Plenty of options, Adrian Peterson included, still available for Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- More than two-thirds of the players on ESPN’s Top 150 free-agent list are off the market, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t players available who can still help teams.

The Green Bay Packers are one of those teams still in need of help. They have holes at several key positions, including running back and cornerback -- the two spots that gave them trouble last season. So far, they’ve done nothing at running back after losing Eddie Lacy to the Seattle Seahawks and cutting James Starks. At cornerback, they added retread veteran Davon House, the former Packers backup who spent the past two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Packers also have the salary-cap space -- $24,920,437, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- to indulge in another free agent or two.

With that in mind, here’s a position-by-position look at the 42 players from the top-150 list still unsigned, and what the Packers might do at those positions:


Notes: The Packers have three quarterbacks on the roster and unless they trade Brett Hundley, they won’t be in the market for a backup to Aaron Rodgers.

Running backs

Notes: The Packers have been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Peterson, and the longer he stays on the market, the lower his price becomes. At this point, Ty Montgomery is the only running back on the Packers’ roster, although Don Jackson is expected to be re-signed. If the Packers think Peterson can’t help them, then perhaps they’d turn to Blount, who is built more in the mode of a power runner like Lacy. Jamaal Charles, unranked, also is available, but one NFL personnel evaluator questioned whether he had anything left after injuries to both knees.


Notes: The Packers are set at this position with Aaron Ripkowski having taken on the John Kuhn role and Joe Kerridge back after signing an exclusive rights one-year deal. However, Line did block for Peterson in Minnesota, and if the Packers decided to go that route, then perhaps they’d want to add someone Peterson is comfortable with.


Notes: Plenty of veterans are available, but only Hawkins has the one thing the Packers probably lack in their receiving corps -- breakaway speed. If the Packers do anything at receiver, expect it to be in the draft and not with any of these players. Even after moving Montgomery to running back, they’re still deep with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis.

Tight end

Notes: The Packers already signed the top tight end on the top-150 list in Martellus Bennett, who was ranked 13th, which was 67 spots higher than where Jared Cook was ranked. They also added veteran Lance Kendricks, who was released by the Rams.

Offensive line

Notes: There’s no clear-cut replacement on the roster for T.J. Lang, the Pro Bowl right guard who signed with the Lions. Pasztor and Chester are natural guards and both started all 16 games for Browns and Falcons, respectively, last season. Mangold is the most accomplished of the interior linemen, but he’s a center and probably not a candidate to move to guard at this point in his career.

Defensive line

Notes: Letroy Guion’s four-game suspension to start the season bumps this position up a little bit on the list of needs, but given how much nickel (with just two defensive linemen on the field) they have played under defensive coordinator Dom Capers, it’s still not a position of major need. The Packers are high on Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry, who played extensively last year as rookies, to go along with budding star Mike Daniels.


Notes: It all depends on what the Packers have planned for Clay Matthews. If they play him more at inside linebacker, then they’re going to be desperate for another pass-rushing outside linebacker after losing Julius Peppers and Datone Jones in free agency. If they leave Matthews outside, then they’ll still need an inside backer who can run.


Notes: Re-signing House was a nice start, but that’s hardly enough to help lift the Packers from the bottom of the pass defense rankings. Who knows if Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins will bounce back from disappointing second seasons? Or if LaDarius Gunter can make up for his lack of speed and be more effective than he was last season?


Notes: Even after losing jack-of-all-trades defensive back Micah Hyde, the trio of Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice leaves this position fairly stable.