Jayrone Elliott returns to Packers, could have bigger pass-rushing role

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Whenever Jayrone Elliott got the chance to rush the quarterback, good things usually happened. But with so many capable pass-rushers ahead of him, the opportunities were sometimes rare.

That could change this season, and it's a big reason the free-agent linebacker decided to return to the Green Bay Packers. He agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million deal, a source told ESPN on Monday night.

Elliott visited the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday before deciding to accept the Packers' offer. The source said at least one of Elliott's other offers was a multiyear deal.

Shortly after the news broke, Elliott posted this on Twitter:

With Julius Peppers already gone -- he signed with the Carolina Panthers -- and Datone Jones still unsigned, Elliott appears to be in line for a bigger role on defense in his fourth season.

The former undrafted free agent from Toledo was slated to be a restricted free agent, but the Packers did not tender him. The lowest tender offer would have been $1.797 million in a non-guaranteed deal, so his deal practically mirrored that and likely contains some guaranteed money and/or workout bonuses.

In his past two seasons, Elliott posted four sacks despite playing just 310 snaps combined in 2015 and 2016. To date, Elliott's biggest contributions have come on special teams, where he led the team in tackles last season and ranked third in 2015 and second as a rookie in 2014.

Elliott burst onto the scene as a rookie, leading the NFL in preseason sacks with five, including a three-sack game against the St. Louis Rams that essentially solidified his spot on the roster.

Elliott is the second outside linebacker the Packers have re-signed in the past week. They gave Nick Perry a five-year, $60 million deal to retain their sack leader from last season.