The Green Bay Packers have been fairly quiet in free agency this offseason, despite the need to address some glaring holes that prevented the team from reaching the Super Bowl in 2o2o. On Wednesday, the NFC North organization kept another one of its own players rather than spend too much on an outsider.
The #Packers are re-signing tight end Marcedes Lewis to a two-year, $8 million deal that includes $2.1 million guaranteed, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 24, 2021
">According to Tom Pelissero, the Packers will re-sign veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis to a two-year, $8 million deal. The 36-year-old will receive $2.1 million guaranteed.
The new deal marks an impressive milestone in Lewis's career, as he'll now be under contract through the 2022 season, which would be his 17th in the NFL. Although his production has dipped off since his arrival in Green Bay, he's still widely regarded as an important locker room presence.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers favored the much younger Robert Tonyan last year, leaving Lewis with a much smaller role. He started 15 games for the Packers in 2020, but made just 10 catches for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
Still, the Packers clearly want him Lewis with the team moving forward and showed that with the new deal.
Lewis becomes the latest offensive player for the Packers to re-sign this offseason. 2020 Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones re-signed with the team on a massive deal earlier this month.
The Packers have never been major spenders in free agency, but were also held up by contract negotiations with Rodgers. The front office tried to get their star quarterback to re-structure his deal to free up cap space. Ultimately, Green Bay decided to not change Rodgers' contract, paying him a $6.8 million roster bonus.
“The Packers did not alter Aaron Rodgers’ contract this past Friday, a source told ESPN, and they paid his $6.8 million roster bonus as is rather than converting it into a signing bonus, which would have freed up more than $4.5 million in salary-cap space for this season,” ESPN's Rob Demovsky wrote. “… It’s a sign that perhaps the Packers don’t want to count any more dead money than they already would have to if they moved on from their three-time MVP quarterback after this season.”
The long-term future of the Packers quarterback situation might seem hazy, but Green Bay seems to be slowly re-tooling for next fall.