Potential 2013 Green Bay Packers roster changes
The Green Bay Packers season is over and now we look onto 2013 to see what the roster changes might look like. The Packers will face the retirement of Donald Driver most likely, and that loss will be compounded by the loss of Greg Jennings. Parting ways with a wide receiver of Jennings’ caliber will be a tough decision, but this Packers wide receiver core doesn’t lack talent. Not to mention the plethora of wide receivers that will enter the market in 2013 from Dwayne Bowe to Victor Cruz. If the Packers lose Jennings, they can find or draft a replacement without too many headaches.
From the wide receivers comes the running back position and the Packers could resign Cedric Benson, but I have a feeling they’ll ride Alex Green for 2013. Benson is simply too old and injury prone as was seen in 2012 to be considered for a long-term contract. The tight end position will continue with Jermichael Finley, but Tom Crabtree will be allowed to leave in 2013. However the tight end depth in free agency for 2013 is tremendous. Jared Cook, Fred Davis, Dustin Keller, Brandon Myers and even Martellus Bennett are notable names that could add an element to the passing game to make up for the loss of Jennings if that occurs.
The defense of the Packers will look pretty much the same, but the Pack will lose linebackers Brad Jones, Erik Walden, Rob Francois and Frank Zombo. Most of them are more backups and depth guys, but there are a lot of 3-4 linebackers hitting the market in 2013. Manny Lawson and Anthony Spencer are available, but there have also been rumors of Brian Urlacher coming to the Packers in 2013. The transition from 4-3 to 3-4 inside linebacker seems a stretch for Urlacher, but that’s just what the rumor mill has been spitting out recently. The Packers will most likely keep half of the linebackers lost and sign two, but Manny Lawson or Anthony Spencer wouldn’t be bad fits if they wanted some more pass rushers.
The only surprising losses that could happen are Sam Shields who is a restricted free agent in 2013 and even the possible retirement of ole man Charles Woodson. Both Shields and Woodson could remain on the roster, but there is a high likelihood they may both be gone in 2013. However that shouldn’t be a concern, because the defensive back selection in 2013 is gangbusters. Brent Grimes, Tracy Porter, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Aqib Talib are all available. All four are starters and are available if something comes up with Shields or Woodson.
Most of the Packers roster is largely intact for 2013. The losses of Jennings, Driver, Woodson and Shields will be sad, but the core of the team is still solid. The Packers are always great at drafting new talent and the positions that will lose talent are easily replaceable in the marketplace. We’ll keep updating you on any new events that happen to the roster, but Packer fans can sleep easy in 2013. Let’s all look forward to another great season of Packer football in 2013.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.