The Green Bay Packers made what many would call a small move in free agency on Friday morning with the decision to re-sign running back Tyler Ervin to a one-year deal. He is far from a household name and some Packers fans may not know who he is very well. Even fewer are going to think that this is a big move for the franchise.
However, bringing back Ervin is actually a big deal. It is something that Brian Gutekunst and company had to do. Why is it such a big deal for a player that some may have never heard of more than a couple times?
After acquiring Ervin off of waivers in the middle of the season last year, he made his impact felt immediately. Ervin was primarily a special teams weapon for the Packers, as he instantly became their return man. By the end of the season, he had become even more.
In the regular season, Ervin only carried the football six times or 25 yards and caught two passes for 11 yards. He had two carries for 25 yards in the playoffs and caught a pass for seven yards. So how do those numbers make him an important move for the Packers?
Quite simply, the Packers need speed and playmaking. They did not go out and sign a playmaking wide receiver, instead going for the slower big body in Devin Funchess. Green Bay could get a very solid receiver in Funchess, but they also need speed.
Aaron Rodgers needs as much help as he can get. Matt LaFleur could find unique ways to utilize Ervin in the offense to get him into space where he take it to the house at any moment.
Ervin also made his impact felt in the return game, which has always been a problem for the Packers. He returned 11 punts for 106 yards and six kickoffs for 160 yards. Those numbers are impressive and valuable.
Granted, this isn’t the move that will take the Packers to the next level and into the Super Bowl. But, he is going to be a piece of the puzzle that can help them get there.
Anyone wondering why so many Packers fans have been talking about the team re-signing Ervin, those reasons are why. He is a gadget player, and ever contender needs to have gadget players. Playmaking is never easy to find and when you do find, it’s best to keep it around.
Welcome back to the Packers, Tyler Ervin!