Re-signing Marcedes Lewis Is a No-Brainer

Re-signing Marcedes Lewis should be an easy decision this offseason. 

The Green Bay can kill two birds with one stone by re-signing tight end Marcedes Lewis. They can appease their franchise quarterback and retain a viable veteran that plays an important role. Whichever way you look at it, bringing back Lewis should be a no-brainer for the Packers.

Of course, it starts with Lewis actually wanting to play. He’s set to turn 37 in May, and 2021 would be his 16th NFL season. However, rumor has it Lewis has an itch to continue his career. After the NFC Championship Game, Lewis told TMZ he had no plans to retire and that it would be good to return to Green Bay. That certainly sounds like a player interested in coming back.

But is the interest mutual, and does it make sense to rent Lewis for presumably one more year?

Let’s start with Rodgers. Rodgers may mean a lot to the Packers, but he doesn’t run the franchise. That said, he’s definitely not a guy you want to piss off. Re-signing Lewis could go a long way toward making Rodgers a gruntled player once the team is back together, whenever that may be.

Rodgers speaks higher of Lewis than he has any other teammate he’s had in the past. Starting in 2018, Lewis won Rodgers over with his work ethic and leadership. Every time he shows up to camp, he’s in great shape. And when he addresses the team, everyone listens.

Now anytime he gets the chance, Rodgers raves about the tight end that is no more than a role player in their high-powered offense. There is definitely some merit to the idea of keeping Rodgers happy with his current situation in Green Bay by playing alongside Lewis for another year.

Secondly, and more importantly, the Packers can still use Lewis’ skillset. Even as he approaches 40, Lewis is an above-average run-blocker among today’s tight ends. He’s probably the best run-blocking tight end of this generation, and he’s shown that while he plays the last few holes of his career in Green Bay.

However, Lewis isn’t much of a threat as a pass-catcher. He doesn’t run as well as he once did, and it shows in his routes and run after the catch. Last season, he caught 10 passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns. Not great numbers by any means, but the offense has an emerging pass-catcher at tight end in Robert Tonyan.

What Lewis brings to the Packers in 2021 is his blocking. When called upon in pass protection, he typically did a decent job last season. Lewis is still the best run-blocking tight end on the roster and, every once in a while, he can make a play in the passing game. The 18-yard touchdown he had against the New Orleans Saints was reminiscent of his younger self.

We know Green Bay is strapped for cash this offseason, but re-signing Lewis is an inexpensive move that can help this team continue to win. Bringing him back on another one-year deal worth a little over $2 million makes a lot of sense.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (37)

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dobber's picture

February 19, 2021 at 03:22 pm

The first strokes to fall, Kirksey and Wagner are cut.

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2021/02/packers-release-christian-kirk...

Not surprised by Kirksey, more than a little surprised by Wagner at this stage.

As for Lewis, he played 45% of the TE snaps in 2019 (second to Graham at 57%) and 40% in 2020 (second to Tonyan, 61%). He's useful and does it for about twice the vets' minimum with his number of accrued seasons, and is willing to sign a series of one-year deals. Sounds like a good match. I wouldn't be surprised if BG took a look around to see if the next Marcedes Lewis isn't lurking out there somewhere.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:03 pm

Not a huge surprise but like you, I was hoping we wouldn't release Wagner. Perhaps we're thinking we might be able to resign him at a reduced rate, like we did with Hawk once. I don't know who our starting RT is now. I think we're taking a RT in the draft, early. OT's who might be available between 29-95 include:

Alex Leatherwood, Liam Eichenberg, Jalen Mayfield, Teven Jenkins, Jackson Carman, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Rashawn Slater. I probably missed some but any one of those guys would be a fine addition to the line. We could probably trade down from 29 and get one

Love how the author is still working the Watt angle despite the fact that we're probably still over the cap and now we need two more starters at those spots. The phrase "creating cap space" is misleading, IMO, when you're underwater.

As for Lewis, as long as he can remember the snap count and get his man blocked, I'm fine with him for another year.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:08 pm

(and as I repeat myself) And the Draft becomes even more critical this year....

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2021 at 05:04 pm

His knees may be a chronic condition. They can move Runyan to RT or make OT a draft priority.

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Guam's picture

February 19, 2021 at 05:48 pm

I'm fine drafting an OT high, but I wonder if this is an indication that they think Runyon or Nijman is ready to move into a starting roll at RT? Haven't seen enough of either to have any idea, but with Bahk likely out for part of the year, this leaves a large hole at tackle and I don't think the Pack would do that without some confidence in their current roster (betting solely on a draft choice is bit risky with a 37 year old QB1).

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Leatherhead's picture

February 19, 2021 at 06:48 pm

Well, Guam, if we had to play a game tomorrow, we'd be looking at a line composed of

Turner-Patrick-Jenkins-?-?,

and they'd be backed up by ??

I must admit, I'm kind of confounded by this " large hole at tackle" that we just made bigger. You're probably right that they wouldn't do this if they didn't have some confidence in the guys they got last year. And you're absolutely right that you don't want to be gambling with Rodgers' health, and I don't think they will.

It is also possible that in this cap-reduced season that some other vet tackle might become a casualty like Wagner. But I still think we'll need to take a tackle before about #70 in the draft. Fortunately, it looks like there'll be some good options at #63 when we pick.

Myself, I'm going to pull for my distant kin, Alex Leatherwood. It's a family joke that one branch of the family gets wood while the other gets head, and he's from the branch that has wood. He'd be a real nice addition and he might even be available around #40, so we could trade down and get him.

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Dzehren's picture

February 19, 2021 at 11:16 pm

Runyon will be the starting guard with Patrick at center, Bahk Jenkins and Turner. Expect GB to draft a OT & Center in this years draft in the first 5 rounds.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2021 at 05:12 pm

Hunter Long from BC. 4th rounder, maybe low third rd. Marcedes Lewis has always been a blue chip since UCLA. He's worth the signing.

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Coldworld's picture

February 19, 2021 at 06:51 pm

Counts less against the cap too due to being such a tenured vet. I think he remains a premier blocking TE and a savvy occasional outlet for Rodgers. There is no one with his skill set on the roster and nit many in the league. At his price why not?

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frankthefork's picture

February 19, 2021 at 03:24 pm

Glad for the services and agree to ML's signing again...do it.
Happy to move on from Kirksey and Wags...it's all about the money and how they played. Average play is not worth more than 2 mil a year in the nfl. This saves about 13mil. or more...good start Gut.

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Coldworld's picture

February 19, 2021 at 06:55 pm

Brave statement about an OT on the best rated line in the league. Hope you are right. Don’t see where we are getting one at those prices unless you are trusting Rodgers to a Rookie or shifting Jenkins fit the first half of the season.

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Razer's picture

February 19, 2021 at 03:29 pm

If this offense is going to run the ball AND contend with a patched or retooled O-line then Marceded Lewis makes sense - particularly since he is a leader amongst the pups. His lack of pass catching versatility is a big downside if Rodgers is going to keep reverting back to his pass first dimension (like he did in the NFC title game).

My gut says to move on and develop the next gen TE who will bring more facets to our offense. Tonyan, Sternberger, Dafney, Deguara and two other TE on the PS all need to have their sunshine to grow. Plus, Lewis was a $2.3 hit on the cap last year.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:05 pm

Defending Rodgers a bit here. He wasn't the one going empty backfield in the fourth quarter. (I feel my blood pressure rising... :-) And Dafney and Deguara are more F/H-Backs in Lafleur scheme. And they are short of inline TE depending on the draft. I bring him back, but it looks like Cap Man may make the call here.

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Minniman's picture

February 19, 2021 at 03:33 pm

With Wagner now gone, Big Dawg makes sense to assist what will likely be a rookie RT

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flackcatcher's picture

February 19, 2021 at 03:57 pm

Or Turner to RT and Jenkins to LT (depending on whom the Packers draft)

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HankScorpio's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:41 pm

The Packers have this guy named David Bakhtiari to play LT. Word on the street is that he is pretty good at it.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 19, 2021 at 05:14 pm

He will be on the PUP when the season begins.

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HankScorpio's picture

February 19, 2021 at 07:46 pm

All that really matters is what happens when the season ends.

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Michael Nault's picture

February 20, 2021 at 02:39 pm

but Bak probably won't be back until at least November. takes almost a year to heal an ACL

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HankScorpio's picture

February 20, 2021 at 03:21 pm

So what? That's a short-term issue, not a long term issue. They are different things that are addressed differently. He missed several regular season games last year. They found a way to make it work. He wasn't really missed until the NFC CG.

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Lare's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:00 pm

I would disagree. With salary cap dollars limited the Packers need to address other areas before adding a $2 million TE that doesn't add much to catching the ball.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 19, 2021 at 05:47 pm

He gets his guy blocked.

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Minniman's picture

February 19, 2021 at 06:11 pm

A fair point Lare. I posted my comment then remembered that deguera will be back next season. Still like Lewis though

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 19, 2021 at 06:36 pm

I have softened my insistence that GB should sign Tim Boyle. I would do $1.3M, but not much more. IF and that's still an if, if signing Boyle means no Lewis or any of a number of other players, then I'd have to change my mind about letting Boyle walk.

Might have to roll the dice on AR staying healthy and/or Love being competent.

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Dzehren's picture

February 19, 2021 at 11:20 pm

Preston Smith could be a surprise cut with his 16M cap number. His dead cap is 8M so probably next year would make more sense with a dead cap of 4M.

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Pro-LifeMatters's picture

February 20, 2021 at 05:28 am

They pay him to block, something no other TE on the current roster is capable of doing well. Certainly you realize that there's more to playing the position than pass catching?

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nostradanus's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:18 pm

Big Dog yep need him on that O. Line
That is all....

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PF4L's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:37 pm

Appease their franchise QB?
Good one :)
.
Since when did the Packers ever show an interest in appeasing Rodgers in the past?

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Nate-1980's picture

February 27, 2021 at 02:02 pm

Haha for real..:) They gotta let the big dog eat anyway..

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HankScorpio's picture

February 19, 2021 at 04:38 pm

There ain't no such thing as a "no brainer" when it comes to re-signing a 15 yr vet who is 37 years old to play TE. That's not to say he should not be brought back. It's just saying that moving on is a reasonable choice.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 19, 2021 at 06:38 pm

What was the player I thought was a no-brainer that you thought wasn't? Was it Lewis or someone else? Hell, was it Wagner?

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HankScorpio's picture

February 19, 2021 at 07:30 pm

Wagner

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hobowilly's picture

February 19, 2021 at 05:49 pm

what some have missed the value of Big Dog is his mentor-ship to an emerging Big Bob Tonyan; Tonyan gave big credit to Lewis for bringing him along and it has showed out. Ever notice how the former HC MM had no clue on how to use his TE's?? Graham was a good example followed by Lewis, particularly Lewis, who was seemingly invisible under MM's last year. I say Big Dog is well worth bringing back--he's not expected to catch 20-30 a year or more than 2or3 TD's either.

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stockholder's picture

February 19, 2021 at 10:02 pm

Popular player. But is it a No-Brainer? The cap hit is 2,300,000. For a specialist? /Part Timer? At some point the packers have to Roll the Dice and move on. I say the number of Tes make him expendable. And Bob Tonyan gets paid.

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html5's picture

February 20, 2021 at 12:42 am

Your article is great
https://puzzlejigsaw24.com

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blacke00's picture

February 20, 2021 at 07:44 am

If AR is not willing to "ADJUST" his contract ( because its size contributes to the problem the Packers are having) then he has no right complain about players that may need to be cut. The "pie" is just so big.

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Since'61's picture

February 20, 2021 at 09:56 am

Bring back Lewis. He is a good blocking TE and he has good hands when he is targeted. Bottom line, he knows how to play

As for Wagner, it could be that the Packers are considering bringing back Veldheer for depth at OT if he still wants to play. He would be a better choice than Wagner who has as injury history and is considering retirement.

Thanks, Since ‘61

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