GREEN BAY – Free agency is off and running in the NFL. Here's the latest as it relates to the Packers:
LB Whitney Mercilus
Details: Announced his retirement, April 6
Instant analysis: After signing with the Packers on Oct. 21, Mercilus proved to be a popular addition to Green Bay's locker room. The 10-year veteran had five tackles, two quarterback hits and a sack in 107 defensive snaps over four games before tearing his biceps against Seattle in Week 10. He missed the remainder of the regular season but returned for the Packers' NFC Divisional playoff game against San Francisco. A first-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2012, Mercilus recorded 362 tackles, 58 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in 138 regular-season games. He ranks second (behind J.J. Watt) in Texans history in both sacks (57) and forced fumbles (13). The Packers remain in the market for an extra edge rusher behind Preston Smith and Rashan Gary after parting ways with Za'Darius Smith last month. Green Bay also returns 2020 seventh-round pick Jonathan Garvin and former undrafted free agent Tipa Galea'i.
P Corey Bojorquez
Details: Signed with Cleveland, April 4
Instant analysis: The Packers had decided to move on from Bojorquez when they signed longtime Chicago punter Pat O'Donnell three weeks ago. Acquired in a trade at the end of the 2021 preseason, Bojorquez started strong for the Packers but faded down the stretch, finishing with a 46.5-yard gross average. Most damagingly, the left-footer had a punt blocked in the fourth quarter of the playoff loss vs. San Francisco, and it was recovered for the 49ers' lone touchdown in the game. Bojorquez's inconsistency as a holder also contributed to the season-long struggles with the field-goal operation, another unit that had a kick blocked in the playoff defeat.
CB Keisean Nixon
Detail: Signed with Green Bay, March 26
Instant analysis: Nixon reunites with his special teams coordinator, Rich Bisaccia, for the past three years with the Raiders. A core special-teams player, Nixon registered 18 coverage tackles on 692 special-teams snaps over three seasons with Las Vegas. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound cornerback has played in 40 career games with two starts, tallying 20 tackles with a pass deflection on defense. Nixon originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina in 2019. The fourth-year veteran doesn't count towards the compensatory formula since the Raiders didn't tender Nixon a contract as a restricted free agent.
CB Chandon Sullivan
Details: Signed with Minnesota, March 25
Instant reaction: The former undrafted free agent spent much of the past two seasons as the team's nickel cornerback. In 49 games (20 starts) with the Packers, Sullivan recorded 102 tackles, 16 passes defensed and five interceptions. The Packers still boast one of the league's top secondaries after re-signing Rasul Douglas last week. The only question becomes which corner out of the trio of Douglas, All-Pro Jaire Alexander and 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes will primarily man the slot in nickel and dime packages next season.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Details: Signed with Kansas City, March 24
Instant analysis: The Packers have now lost two of their top three receivers from a year ago with the Davante Adams trade and Valdes-Scantling's departure to the Chiefs. It leaves Allen Lazard, who has received a restricted free agent tender, and Randall Cobb as the only proven veterans at the position on the roster. The Packers are squarely in the market now for both veteran acquisitions and rookie draft picks at receiver. Valdes-Scantling's best season of his four in Green Bay, since arriving as a 2018 fifth-round draft pick, came in 2020 with 690 receiving yards, six TDs and a 20.9 yards per catch average.
DL Jarran Reed
Details: Signed with Green Bay, March 23
Instant analysis: Reed is entering his seventh NFL season, joining the Packers after five years with the Seahawks and one with the Chiefs. An interior defensive lineman, he has 24 1/2 career sacks, with a season-best 10 1/2 coming in 2018. At 6-3, 307, he provides a veteran rotational piece amongst the group of Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry and T.J. Slaton, who are the Packers' returning linemen with the most playing time from 2021. Reed entered the league as a second-round draft pick (No. 49 overall) in 2016, coming from a loaded Alabama defensive line. He's played in 89 career games with 80 starts, plus nine starts in the postseason, displaying durability and carrying a heavy workload. He recorded his third career playoff sack in January vs. Buffalo.
CB Rasul Douglas
Details: Re-signed with Green Bay, March 22
Instant analysis: One of the best stories in the NFL last season, Douglas went from the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad to a Pro Bowl alternate after signing with the Packers on Oct. 6. In 12 games (nine starts), Douglas racked up 57 tackles, a team-high 13 passes defends and five interceptions – including two returned for a touchdown. Douglas' return not only keeps one of the league's best secondaries intact but also gives defensive coordinator Joe Barry an overabundance of options for how he wants to utilize the trio of All-Pro Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Douglas next season.
TE Robert Tonyan
Details: Re-signed with Green Bay, March 22
Instant analysis: Tonyan is currently rehabbing from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered last October in Arizona. Prior to the injury, however, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end had blossomed into one of Aaron Rodgers' most-trusted receiving targets, particularly in the red zone. In 2020, Tonyan tied Paul Coffman (1984) for the single-season franchise record for the most TD receptions by a tight end (11). The former undrafted free agent has caught 84 passes for 967 yards and 15 touchdowns in 51 games (15 starts) with the Packers. With Tonyan re-signed, Green Bay is slated to return all four of its tight ends in 2022 (Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara and Dominique Dafney).
P Pat O'Donnell
Details: Signed with Green Bay, March 18
Instant analysis: The Packers continue to retool their special teams with the addition of O'Donnell, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound punter who averaged 45.1 yards on 564 punts with 220 dropping inside the 20-yard line during his eight seasons with the Chicago Bears. O'Donnell's 109 consecutive games played are third-most among active punters, trailing only Pro Bowlers Johnny Hekker (161) and Kevin Huber (129). A sixth-round pick in 2014, O'Donnell has missed just one game in his NFL career. He's currently the only punter on Green Bay's roster after Corey Bojorquez's contract expired at the start of unrestricted free agency.
WR Davante Adams
Details: Traded to Las Vegas, March 18
Instant analysis: The Packers officially announced on Friday the trade of Adams to the Raiders in exchange for first- (22nd overall) and second-round picks (No. 53) in this year's NFL Draft. The No. 53 pick just so happens to be the same one Green Bay used to draft the five-time Pro Bowl receiver out of Fresno State in 2014. Adams ends his run in Green Bay second in team history in both career receptions (669) and receiving touchdowns (73), and fourth in receiving yards (8,134). With the two additional picks, the Packers now hold four selections in the top 60 and 11 total in April's NFL Draft.
WR Equanimeous St. Brown
Details: Signed with Chicago, March 18
Instant analysis: The Packers' former sixth-round pick reunites with new Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy in Chicago. The 6-foot-5, 214-pound receiver showed flashes but injuries limited him to playing in just 37 games over his four seasons with the Packers. St. Brown's most productive year came as a rookie in 2018 when he caught 21 passes for 328 yards. He started this past season on Green Bay's practice squad before signing back to the Packers' active roster in October.
LB De'Vondre Campbell
Details: Re-signed with Green Bay, March 17
Instant analysis: After signing during the final week of the offseason program, Campbell enjoyed a career year with the Packers. The six-year veteran filled a major need as an every-down inside linebacker and led Green Bay's defense with a career-high 145 tackles (101 solo). Campbell also recorded two interceptions, two sacks and two forced fumbles, becoming one of only three players in the league (Derwin James and Antoine Winfield) with multiple INTs, sacks and forced fumbles last season. While snubbed for the Pro Bowl, Campbell was voted to the AP All-Pro first-team for the first time in his career. He's the first Green Bay middle linebacker to receive first-team honors since Ray Nitschke in 1965. The Packers also return third-year linebacker Krys Barnes, who had 81 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a sack alongside Campbell last season.
LB Oren Burks
Details: Signed with San Francisco, March 17
Instant analysis: The former third-round pick played sparingly on defense during his four years with the Packers but was a fixture on the team's special-team unit. His 33 coverage tackles were the most on the team from 2018-21. The 6-foot-3, 233-pound linebacker tied his career high with 10 special-teams tackles this past year. Green Bay is slated to return former draft picks Ty Summers and Isaiah McDuffie behind Campbell and Barnes at inside linebacker next season.
G Lucas Patrick
Details: Signed with Chicago, March 18
Instant analysis: Patrick started 34 games of his 73 career appearances for Green Bay over the past five seasons. Undrafted out of Duke in 2016, Patrick signed with the Packers after participating in the team's rookie minicamp on tryout. Versatile and driven, the 6-foot-3, 313-pound offensive lineman started 13 of his 17 regular-season appearances last season, with 11 starts at center in place of injured starter Josh Myers. Despite Patrick's departure, the Packers remain well-positioned on the interior O-line, with recent draft picks Myers, Jon Runyan and Royce Newman all slated to return in 2022. General Manager Brian Gutekunst also told reporters prior to the NFL Scouting Combine that Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins has made significant process in his rehab from season-ending knee surgery.
Here's the full list of the Packers' free agents. This will be updated throughout the offseason as deals are announced by NFL clubs:
Unrestricted free agents (13)
- P Corey Bojorquez (Signed with Cleveland, April 4)
- LB Oren Burks (Signed with San Francisco, March 17)
- LB De'Vondre Campbell (Re-signed with Green Bay, March 17)
- CB Rasul Douglas (Re-signed with Green Bay, March 22)
- T Dennis Kelly
- CB Kevin King
- DL Tyler Lancaster
- LB Whitney Mercilus (Announced his retirement, April 6)
- G Lucas Patrick (Signed with Chicago, March 18)
- WR Equanimeous St. Brown (Signed with Chicago, March 18)
- CB Chandon Sullivan (Signed with Minnesota, March 25)
- TE Robert Tonyan (Re-signed with Green Bay, March 22)
- WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Signed with Kansas City, March 24)
Franchise tag (1)
- WR Davante Adams (Traded to Las Vegas, March 18)
Restricted free agents (1)
Players who received a one-year tender (first round, second round and right of first refusal), which allows Green Bay to match any free-agent contract the player would sign or receive draft-pick compensation corresponding to the first two tenders. There is no compensation for the lowest tender.
- WR Allen Lazard
Exclusive rights free agents (6)
Players with fewer than three accrued NFL seasons who received the one-year tender.