Don Barclay Signs One-Year Deal with the Packers

The Packers fortified their offensive line with the re-signing of Don Barclay. 2017 will be his sixth season in Green Bay.

Four years ago on a pleasant Friday evening in August, the Packers dropped their preseason opener 17-0 against the Cardinals. The offensive line was in turmoil without left tackle Bryan Bulaga, who tore his ACL one week before the game.

Untested rookie David Bakhtiari was starting at left tackle, while second-year pro Don Barclay was battling Marshall Newhouse for the starting right tackle job. The Packers settled on Barclay, who started 14 games in 2013.

“He plays the right way,” head coach Mike McCarthy said of Barclay after the Cardinals’ 2013 preseason loss. “He's assignment sound, did an excellent job finishing.”

Barclay’s career took a different turn in 2014, when a knee injury in training camp ended his season. In the two years after his recovery, he’s not been as athletic as he was as a younger man.

Impact of signing Barclay on the Packers offensive line

The Packers generally have seven offensive linemen active for each game. Barclay’s versatility to play at center, guard or tackle gives Green Bay the Swiss army knife they need to succeed. In his five seasons, it’s hard to remember Barclay at one specific position.

Because the value of the contract is so low, his presence on the roster is not a hinderance to Green Bay re-signing T.J. Lang or drafting more offensive lineman in April.

Green Bay regularly selects offensive line in the draft, and also brings in a healthy amount of undrafted free agents each offseason. The only first-round pick on the Packers starting offensive line last year was Bulaga, while the rest were selected in the fourth-round or later.

Is this a fair contract for Barclay and the Packers?

The Packers gave Barclay just under double the minimum salary ($775,000) on a one-year, $1.3 million deal. Last season, the average NFL offensive lineman made about $1.2 million, so Green Bay is in the right neighborhood from a financial standpoint.

Barclay may have wished for a two or three year deal, but the financial incentive of almost double what he could have gotten on the open market was too much to pass up.