Game, Smith and other members of the staff left for opportunities elsewhere. With Smith situated in Green Bay, the Packers have a sizable recruiting advantage should they choose to use it.Of course, for the Packers to bring Houston aboard, the two sides need to agree on a price. The fact that teams balked at his previous cap numbers strongly suggests that his next deal will involve a steep pay decrease, perhaps falling below the $10 million threshold. Conversely, Houston could hold up Brandon Grahamís recent three-year, $40 million agreement as an example of what the 2019 market will pay a 30-year-old pass rusher. The two players share an agent, virtually guaranteeing that the new deal will arise in any negotiation for Houston.The Packers ultimately have more reasons to pull the trigger on Houston rather than balk at his injury history or contract demands. Rebuilding the pass rush requires more than just investing a high draft pick or two at the position, and Houston can immediately step into a starring role. Adding the former All-Pro, along with the healthy return of the defensive line and the incoming rookie class, should give Green Bay a chance to turn the unit around in short order.



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Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:04 am