Packers Are Rich With Options To Replace Corey Linsley at Center
Corey Linsley left for sunny Los Angeles on Monday afternoon. He signed a massive deal with the Los Angeles Chargers to the tune of five years, 62 million dollars. He will make slightly over 12.5 million per year. And he is the highest-paid center in the National Football League. Green Bay was never bringing him back. If you thought that, I’m sorry that you didn’t read me all offseason when I told you it wasn’t happening. Green Bay doesn’t pay offensive lineman a third time just like Spike didn’t play with girls in the American classic ‘Little Giants.’ Where does Green Bay go from here? Well, the opportunities are endless for the Packers. Here’s my preference for what the Packers should do.
1. Move Lucas Patrick to center – Lucas Patrick played most of the year at right guard. He had some bad moments during the season, but for the most part, he played above-average football. Patrick can be a starter in this league. I’m not doubting that at all. Aaron Rodgers also has a good relationship with him. Patrick is ready for this next step in his career. While there are other options I’ll write out, this is the best one. Patrick is the top guy I want to replace Linsley.
2. Bring in a cheaper Linsley replacement – Green Bay has done this in the past. They let a lineman walk and bring in a cheaper option. Jabari Evans was the product of that a few years ago. Brett Jones played center for the Vikings last season, and he fits the bill for Packers’ linemen. If they’re not sold on the idea of Patrick, my bet is they move in this direction.
3. Move Elgton Jenkins inside even more – This is another move that could happen. Jenkins did play center in college. He played it very well. I do think this is limiting what he can do on the football field though. With David Bakhtiari not being back to start 2021, Jenkins is better suited for an outside move whether it’s full-time at right tackle or temporary at left tackle. He could move in, but Green Bay likely needs him outside.
4. Jake Hanson or a rookie gets a chance – This would be very doubtful in my eyes. Hanson did not play at all this season. There is no chemistry there with him and Rodgers. I have a very hard time with Hanson getting the nod here. Or a rookie for that matter. There will be interior linemen available, and maybe, that’s a place where Green Bay looks in the draft. But I find it hard to believe one will be ready to be a Day One starter.
It is sad to see Linsley go, but it’s a move that had to be made with the amount of money Linsley received.