Jason Pierre-Paul, Packers could be a fantastic match
After the Green Bay Packers cut ties with All-Pro edge-rusher Za'Darius Smith this offseason, the time for Preston Smith and Rashan Gary to control the edge has officially come. When Za'Darius Smith had missed virtually the entire 2021 regular season, Preston Smith and Gary both recorded at least nine sacks off the edge. They were very balanced. But with Za'Darius Smith now with the rival Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay needs depth. The team did select edge-rusher Kingsley Enagbare out of South Carolina in the fifth round of April's NFL Draft. However, backup edge-rushers Jonathan Garvin and Tipa Galeai are very inexperienced. That is why a veteran like Jason Pierre-Paul could be a fantastic signing for Green Bay.
Pierre-Paul, 33, is one of the more experienced edge-rushers in the league. The two-time Super Bowl winner has recorded at least 8.5 sacks in six of his 12 career seasons, including three campaigns with at least 12.5 sacks. His most dominant season came back in 2011 when he recorded career-highs in sacks (16.5), tackles (86), tackles for loss (23) and QB hits (28). The former All-Pro has 91.5 career sacks and more than 160 QB hits. His durability as he has gotten older has been something special too. In his four seasons in Tampa Bay, he started in 52 of 54 total games played.
His experience and production could both be great help for the Packers. A trio of Preston Smith (career-high in sacks is 12), Gary (Defensive Player of the Year candidate) and a longtime veteran in Pierre-Paul (three-time Pro Bowl selection) would be a very scary, well-rounded group for any opposing quarterback. Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry has a lot of power on his defense in year two. They have stars at every level. The one thing they could be missing is depth on the edge. Signing Pierre-Paul would be a huge move for an already-strong, ascending defense. A one-year deal for the former All-Pro makes a lot of sense, especially with Green Bay's $17M in cap space.