Packers Named Top Destination for Former Defensive Player of The Year

The Green Bay Packers have expended significant resources overhauling the secondary this offseason, and might not be done yet.

After coming out swinging in free agency, and signing top safety Xavier McKinney, the Packers landed a versatile playmaker in Georgia’s Javon Bullard to pair alongside him.

However, depth at cornerback remains a concern, especially in a scheme that prioritizes strong secondary play.

Help could be on the way in Green Bay.

CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr compiled a list of the best remaining free agents and suggests the Packers could add 2019 Defensive Player of The Year Stephon Gilmore to add a strong veteran presence to the cornerback room.

“Still a starter despite being on four teams in three years,” Kerr writes for CBS. “Gilmore can still play at a high level — even at 33 years old. He should find a job next month after allowing four passing touchdowns and a 60.3 rating in coverage.

“Green Bay didn’t take a cornerback until pick No. 255 but put a lot of resources into the safety position. They could use some outside help next to Jaire Alexander, and Gilmore would be more than ideal to challenge the oft-injured Eric Stokes for playing time.”

Gilmore, 33, is three years removed from his most recent Pro Bowl appearance but finished last season tying a career-high with 68 total tackles and two interceptions playing in a Cowboys secondary that featured DaRon Bland, who returned a record five touchdowns for interceptions.

Packers Need Cornerback Depth

Gilmore has plenty of big-game experience, and could immediately compete for a starting job this spring and summer leading into the 2024 campaign.

Jaire Alexander remains a stalwart on the perimeter, but the Packers lack a dominant, proven presence at the opposite cornerback spot.

In a year where the Packers believe they have a roster capable of making a legitimate run at a Super Bowl, there is value in adding a player of Gilmore’s caliber who has made five Pro Bowls and garnered First-Team All-Pro recognition twice in his 12-year career.

Packers defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley has worked with the likes of Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis during his career, but, a duo of Alexander and Gilmore would arguably be the most accomplished he’s had at his disposal with two young and emerging safeties roaming behind them.

Last season, Pro Football Focus points out that opponents averaged just 13.1 yards per reception when lined up against Gilmore, in his second season in a Cowboys uniform.

Can Green Bay Afford to Sign Gilmore?

At this stage of free agency, Gilmore is likely looking at a one-year prove-it type of contract.

According to Spotrac, Gilmore’s market value is somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.96 million to $9 million on a one-year contract.

Meanwhile, as of May 1, the Packers currently have upwards of $21.19 million in cap space, which would be plenty of spending flexibility to fit a Gilmore contract under the cap.

If general manager Brian Gutekunst and the Packers aren’t content with Eric Stokes, Keisean Nixon, Evan Williams, or rookie Kalen King or don’t believe the position group has enough experience as comprised, Gilmore would be an immediate upgrade.

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