When Green Bay Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst was hired 14 months ago, he vowed to use every avenue available to assemble talent.
Today, Gutekunst traveled at breakneck speed down Free Agent Avenue, signing three potential starters for a defense that needs yet another infusion of play makers and then adding a versatile offensive lineman that could shore up a leaking right side.
Four unrestricted free agents in one day! All four getting four year deals. Total contract value is a reported 223 million dollars. The news of the agreements came almost one after another and that was followed by another significant decision, the cutting of former number one pick Nick Perry.
Seven years in Green Bay with perhaps twice as many injuries, Perry was not about to bring a return on the five year, 60 million dollar contract extension he was given after the 2016 season, lasting only 9 games a year ago before winding up on injured reserve with just a sack and a half to his name.
So here comes the new cavalry with contract details that have been widely reported.
LB Za'Darius Smith 4 years - 66 Million Dollars, 34.5 million due in the first two years with a 20 million dollar signing bonus.
Smith arrives after playing his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens were he had 8.5 sacks last year, 24.5 for his career.
S Adrian Amos 4 years - 27 Million Dollars. 11 million dollar signing bonus and a 2019 cap figure of 5.9 million.
Amos patrolled the back end of the Chicago Bears secondary the past four years. He had a pair of interceptions last season.
LB Preston Smith 4 years - 52 Million Dollars. 16 million dollar signing bonus, a 2019 cap figure of 6.2 million.
An extremely durable edge rusher the past four years with the Washington Redskins, hasn't missed a game.
OL Bill Turner 4 years - 28 Million Dollars. 9 million dollar signing bonus and a 2019 cap figure of 4.25 million.
Split his first five seasons between Miami and Denver and has started at multiple positions.
By my math, when the NFL calendar year begins on Wednesday, the Packers will be cutting signing bonus checks alone for 56 million dollars.
The release of Perry, without a post-June 1 designation will also be expensive, for this year. The Packers will take a one year cap hit this year of just over 11 million dollars but will save 3.3 in cap space in the process.
To help make sense of the dollars and cents the franchise committed today, I turned to my WBAY-TV Cover 2 colleague and ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky.
So Rob, has Gutekunst come through on his January, 2018 vow and proved there's a new way of doing business in Green Bay?
Appears to be exactly what Gutekunst was looking for with not just a rare Packer splash in free agency, this was a cannonball.
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