Eight Packers Free Agents Remain

There are still eight Packers free agents on the market. We look at each one to determine who might come back and who likely won't. 

The Packers tendered their exclusive rights free agents, bringing back WR Allen Lazard, TE Robert Tonyan, CB Chandon Sullivan, WR Jake Kumerow, and DL Tyler Lancaster for the upcoming season. They also re-signed tight end Marcedes Lewis to another one-year deal, brought back safety Will Redmond, and signed street free agents Christan Kirksey and Rick Wagner for help at inside linebacker and offensive tackle. 

Green Bay also said goodbye to a number of free agents, including inside linebackers Blake Martinez (Giants) and B.J. Goodson (Browns), outside linebacker Kyler Frackrell (Giants), tackle Bryan Bulaga (Chargers), and fullback Danny Vitale (Patriots). Tight end Jimmy Graham was released and opted to stay in the NFC North, now playing for the Chicago Bears.  

So already the roster looks pretty different, and that’s before we’ve even begun talking about what could be as many as 10 new draft picks coming to Green Bay in late April. 

With all of that said, though, the Packers still have eight free agents who remain unsigned: CB Tramon Williams, OT Jared Veldheer, WR Geronimo Allison, OT Jason Spriggs, WR Ryan Grant, S Ibraheim Campbell, RB Tyler Ervin, and FB Malcolm Johnson. 

We’ll go through each player’s 2019 stats and project the likelihood they return to Green Bay for the 2020 season. 

Geronimo Allison

Allison had his share of struggles in 2019, there’s no denying that. After his promising 2018 campaign was cut short, he entered the 2019 season with expectations that he could evolve into the team’s WR2 or WR3. Those expectations never came to be, and Allison finished sixth on the team in yards with only 287, finishing fourth for receivers behind Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Since all three receivers ahead of Allison remain on the roster, in addition to Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow, Reggie Begelton, and Malik Taylor, it seems inevitable Allison has played his last snaps in Green Bay.

Tramon Williams

Williams is still playing some of his best football at 37 years old, which is impressive to say the least. Pro Football Focus graded Williams a 75.1 overall in 2019 with a coverage grade of 82.2. In fact, PFF also indicated Williams and fellow corner Jaire Alexander were the only teammates with top-10 coverage grades among cornerbacks in 2019 (minimum of 350 snaps). After snagging two interceptions, this became Williams’ ninth season with two or more picks. He’s also been incredibly healthy during his tenure in the NFL, which is something the Packers have missed in their defensive backs room. Williams would be an ideal re-sign for Green Bay, given his next contract shouldn’t break the bank and he’s been not only a strong leader but strong player since returning to the frozen tundra. 

Jared Veldheer

After joining the Packers midway through the season from the reserved/retired list, Veldheer provided a great amount of insurance as a backup swing tackle behind David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. He even started in the NFC Divisional Round against the Seahawks, filling in for an ill Bulaga. That type of insurance policy would be nice to have back on the squad, but with the Packers signing Rick Wagner, it seems unlikely Veldheer would also come back to Green Bay. Instead, expect the Packers to draft the future at the position early. 

Ryan Grant

The Ryan Grant experiment was over before it even began, with Grant a game day inactive for his entire time as a Packer. While he was brought in as an insurance policy after Adams sustained his toe injury, Grant never saw the field. He’ll fall into the same category as Allison did. Playing at a position where the Packers will have a ton of camp competition doesn’t work in Grant’s favor, and since he never saw the field in 2019 with a less-than-stellar receiving corps, it seems completely impossible he’d be back in 2020 with what’s sure to be an improved unit. 

Ibraheim Campbell

Campbell has never really been given a fair evaluation in Green Bay since he’s had some unfortunate injury luck during his career. Campbell ended his 2018 season with the Packers on injured reserve before starting his 2019 season on the physically unable to perform list. When he was active for Green Bay, he played mostly on special teams, though he still fits the mold of the physical box safety Mike Pettine likes to employ on defense. Currently, the Packers only have four safeties on the roster in Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Raven Greene, and Will Redmond, so it wouldn’t hurt to bring back Campbell as an insurance policy and rotational piece in certain packages for Pettine. 

Tyler Ervin

Ervin immediately rejuvenated a hurting special teams unit that was set to make the wrong type of history in 2019. While he didn’t see a ton of playing time on offense, he was a breath of fresh air as a kickoff and punt returner for Shawn Mennenga. The Packers are looking for help behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in 2020, and Ervin fits the type of player that Matt LaFleur would want to utilize in a gadget role on offense. The problem Ervin faces as primarily a return man is what it would cost to have him re-sign when a rookie receiver or running back could also return kicks. 

Malcolm Johnson 

Danny Vitale’s departure opened the smallest window for Malcolm Johnson, though there’s a new fullback on the Packers roster now in Elijah Wellman. Johnson had a nice preseason and looked solid in camp as a pass-catching back, but he was never elevated from the practice squad and spent the 2019 season on injured reserve. He could come back as a camp body and another backfield option for LaFleur to utilize. 

Jason Spriggs

Spriggs spent the entire 2019 season on injured reserve just like Johnson, which likely spells the end of his time in Green Bay. The former second-round pick was never able to become the backup swing tackle the Packers needed him to be, and with the likelihood the team signs a tackle early in this year’s draft class, all signs point to Spriggs leaving in free agency. There are too many camp bodies already for the Packers to keep Spriggs around as a developmental project, especially as a 2016 draft pick.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcasts for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (17)

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splitpea1's picture

March 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm

We finally found a solution at KR, and let's keep it that way. And your paragraph on T. Williams sold me--he's definitely worth keeping as well.

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Lphill's picture

March 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Ervin and Campbell. Forget the rest.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:50 pm

Raven Greene has the hybrid safety spot over Campbell, who is slow to the spot and not an enforcer.

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Lare's picture

March 24, 2020 at 12:38 pm

Ervin for sure.

Williams, Campbell & Veldheer depending on what their salary requirements are. But I would rather have the Packers use that money to sign a DT, another ILB, or a WR.

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901pack's picture

March 24, 2020 at 01:38 pm

I'm with you minus Williams. He's a liability in the slot. Any quick twitch receiver can beat him off the line and down the field. I'll give him credit, in the redzone with out any motion he's solid, other than that I don't see a future for him in TT.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 24, 2020 at 08:49 pm

Ervin is the only guy I would sign.

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stockholder's picture

March 24, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Not even New coaching can help Spriggs. Another 2nd rd bust. Allison must go. M. Johnson waste of roster spot. Ervin is gone after the draft. Campbell The injuries have done their damage. Camp body only. Vlad, Only after bonus money. Grant makes us insurance poor. Williams is insurance and follows Devon House out the door. Add Cm3. Give HIM GOODSONS spot. 2yrs. /per Williams last contract.

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TheKanataThrilla's picture

March 24, 2020 at 01:41 pm

Depending on the price I wouldn't mind seeing Valdheer and Ervin back. Hoping we can find a WR who also can return kickoffs and punts in the draft so even though Ervin helped in ST it wouldn't hurt me if he left.

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GBPDAN1's picture

March 24, 2020 at 02:56 pm

I would have preferred Campbell over Redmond

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2020 at 06:07 pm

One is a box safety and one plays deep: Amos was used as the hybrid. We need depth at both, but whether Campbell is good enough as a hybrid I don’t know. He didn’t seem to get back to the level pre injury.

Ervin is better in my view than a draft pick as a returner. He is proven and could add something offensively. I’d be all for resigning him at a decent price but another team with a need may seek his services after the draft. Valdheer can probably make more by waiting for a team to sustain an injury. I don’t see why he would sign for anybody at this point unless the money is more than we are likely to pay.

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4zone's picture

March 24, 2020 at 03:14 pm

RE Tyler Ervin;

"what it would cost to have him re-sign when a rookie receiver or running back could also return kicks."

How'd that work out for us last year????? Not so good eh? He is a Taysom Hill kind of Swiss army knife that we could use in many creative ways, not just for returns. HOWEVER, he showed just how valuable his return skills are and how they helped us begin to win field position battles. That's definitely worth the investment. Unless of course, you want your first round pick back there while you wait for him to learn how to play WR in the NFL . . .

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Cheesey51's picture

March 24, 2020 at 03:24 pm

maggie, thanks for the heads up. Did not know we had another FBon the team and forgot about Jason Spriggs?
RB's in general are hard to figure out let alone keep. Everyone says they are a dime a dozen yet the packers haven't been able to have a reliable returner until midseason in 2018..Only training camp(hope their is on) will tell us who stays .what do you think we'd get for Jason Spriggs?

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NWPackersfan's picture

March 24, 2020 at 03:34 pm

Personally i sure would like to see Tyler Ervin return, no pun intended, because he was an immediate impact in the return game and could be a recieving running back threat too.

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PeteK's picture

March 24, 2020 at 05:40 pm

If we're going to improve our D against the run Williams must not be signed . I would take a look at Veldheer and Ervin after the draft as insurance if we don't get the T and returner that we're comfortable with.

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CoachDino's picture

March 24, 2020 at 11:55 pm

Williams is sub par in run support probably for good reason. The packers will need the weigh the pro/cons/options. TW is stilla great value as a coverage DB and that's the most critical imo.
Can you a imagine a strong tackle CB with coverage skills across from Jaire? Solid!!Till then I'd still take Tramon. Drafting one is important to help the run and leveraging against overpaying King big money.he's no better at run support than Tramon. This draft is going to be fun and the fans will be in an uproar. There's so many needs and not enough early picks/ even then odds are half will more than disappoint. I don't think many of us even equate CB to run defense. I hope we grab one anytime its a great value.

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EuniceNoah's picture

March 24, 2020 at 07:50 pm

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CAG123's picture

March 24, 2020 at 09:26 pm

I really don’t want Williams to be on the roster when Father Time comes to claim his next victim it’s all fine and dandy until he’s looking washed out there and getting burned he’s already a liability in run support (maybe that’s why he’s lasted so long)

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