Packers Find Stopgap Right Guard in Jahri Evans

The Packers needed a reliable presence at right guard and after signing Jahri Evans Wednesday, they got one. 

Packers addressed a big position of need by signing Jahri Evans.

Packers addressed a big position of need by signing Jahri Evans.

When the Green Bay Packers head into the 2017 NFL Draft starting tomorrow night, right guard will still be a need, but after the team signed Jahri Evans Wednesday, that need isn't quite as big. 

The move was first reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. There have been no details released, but it's likely going to be just a one or two-year deal. The move should excite Packers fans that were hoping the team was going to assign some resources to protect Aaron Rodgers after Josh Sitton was cut before the season and T.J. Lang was allowed to walk as a free agent.

Evans, a former All-Pro guard, played 11 seasons with the Saints and has started 169 career games, including 16 last season and 11 in 2015. That shows that the 33-year old, who ranked 36th at his position according to Pro Football Focus last season, still has something left in the tank. 

Evans certainly isn't Lang, but he's not Don Barclay either. And at the very least, it takes right guard off the board as an immediate need that has to be filled.

The Packers obviously still need to find a long-term solution for the position, but it may allow the team to wait until Day 3 (rounds 4-7) to address it, instead of trying to do so on Day 2 of the draft.

Ted Thompson doesn't sign veterans often, but when he does, he tends to get good ones and this is a move that's hard not to like. 

I doubt the Packers are paying Evans much money and thus, there is little risk in signing him. It does remind me a little of the Jeff Saturday signing a few years back, which ultimately didn't work out. In the end however, finding a reliable presence who could start 16 games next season at right guard, was a no brainer. 

Thankfully Thompson made the move and now the Packers won't be putting the health of their quarterback into the hands of someone unreliable or untested. 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (33)

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 26, 2017 at 03:47 pm

Jeff Saturday. You took the words right out of my keyboard. For some reason I still think Murphy finds a way to win the job. But boy, it's nice to not have to picture Don Barclay in the starting lineup.

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 26, 2017 at 04:22 pm

The local review of Evans was that his run blocking improved from 2015-16, and that his pass blocking "stabilized." Obviously this is a stop-gap measure. Just hope it fills the gap for a year.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

April 26, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Yep. Saturday was a bit older I think but yes very similar. I like the move though still. Evans could start tomorrow and do ok at least.

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Turophile's picture

April 26, 2017 at 04:08 pm

Round three was the sweet spot for a RB (Perine, Mack, Hunt), but it was the last chance for a good guard that I could see unless you took a chance on Jordan Morgan (Kutztown) a round later (and like most prospects he would need a year at least, to be ready).

It looks better now with the need for a guard dialed down a notch or two, less conflict for need picks, more chance to snap up a bargain instead.

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dobber's picture

April 26, 2017 at 04:17 pm

That guard pick is still pretty important. Lane Taylor is an average LG, and his contract is up after the 2017 season. He's someone they should be able to improve on with a little planning. Depending on Evans's contract, they might be putting in two guards for the start of 2018.

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jh9's picture

April 26, 2017 at 05:57 pm

With the signing of Evans right before the draft, it wouldn't surprise me if TT now used his 4th round pick to trade-up in the 2nd or 3rd round.

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TXCHEESE's picture

April 26, 2017 at 04:28 pm

Was he released, or was he an UFA?

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TedTheSledge's picture

April 26, 2017 at 04:54 pm

I don't see him on Saints transaction wire after they had signed him so looks to be a UFA.

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dobber's picture

April 26, 2017 at 08:44 pm

He was a cut...

nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000634884/article/new-orleans-saints-release-guard-jahri-evans

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 27, 2017 at 04:46 am

Saints had cap problems.

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mjbrogno's picture

April 26, 2017 at 04:55 pm

My initial feeling was relief with the signing based on experience, so I'll go with that for now.

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Savage57's picture

April 27, 2017 at 07:44 am

Schneider said he regretted cutting him loose from the Seahawks for that very reason. I see him as a guy that can help the team, even if he's just helping some of the younger bucks be successful as a NFL OL and winds up getting the ax in the final cuts.

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Bert's picture

April 26, 2017 at 05:13 pm

Not sure about Evans. Not much tread left on those tires. I certainly hope someone like Murphy takes the job and runs with it so we are depending on Evans to be the best we have.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

April 26, 2017 at 11:16 pm

I hope someone like Murphy is ready to take it in case Evans falters or gets hurt. I'd prefer a rookie to be the long term guy.

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56Packfan's picture

April 26, 2017 at 05:36 pm

I wasn't too hot on the Julius Peppers signing either. And it worked out. It's hit and miss with these older guys. Adrian Klemm comes to mind.

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dobber's picture

April 26, 2017 at 07:56 pm

Adrian Klemm wasn't even an older guy...he inauspiciously played out his initial contract with the Pats, one year for the Packers, and was history.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

April 26, 2017 at 11:17 pm

True. Klemm was never an all pro though. Evans has been a dominant guard for years.

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Bearmeat's picture

April 26, 2017 at 06:27 pm

This is a good signing. Exactly the type of mid-level FA that can help GB.

TT's mistake was not signing Lang to an 7.5 mil/3 yr deal mid-season. Detroit overpaid. I don't want an OG making more than our All-Pro LT. After keeping Lang, this was the 2nd best solution: A cheap/proven vet to compete with the young guys and keep Barclay as the 7th man.

Now with Evans to fall back on, and Murphy/Barclay to compete, I am 100% fine with the OL. Still would be good to get another interior prospect late or UDFA.

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croatpackfan's picture

April 27, 2017 at 03:04 am

I'm glad you are finally on the positive side of the line. Welcome, Bearmeat!

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mrtundra's picture

April 27, 2017 at 09:41 am

We also have Lucas Patrick competing for that spot. I believe that Evans makes drafting an OL guy less of a priority, now. TT may still draft one but it will be in the later rounds, if he does.

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4zone's picture

April 26, 2017 at 08:10 pm

Leadership, experience, durability. Good addition even if for depth and only for the short term. Do NOT be surprised if TT gets someone in the draft by RD 4 Evans can mentor.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 26, 2017 at 08:28 pm

Totally agree. Hold the fort, buy some time, groom a longer term replacement. Is TT the one making all these moves? Wow, coulda fooled me!

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ChrisPeterson's picture

April 26, 2017 at 11:23 pm

I agree. I am not doing cartwheels but better than an UDFA. Even if he ends up as backup for Taylor and a young starting guard, he's not bad to have on the roster. Average player still at least.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 26, 2017 at 08:49 pm

We still need a better backup Center.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

April 26, 2017 at 11:27 pm

Very good point. Yes we do.

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NickPerry's picture

April 27, 2017 at 04:52 am

Are you suggesting Don Barclay isn't up to the task???

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mrtundra's picture

April 27, 2017 at 09:45 am

Signing Evans now means that a Pocic or an Elflein could be available for TT with the pick he may have used to get an OG or OT.

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ChrisPeterson's picture

April 26, 2017 at 11:27 pm

Right now it's probably Barclay.

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sheppercheeser's picture

April 27, 2017 at 06:35 am

Just don't see what GB sees is Barclay- he's a liability everytime he steps on the field. His only upside is his (in)ability to play multiple positions. Time to cut the cord on Donny- good guy or not, this is a results-driven sport.

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mrtundra's picture

April 27, 2017 at 09:47 am

Aaron Rodgers likes Barclay and has said he likes his locker room presence as well as his playing ability. Maybe that's why Barclay has a roster spot.

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mrtundra's picture

April 27, 2017 at 09:47 am

Aaron Rodgers likes Barclay and has said he likes his locker room presence as well as his playing ability. Maybe that's why Barclay has a roster spot.

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Finwiz's picture

April 27, 2017 at 08:40 am

Good move Ted. Feel much better than going into the season with Barclay, Patrick or Murphy as possible starters. They remain backups where they should be.
Now I hope we can focus on defense with at least 5 of the 8 picks, if not 6. (wishful thinking)

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PatrickGB's picture

April 27, 2017 at 01:33 pm

I have been cynical about many of the offseason moves esp. the lack of moves to get a good CB. But upon reflection, this is a good low cost move. I kind of hope he dosent stick and the youngsters rise up to take the position away, and he is only a short term insurance policy type player.

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