The Green Bay Packers under Ted Thompson typically have not foraged into signing players in free agency. However, this offseason, the Packers have several key players who they'll have to make decisions on whether to bring back or not. FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look at the 13 players set to hit free agency. (Note: free-agent and salary information via OverTheCap.com).
The exclusive rights free agents
An exclusive rights free agent can only be signed by the Packers, as long as Green Bay tenders that player an offer. If not, that player becomes an unrestricted free agent. Green Bay's exclusive rights free agents are: WR Geronimo Allison, RB John Crockett, RB Don Jackson, FB Joe Kerridge, DT Christian Ringo, P Jacob Schum and ILB Joe Thomas.
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Barclay certainly knows the offense, having played 62 games in four seasons with Green Bay. He also can play anywhere along the offensive line, which is a huge plus. Barclay took a big pay cut to stay with the Packers last season, which could show his willingness to stay with the team and/or lack of outside interest.
Why they wouldn't: While Barclay is versatile, he hasn't performed all that well in Green Bay. He had just 144 offensive snaps this season and allowed two sacks, albeit that was an improvement on 2015 (423 snaps, 10.5 sacks). As a starter in 2014, he allowed 9.5 sacks in 14 games.
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TE Jared Cook, unrestricted
2016 stats: 10 games (5 starts), 30 receptions for 377 yards and 1 touchdown
2016 cap number: $2,750,000
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Let's start off with this: Aaron Rodgers mentioned in his post-NFC Championship press conference that he hoped the Packers would re-sign Cook. So, yeah, that's big. Cook is just the kind of tight end Rodgers loves and Green Bay has been looking for since Jermichael Finley. In his first playoffs, the eight-year veteran caught 18 passes in three games for 229 yards and 2 TDs.
Why they wouldn't: What will Cook cost? Certainly other teams will be looking for a tight end as well. Also, Cook will be 30 years old in April -- how many years should the Packers commit to him?
OLB Jayrone Elliott, restricted
2016 stats: 11 games (0 starts), 19 tackles, 1 sack
2016 cap number: $601,668
Why the Packers would re-sign him: As we’ll mention again in this article, Green Bay will need to keep some outside linebackers and Elliott obviously has experience in the system, having played three years in Green Bay. Last season he played on 136 defensive snaps. Elliott is also a key contributor on special teams. It is doubtful any team would make a big offer for Elliott, so it would be easy for the Packers to just make a low tender.
Why they wouldn't: Green Bay might figure Elliott will never be a part of its regular rotation at outside linebacker and even drafted competition for him last year in Kyler Fackrell. If some team does decide to make an offer for Elliott, hard seeing the Packers matching it.
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Green Bay is going to need someone to play outside linebacker and they have a history with Jones. He also played a lot on special teams, especially in the second half of the season.
Why they wouldn't: Green Bay didn't pick up the option on the former first-round pick's fifth year for a reason. Perhaps he'd be a better fit in a 4-3 defense. He just never produced in the Packers' 3-4, totaling 73 tackles and nine sacks in 73 career games with only seven starts.
Associated PressMike Roemer
LS Brett Goode, unrestricted
2016 stats: 16 games, 0 TKL
2016 cap number: $600,000 (prorated from $885,000)
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Coming off an injury at the end of 2015 and facing rehabilitation, Green Bay couldn't find anyone else to take Goode's place and re-signed him right before the season.
Why they wouldn't: Goode will turn 33 in November. Perhaps the Packers want a more athletic long snapper -- Goode hasn't been credited for a tackle since 2013 -- or maybe a cheaper one. The team did sign long snapper Taybor Pepper to a futures contract in late January.
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Hyde has proven to be a find after being selected in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, recording 55 or more tackles in each of his four seasons. This past year, Hyde showed off his versatility by playing all over the Packers' secondary and appearing on 817 defensive snaps. In the last three years, Hyde has 22 passes defensed and eight interceptions.
Why they wouldn't: It's hard to believe Green Bay wouldn't want him back, but at this point -- when everyone is healthy -- Hyde isn't a starter for the Packers except in nickel situations. He is a valuable player for certain -- but how much will the Packers want to pay him and how much interest (and big offers) will he get elsewhere?
RB Eddie Lacy, unrestricted
2016 stats: 5 games (5 starts), 71 rushes for 360 yards (5.1 avg.) and 0 TD; 4 catches for 28 yards
2016 cap number: $1,079,404
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Lacy certainly has had his issues in Green Bay (weight, health) but he has averaged 4.4 yards per carry in his four seasons and twice rushed for over 1,100 yards. He is a big back who can be punishing on defenses. Does Green Bay really trust Ty Montgomery to be an every-down back? After playing in just five games in 2016, Lacy might not have many suitors and could possibly had on a one-year deal as he looks to re-establish his market value.
Why they wouldn't: Lacy's first two years were good. He had the above-mentioned 1,100-yard seasons plus a combined 20 touchdowns. But the last two years have seen him rush for 1,118 yards total (again, see the issues above) and 3 TDs, all of which came in 2015. Maybe Lacy wants a change of scenery, maybe he wants to be a bellcow and not share carries, maybe he wants too much money and maybe Green Bay doesn't like the way Lacy is trending the past couple of years -- down.
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Lang has improved greatly over the years since becoming a starter in 2011. In the past three seasons, Lang has allowed 4.5 sacks in 44 games, including just 1.0 sacks in 13 games in 2016. He was rewarded by being named to his first Pro Bowl this year, although he had to miss the game due to an injury suffered in the NFC title game.
Why they wouldn't: Lang will be 30 in September, the team (in theory) drafted a potential replacement last year for him in Jason Spriggs and now he's coming of hip surgery. Also, the Packers could have signed him to an extension this year (like they did with David Bahktiari) but didn't. While it wouldn't be a popular move … well, Josh Sitton, anyone?
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RB Christine Michael, unrestricted
2016 stats (with GB): 6 games (0 starts), 31 rushes for 115 yards (3.7 avg.) and 1 TD; 2 catches for 11 yards
2016 cap number: $277,941 (prorated from $675,000)
Why the Packers would re-sign him: He'd likely cost a lot less than Lacy, who was chosen one spot before Michael in the 2013 draft, and Michael is a better receiver -- he had 20 receptions in nine games with Seattle in 2016. Michael owns a career 4.3-yard rushing average and scored seven TDs overall this past season.
Why they wouldn't: Michael is a darling with a lot of evaluators, for whatever reason, but he has yet to gain footing in Seattle, where he's bounced back and forth off the roster, Dallas and Green Bay. Did he do enough in Green Bay to warrant another look or would the Packers just be better off selecting someone in the draft, which promises to have a deep running back class?
Why the Packers would re-sign him: After a slow start to the season, Peppers proved he could still be a difference maker. From Week 12-16 he had four sacks in five games and against the Giants in the playoffs he had three tackles, a sack and two passes defensed. The Packers need disruptors from the edge and Peppers can still provide it in bursts.
Why they wouldn't: Peppers just turned 37 years old and has played 15 years in the NFL. Just how much mileage does he have left? Peppers is coming off a huge contract and likely wouldn't be asking for another big deal, and if that is the case, would he sign for less money with the Packers or another team, such as Carolina, where he got his start in the NFL? Of course, we need to see first if Peppers plans to even play another season or retire.
OLB Nick Perry, unrestricted
2016 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 52 TKL, 11 sacks, 4 PD, 1 INT
2016 cap number: $4,875,000
Why the Packers would re-sign him: After four mediocre seasons Perry broke out in 2016, setting highs in tackles, sacks and passes defensed plus recording his first career interception. Green Bay has a definite need for 3-4 outside linebackers this offseason, as a majority of the Packers' OLBs from last season are free agents. Might as well stick with who you know -- and someone who showed he can produce.
Why they wouldn't: Can Perry repeat his 2016 success or was it an outlier? Either way, Perry chose a good time to have a career year as he can now negotiate with any team in the NFL. Surely, those 11 sacks could command a big payday somewhere, if not in Green Bay.
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Tretter has been solid when used, albeit that has been sparingly over his four years. He started the first seven games for Green Bay this season -- appearing in every offensive play -- before going down with a knee injury. In 2015, Tretter played in every game (373 snaps) and allowed no sacks. He had three starts that year at center and also played guard; in the playoffs he got a start at right tackle for David Bahktiari. The former fourth-round pick turns 26 in February and obviously can play all along the line.
Why they wouldn't: Injuries have been a big part of Tretter's four years. In 2013, he hurt his ankle in Organized Team Activities and didn't appear in a game. In 2014, a knee injury cost him the first half of the season plus a starting job. If the Packers are going to commit to Corey Linsley as their center, they could easily find a backup elsewhere.
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ILB Jordan Tripp, restricted
2016 stats (with GB): 2 games (0 starts), 1 TKL
2016 cap number: $105,882 (prorated from $600,000)
Why the Packers would re-sign him: Tripp joined Green Bay late in the year after being waived off injured reserve by Seattle and quickly saw time on special teams in the final two games of the season. He'd be a low-risk keep -- not to mention he's restricted -- and the Packers could better find out what they have with a full offseason and training camp.
Why they wouldn't: Tripp didn't play one down on defense and has been mainly a special teams player in his three NFL seasons with Miami, Jacksonville, Seattle and Green Bay. He's the NFL version of a journeyman and there's plenty of others like him out there to sign, not to mention an incoming rookie class.