Packers Urged to Sign Safety With 7 Interceptions in 2023

Geno Stone

Getty Images Wide receiver Shi Smith of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by safety Geno Stone of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Green Bay Packers could field a revamped secondary in 2024.

Given the potential departure of Darnell Savage via free agency, and cornerback being a position in need of serious attention from general manager Brian Gutekunst, the Packers could expend significant resources in the secondary this offseason.

Pro Football Focus listed Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone as the one free agent whom the Packers should pursue in March.

“If Darnell Savage departs in free agency, the Packers will need safety help,” Gordon McGuinness wrote for PFF. “Despite tallying 7 interceptions in 2023, Stone is unlikely to break the bank as a free agent signing. He is not a standout run defender but has earned PFF coverage grades above 73.0 in each of the past two seasons and showcased his ball-hawking ability this past year.”

Savage, who has developed into a core contributor on the Packers’ defense, including returning an interception for a touchdown in Green Bay’s NFC wild-card victory over the Dallas Cowboys, could be a hot commodity on the open market.

Given the Ravens’ quality depth at safety, thanks to Kyle Hamilton’s emergence in his second season and Marcus Williams’ steady contributions, Stone could wind up hitting the open market looking for opportunities to take on an increased role.

Can Packers Afford Geno Stone?

Stone would hit the market at an ideal time to cash in.

Originally chosen in the seventh-round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Ravens, the 2023 season was the strongest of Stone’s career.

In addition to intercepting 7 passes, Stone set new career highs with 68 total tackles, 9 pass breakups and 0.5 tackles for loss.

Gutekunst and the Packers might need to do some financial gymnastics this offseason because they are projected to have just $7.9 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. But, Stone could be an ideal fit to upgrade a key position on a defense that could be in transition in 2024.

Packers Coach Matt LaFleur Praised for Jordan Love’s Development

The Packers are reaping the benefits, ahead of the NFC divisional round against the San Francisco 49ers, of quarterback Jordan Love‘s emergence after holding the clipboard behind Aaron Rodgers for three seasons.

Love is in the midst of a torrid second half of his first season as the Packers’ starting quarterback, throwing 19 touchdowns to just one interception since Green Bay’s Thanksgiving victory over the Detroit Lions.

Included in that stretch is a three-touchdown pass postseason debut for Love, leading the Packers over the Cowboys in blowout fashion.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has garnered praise from former NFL quarterback Matt Ryan for Green Bay’s unorthodox approach to Love’s development.

“I think it’s really showcased the kind of teacher that Matt is because I think you’ve seen steady growth from Jordan throughout the entire year,” Ryan told ESPN. “If you just look at the numbers from Week 11 on, it’s just incredibly impressive.

“They went through the growing pains of starting for the first time, and I think Matt took his time and didn’t give Jordan too much too quickly and let him play into it.”

LaFleur was Ryan’s position coach for two seasons, including a 2016 campaign that ended in a Super Bowl appearance for the Falcons.

After passing for 4,159 yards with 32 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, Love has the Packers believing the future is bright and Super Bowls could be on the horizon for this quarterback-head coach duo.

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