2019 NFL Free Agency: Packers fill two biggest needs, will sign Za’Darius Smith and Adrian Amos
Green Bay had huge holes at pass rusher and safety
The Packers were quiet on Monday, the first day of legal tampering in the days leading up to free agency, but that all changed Tuesday morning; the team addressed two of its biggest needs, pass rusher and safety, and is expected to sign Za’Darius Smith and Adrian Amos, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
The Ravens have let Smith, safety Eric Weddle, defensive end Terrell Suggs and linebacker C.J. Moseley all walk in the span of a week.
Smith, a 2015 fourth-round pick out of Kentucky, morphed into one of the Ravens‘ best players, logging 18.5 sacks during his four seasons in Baltimore, including 8.5 sacks last season. And while Kyler Fackrell had a breakout, 10.5-sack season in 2018 for the Packers, Clay Matthews, who is 32 and had just 3.5 sacks last season, is headed for free agency. Replacing Matthews’ production over the last decade was at the top of the Packers’ offseason to-do list.
Amos, meanwhile, was one of the highest-graded safeties in the league last season for the Bears, according to Pro Football Focus. He ranked No. 8 overall; for some perspective, the top Packers safety was Tramon Williams, a 35-year-old converted cornerback who ranked 67th. Next was Josh Jones, the team’s 2017 second-rounder (he ranked 70th). Amos, a 2015 fifth-round pick, had nine passes defended and two interceptions in 2018 as a key cog in one of the NFL’s best defense.
In our latest mock draft, we had Green Bay taking edge rusher Brian Burns with the No. 12 pick, and safety Taylor Rapp at No. 30. That will change in our next version (in case you’re wondering, we had the Packers grabbing wide receiver Marquise Brown at No. 44, which still makes sense). Instead, the Packers can now target other needs, chief among them: tight end and the interior offensive line.