Three Former Packers Depart For Free Agency
Green Bay Packers will be without three players from last year’s team. Two of them are obvious while the third one is one that I wonder about. On Monday night, Blake Martinez had a deal done with the New York Giants. On Tuesday, teammate Kyler Fackrell joined him in the Big Apple. Brian Bulaga got a deal done with the Los Angeles Chargers. As expected, the Packers moved on from Martinez and Bulaga. Fackrell departing is not a surprise per se, but he is a player that Packers will need to replace.
Martinez didn’t feel like he was coming back from the start. Even before the Packers inked Christian Kirksey to a deal, Martinez’s contract requirements felt far too high for him. Now, the Stanford linebacker was able to cash in with the Giants. They paid him at a 10 million dollar rate which is what Martinez requested in the first place. Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball can feel good about not giving Blake that much money.
Fackrell joined him in New York, and maybe it’s a bad thing for Fackrell when I don’t think one person talked about him being a free agent. That is a bad sign, right? Fackrell only had one sack last season when Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith came to town after getting 10.5 in 2018. Patrick Baldwin was his position coach in Green Bay, and he is now the defensive coordinator with the Giants. They’re hoping magic can be recreated. Fackrell’s departure likely paves the way for Rashan Gary to have more snaps, but the Packers will need to add another EDGE rusher in free agency or the draft.
Like Martinez, Bulaga’s contract was too much for Gutekunst. While he did not receive Anthony Constanzo money, he did get 13 million per year for the next three seasons from Los Angeles. Bulaga continued a long tradition of Packers linemen that do not get their third contract with the team. Other names are Mike Wahle, Marco Rivera, Mark Tauscher, and others. Packers do not give out the third contract. Why? They seemingly know better.
All had fond memories at one point with the team. Bulaga likely had the most. Thanks for the memories, all.