Why Each of the 11 Packers Free Agents Should Stay or Go

The Packers have 11 pending free agents, and I think a good argument could be made for bringing every one of them back. I also think you can make an argument for cutting each of them loose. Here are those arguments.

LB Julius Peppers

Why he should stay: Peppers was effective down the stretch. Even at his advanced age, he still probably has the highest ceiling of any of the Packers’ pass rushers.

Why he should go: Peppers is closing in on middle age, even by non-football measures. In football years, he’s about 106. A drop off is going to come eventually.

G T.J. Lang

Why he should stay: At his best, Lang can challenge David Bakhtiari for the title of best lineman. He’s tenacious, a legitimate tough guy, and will give you everything he’s got.

Why he should go: Like Peppers, age isn’t his friend. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and the Packers already cut one Pro Bowl guard for a very similar reason.

OLB Nick Perry

Why he should stay: Perry finally produced like we know he can. He was consistent and at times explosive, earning his paycheck week in and week out.

Why he should go: He’s never been as healthy as he was this season, and that’s including a broken hand that had him playing the last month of the season with an enormous club. It seems unlikely that Perry will ever put this consistent of a season together again.

TE Jared Cook

Why he should stay: A playoff hero, Cook was everything he was supposed to be for the Packers this year. A big, fast tight end, he’s a matchup nightmare that the Packers can certainly use in big ways.

Why he should go: Like Perry, we’ve probably seen the best of Cook. He’s also aging and may begin to decline. His hands have never been that dependable.

LS Brett Goode

Why he should stay: Did you notice Brett Goode in 2016? If you didn’t, that means he did a great job.

Why he should go: At 32, Goode is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Perhaps now is the time to start looking for a replacement?

RB Eddie Lacy

Why he should stay: When healthy, Lacy is still an effective player. You know exactly what he can do, and he’s a unique physical talent.

Why he should go: Lacy can’t manage his weight, leading to his unavailability at key moments.

RB Christine Michael

Why he should stay - Easily the most explosive of the Packers’ running backs, Michael provides tremendous burst out of the backfield.

Why he should go - Too often, Michael uses his burst to run right into the backs of offensive linemen or to run the opposite way of a play’s intended direction.

G Don Barclay

Why he should stay: Barclay remains a versatile offensive lineman and is the top backup at both guard spots.

Why he should go: He’s limited athletically and will never be more than above average.

C/G J.C. Tretter

Why he should stay: When healthy, Tretter is a top flight center and can reasonably play every offensive line spot.

Why he should go: Tretter isn’t healthy that often.

DB Micah Hyde

Why he should stay: Much like Tretter, Hyde’s versatility makes him a valuable asset. He can fill in at almost every secondary spot and is a good punt returner when called upon.

Why he should go: Hyde is good at a lot of things but great at nothing, and when he’s asked to be a pure cover corner, he too often is limited by his speed.