Packers' free-agent scorecard: Morgan Burnett out, several starters unsigned

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There wasn’t a must-sign player on the Green Bay Packers' list of free agents when the market opened last month.

Former general manager Ted Thompson took care of that when he signed receiver Davante Adams and center Corey Linsley to contract extensions as his last major acts in December.

That left new GM Brian Gutekunst the freedom to be selective about the players he wanted back.

So far, there haven’t been many on that list.

In fact, the only players he has re-signed to date all were exclusive rights free agents. They were receiver Geronimo Allison, quarterback Joe Callahan, receiver Michael Clark, offensive linemen Justin McCray and Adam Pankey, cornerback Herb Waters and safety Jermaine Whitehead.

Gutekunst's big moves came with other teams' free agents, signing tight end Jimmy Graham, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and cornerback Tramon Williams.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the Packers' free agents who have left and those who remain unsigned after the first wave of free agency.


Morgan Burnett: The 29-year-old safety was the closest thing to a must-sign among the Packers’ free agents, but the relatively low-cost deal (three-years, $14.35 million with $4.25 guaranteed) suggested Gutekunst didn’t put much value on Burnett. The Packers have some options -- Josh Jones and Kentrell Brice chief among them. Jones is better suited to play near the line of scrimmage, while Brice could be better on the back end.

Joe Thomas: The inside linebacker did not receive a restricted free-agent tender; the lowest would have been $1.9 million, but it carried no risk since it wasn’t guaranteed. Thomas received a $600,000 signing bonus from the Cowboys as part of a two-year, $3.6 million deal. He played only 104 snaps on defense last season, but two years ago was on the field for 820 plays and was the primary dime linebacker.

Jeff Janis: The former seventh-round draft pick’s time to contribute as receiver came and went, but he was perhaps the Packers' most valuable special-teams player. He signed last week with the Browns, whose personnel department is filled with former Packers scouts.


Jahri Evans: Even if Evans plays a 13th season, and there has been no indication about whether he might retire, the Packers are expected to move on. McCray should get the first shot at the right guard spot that Evans played for the first 912 snaps last season until he missed the final two games because of a knee injury.

Richard Rodgers: The Packers filled their need for a No. 1 tight end when they signed Graham, but Rodgers still could be re-signed for depth and a sure-handed possession receiver. But it would have to be a low-cost deal. The Packers still have Lance Kendricks plus a couple of developmental possibilities in Emanuel Byrd and Robert Tonyan.

Ulrick John: A backup offensive tackle signed off Arizona’s practice squad last season, John played just 40 snaps last season. He could be back under a minimum deal to compete for a spot in training camp.

Davon House: The signing of Williams won’t preclude the Packers from bringing back the veteran cornerback for another season. The sides are scheduled to talk this week.

Ahmad Brooks: The Packers took a chance on the veteran outside linebacker but got little in return for their $3.5 million investment -- the same money that Julius Peppers got from Carolina last year after he left Green Bay. Brooks had 1.5 sacks; Peppers had 11. There’s little chance Brooks will return.

Quinton Dial: Like Brooks, Dial was a last-minute pickup right before the regular season started. He provided depth on the defensive line, but with the signing of Wilkerson, it’s not a sure thing that Dial will return.

Brett Goode: The Packers have been trying to get younger at long-snapper for the last few years but keep going back to Goode. The Packers signed Zach Triner, who has never snapped in an NFL game, but they could re-sign Goode to another minimum deal at any time as long as he’s still available.

Taybor Pepper: Another long-snapper, Pepper played in four games last season (while Goode dealt with a hamstring injury) before he broke his foot and finished on IR.