Pick Two: Nick Perry, J.C. Tretter and Micah Hyde

As we touched on yesterday, salary cap management is important, and getting the most bang for one’s cap-related buck is of utmost importance. The Packers obviously can’t bring all of their pending free agents back, so they’ll have to be judicious with their spending.

Offensive lineman J.C. Tretter, defensive back Micah Hyde, and linebacker Nick Perry are three of the Packers higher priority free agents. All three are in the prime years of their career, and each has contributed in their own way to the Packers’ success. 

Assuming the Packers won’t bring all three back, who would you choose?

Jon picks J.C. Tretter and Nick Perry

Of these three, Tretter is the most valuable, simply because he’s better at his position than Perry and Hyde are at theirs. When healthy, Tretter is an elite center, and though he’s at his best in the interior, he can play each of the five positions on the line in a pinch. Think of him as Don Barclay with an immensely higher ceiling.

In the choice between Perry and Hyde, then, I’ll take Perry. Though Hyde was excellent down the stretch, Perry remains an excellent run defender and was the Packers’ best and most consistent pass rusher this season, though he didn’t really have much competition.

Hyde, versatile as he is, is quite limited. He’ll never be someone the Packers can use as an outside corner, and his speed limits him even in the slot and as a safety. If I have to move on from one of these three, it’s Hyde.

Gary picks Micah Hyde and Nick Perry

A big takeaway from the Packers’ deep playoff run was the need to add reinforcements to the team’s defensive unit. I’ll take the hit on offense of losing a solid, above-average lineman if it means keeping two of Green Bay’s defensive playmakers.

The easiest decision of the three is to keep Micah Hyde. Not only was he the team’s most consistent cornerback by my eyes in the postseason, but he also adds significant value as an above-average punt returner. 

I can deal with his physical limitations so long as I get his intangibles and instincts. Hyde’s interception against the Cowboys in the playoffs was a direct result of his film study, and I want players like that on my team.

Choosing Nick Perry over J.C. Tretter is a hard choice. Ted Thompson has hit on every single offensive lineman in each of the four drafts: Tretter, David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley, Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy. 

Meanwhile, the Packers have missed on linebackers like Nate Palmer, Carl Bradford and Kyler Fackrell, while the jury’s still out on Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan. I trust Ted Thompson to backfill the offensive line over linebacker.

Since he arrived in Green Bay, Mike McCarthy has preached that the greatest ability a player can have is availability. Of the three, Hyde has appeared in 99% of eligible contests, Perry suited up in 75% and Tretter played in 49%.

I believe J.C. Tretter will be a successful NFL offensive lineman. If he doesn’t continue his career with the Packers, watching him flourish with another team will be hard to watch. However, injuries kept him from appearing in at least half of the team’s games in three of his four seasons in Green Bay.