Packers 2017 Recap: OLB Nick Perry
With a newly-inked contract in his pocket, Nick Perry roared into 2017 hoping to duplicate his career year from 2016.
- Appeared in 12 games with 11 starts (542 snaps on defense, 25 on special teams)
- Seven sacks, 23 solo tackles, one fumble forced, one fumble recovered
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Not Met
With Matthews ailing for what seemed to be most of the year, Perry took over on the outside, pushing the pocket with punishing bull rushes while holding up well against the run, as he always has. Even playing with a heavy cast for most of the latter end of the season, Perry was effective, even providing a sack and a key deflected pass during the Packers’ divisional win over the Cowboys.
While he may price himself out of the Packers’ market, Perry proved his worth in 2016 and finally looked like the player they hoped he’d be all along.
Analysis: Perry fails to live up to first year of his monster contract
Nick Perry put the Packers in a bind in 2016.
He played like a monster on a one year deal, all but forcing the Packers to open the checkbook. Faced with losing their most productive pass rusher, they did, shelling out a five year, $59 million deal with $18.5 million guaranteed.
We called the deal a gamble at the time (albeit a good one) based on Perry’s spotty injury history and limited production in his career to that point. It was a gamble the Packers all but had to take, but a gamble nonetheless. In 2017, that gamble didn’t pay off.
Perry played in just 12 games and was fully healthy for far fewer, spending what seemed like most of the season wearing a club on his injured hand. He managed just seven sacks, a respectable enough figure but hardly worth the guaranteed money he received in the spring. That number looks even less impressive considering three of his seven sacks came in one against the Bears and their threadbare offensive line. At least as far as sacks are concerned, Perry was a virtual non-factor in most of the rest of the season.
We recommended last year that the Packers bolster their pass rush group with more young rushers to offset any injuries to Perry. They failed to do that last year, and they can’t repeat that mistake again, lest they find themselves needing more pass rush help due to another disappointing season from Perry in 2018.