If the Green Bay Packers want to have any chance of keeping free-agent outside linebacker Nick Perry, they need to act soon.
Coming into the offseason, Perry, was considered one of the top players available on the free-agent market. This past season, after signing a one-year, prove it deal, Perry had his best season as a Packer, registering 11 sacks. He also had 35 tackles and four passes defensed.
Perry is also an outstanding run defender. There has been no one better the last few seasons in Green Bay at setting the edge than the 2012 first-rounder.
The former USC product was once thought to be a bust. But now, after his fifth season, he has finally lived up to his potential.
The only question is whether or not the rewards of that will be reaped in Green Bay or some other location?
I am not sure what Perry is going to do. But I don’t really expect any hometown discounts. He has 23.5 career sacks and plays the run well. He has also played in 14 games or more the past three seasons, answering any questions about durability.
However, one thing I am sure of, is that if the Packers want to keep Perry, they need to act quickly, as in now.
At this point, the Packers have five days before the legal tampering period begins March 7. Players can sign March 9. And after many of the elite pass rushers such as Jason Pierre-Paul, Melvin Ingram and Chandler Jones were all given the franchise tag, Perry's price tag has likely gone up.
Supply and demand after all.
The Packers declined to use the tag and If Perry gets to the open market, he will certainly get a big contract offer that Green Bay will be unlikely to match. The team could get lucky and he could take less money to stay like Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga did, but don’t count on it.
Green Bay has more than $40 million in cap space. Some of it needs to get used keeping Perry. But if that’s going to happen, it has to happen now, before free agency starts.
That’s when the crazy money starts flying around and that’s generally when Ted Thompson sticks his head in the sand.
Hopefully, for the sake of the Packers pass rush, Thompson gets something done in the next five days. Otherwise, it will be simply one more hole to fill on a defense filled with them.
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