3 under the radar free agency targets for the Packers

Josh Norman, Packers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have had a whirlwind of an offseason thus far and it’s only going to get wilder as it moves forward. The Packers have already cut ties with linebacker Christian Kirksey and their starting center Corey Linsley is unlikely to return in free agency.

The Packers are going to need to fill those gaps, but there are some other areas that need some under the radar love. Green Bay was the top seed in the NFC all season long in 2020 before the eventual Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers beat them in the playoffs.

If the Packers want to get back to the form they were this past season, they’ll need to address a few needs. Everyone knows the obvious talent the Packers need this offseason, but it’s the under the radar talent that’ll help them the most.

The Packers could likely be just as successful without adding any additional talent to their roster, but if they want to get over the hump in the NFC, they need to add some under the radar talent.

Here’s a look at three under the radar players the Packers could sign this offseason.

Number One: Curtis Samuel

The Packers are without a doubt in need of some additional receiving talent on their roster, but many experts believe they will be seeking one of the top guys on the market. Green Bay could opt to save some money and pursue Curtis Samuel instead.

Samuel had a breakout season under Matt Rhule for the Carolina Panthers and he could cash in on a pay raise this offseason. Samuel, 24, started 15 games for the Panthers in 2020 and hauled in 77 receptions for 851 receiving yards (11.1 yards per reception) and scored three touchdowns.

He has a great deal of spark and juice about him that could make him a highly sought after receiver this offseason, but he’s not one of the top three guys on the market in terms of pay scale. Samuel could be an intriguing option for the Packers to pursue this offseason.

Number Two: Mark Ingram

The Packers have their two star running backs, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, set to hit the free agency pool this offseason and it will be hard to bring both of them back. Fortunately for the Packers, however, there is a very trusty veteran running back on the market in Mark Ingram they could fall back on if need be.

Ingram, 31, has proven he can still play at a high level and is a very team oriented player. He doesn’t have to be the star of the show to sign with a team and he proved that by joining the Baltimore Ravens and being a great sport despite being the third running back on a loaded depth chart. In 2020, he logged just 72 carries for 299 yards and a pair of scores in a very limited role with the Ravens.

He has plenty of gas left in the tank and could prove that by signing a one-year prove it deal with the Packers. The Packers like what they have in AJ Dillon, but I wouldn’t count them out in terms of adding a talented back off the free agent market.

Number Three: Josh Norman

Green Bay Packers fans watched their young cornerback Kevin King blow coverages left and right against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game and they could look to bring in a veteran corner to help add some depth to the unit. One of the cheapest and most established veterans on the market is Josh Norman.

Make all the jokes you want to about Norman, but the man has proven that he can still be a capable player at a very high level. The Buffalo Bills have had one of the league’s best defenses over the past four years and they wouldn’t keep a guy who was going to be a liability to their unit. In 2020, Norman logged 24 tackles, one forced fumble, two fumbles recovered, four passes defended, one interception, and one defensive touchdown in just nine games played.

Norman could bring a competitive nature and swagger to the Green Bay secondary without having to have a major role on the team. He could be a great option to help mentor the young secondary talent while helping the Packers pursue a championship.