The Green Bay Packers have made a commitment to improving their special teams from a couple of seasons ago, and general manager Brian Gutekunst has made that that his top priority in free agency this offseason.
With the vast majority of Green Bay’s moves being focused around retaining key veterans on special teams, another impact player on the “we-fense” is coming back for the 2023 season. The Packers announced via their team website that veteran linebacker Eric Wilson had been re-signed by Gutekunst and his front office.
Wilson was an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati back in 2017, spending his first four seasons in the league with the Minnesota Vikings as a contributor and starter on defense. He then bounced around with the Eagles, Texans, and Saints before landing in Green Bay.
Despite coming on halfway through the year, Wilson led the Packers last season with 13 special teams tackles while also blocking a punt in Week 6 against the Jets. As a depth piece at linebacker and special teams contributor, Wilson was able to earn another shot with the team in 2023.
Green Bay’s Special Teams-Themed Offseason
It hasn’t been an exciting offseason as far as moves are concerned, but the Packers have appeared determined to give special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia everything he needs for next season.
Free agency kicked off with arguably the biggest move of the offseason so far for the Packers, with Green Bay retaining All-Pro kickoff returner Keisean Nixon. The 25-year-old stepped into the role in the middle of last season and provided a huge boost to the return unit, leading the NFL in kickoff return yardage.
Nixon will provide some depth in Green Bay’s secondary, as will newly-acquired safety Tarvarius Moore. The veteran safety had a solid year for the 49ers after tearing his achilles in 2021, serving a consistent role on both defense and special teams. Moore will likely have a similar role for the Packers, particularly with his special teams contributions.
Safety Rudy Ford was also a special teams contributor last season, but also developed into a reliable starter for the defense. His breakout game came against the Dallas Cowboys after racking up a pair of interceptions in the win. Now, Ford is staying put after signing a one-year, $2 million deal with the Packers.
All of these moves give the Packers depth on defense and help on special teams, making it clear what Gutekunst and his staff are prioritizing for 2023.
Latest on Aaron Rodgers
While the Packers front office is busy focusing on special teams, fans around the NFL are anxiously waiting for an Aaron Rodgers trade to be finalized.
The Packers entered into trade discussions with the New York Jets prior to the start of free agency. However, even with Rodgers revealing that he intends to play for the Jets on The Pat McAfee Show, a deal has yet to be finalized.
After a flurry of updates at the start of free agency, information has been much more limited ever since. The most recent update came from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who suggested that talks had stalled between the two sides.
However, with all of the information that had come out around the start of free agency along with Rodgers’ own comments, all signs are pointing towards the four-time MVP playing for the Jets in 2023.