After signing Pro Bowl nose tackle Kenny Clark to a four-year deal worth $70 million, the Green Bay Packers are turning their attention to their next long-term deal. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers are ready to give a new deal to another valuable member of the team.
The Packers have been focused on the defensive side of the ball
Since 2017, the Green Bay Packers have made it a priority to shore up their defense that had been their Achilles’ heel. The Packers’ first four picks in 2017 were on the defensive side of the ball, including top pick, cornerback Kevin King. In 2018, the Pack grabbed two more corners with their first two picks, snagging Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson. With their first two first-round picks in 2019, again they went defense, taking pass rusher Rashan Gary and then another defensive back in safety in Darnell Savage.
Although six of their nine picks in 2020 were offensive players, their top two, quarterback Jordan Love and running back A.J. Dillon, are likely immediate backups. Defense has been the focus lately after the Packers put up 31 points per game in the 2017 playoffs, but were ousted by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game when Atlanta scored at will, putting up 44 points.
The Packers made news this weekend when they signed nose guard Kenny Clark to a four-year deal to help tighten up their interior defense. Clark’s deal, according to ESPN, makes him the 12th highest-paid defensive player in the league.
The 2020 draft raised some eyebrows
The Green Bay Packers raised a few eyebrows during the 2020 draft. Just two months after the Packers lost in the NFC title game to the San Francisco 49ers, they seemed to be building for the future with their first two draft picks.
The Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love with their first pick. Not only did they select Love, they traded up to do so. With their second pick, the Packers grabbed running back A.J. Dillon out of Boston College. Instead of plugging a couple of holes that may have prevented them from getting to the Super Bowl last year, the Packers took two players who likely won’t see a whole lot of playing time in 2020.
One of the Packers’ biggest weaknesses is a No. 2 wide receiver. After Davante Adams, the Packers are very thin at the receiver position. With nine picks in the draft, the Packers never selected a receiver.
Running back Aaron Jones is a ‘priority’
After inking Kenny Clark to his $70 million deal, the Green Bay Packers will be turning their focus back to the offense. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, running back Aaron Jones is a priority for the Packers. Rapoport said the team would love to sign him to a long-term deal.
Jones rushed for 1,084 yards in 2019 and led the league with 16 rushing touchdowns. Jones, who just finished his third season with the team, was also arguably the team’s second-best receiver. He caught 49 passes out of the backfield for 474 yards and three more touchdowns.
If Jones is signed to a long-term deal, it would make the selection of A.J. Dillon and that 2020 draft even more bizarre.