But that five million came on a single season, $5 million contract that now comes due with the start of free agency this week.
Does Green Bay GM Ted Thompson stick to his mantra of “signing his own” players or does he continue to stick to his draft and develop philosophy in the case of Nick Perry?
Thompson drafted Perry in the first round of 2012, a decision that, at the time, was applauded across Packers Nation.
Until they discovered that Perry seemed to be made of glass.
Over the course of his first four seasons, Perry didn’t record a single complete season.
In his rookie year, Perry played six games before being lost for the season. During that short rookie season, Perry flashed with two sacks, 13 tackles and five assists.
In 2013, he played 11 games, had four sacks, 24 tackles and nine assists.
His best season, as far as playing time, came in 2014 when he played in 15 games, recording only three sacks, 23 tackles and nine assists.
In both 2014 and last year Perry played in 14 games. However, he started 12 games this past season. Because of his increase in playing time, Perry’s stats jumped last year.
After recording just 3.5 sacks in 2015, along with 16 tackles and 15 assists, Perry showed some talent this past season while posting 11 sacks, 35 tackles and 17 assists.
Are those numbers enough to justify a long-term deal in Green Bay?
I don’t think so.
If there ever was a time to cut bait and let a player walk, this is it.
The Packers aren’t going to get Perry back into camp for that $5 million per-year cost … somebody is going to pay him more and, for Green Bay, Investing in a player who has demonstrated he can’t consistently stay on the field wouldn’t be a wise investment.
The Packers already have millions invested on the other side of the line with Clay Matthews and they can’t afford to pay another linebacker, especially one that’s injury-prone.
Though the Packers most likely have no plans of bringing Julius Peppers back for another round and will save significant cap space without his salary, Thompson needs to look at spending that money in other ways – Perry is not the answer.
So, as the Packers and the rest of the teams in the NFL head toward free agency and the Draft, it would be wise to look at the future and the guys already on the roster to take the next steps in their own development.
Nick Perry should be allowed to walk … maybe nobody steps forward with offers toward Perry and Thompson has the chance to bring him back on a team-friendly contract? That’s always a possibility.
As the coming days will tell the tale with Nick Perry, we’ll stand by and watch.
In the meantime, here are Perry’s complete career statistics, per profootballreference.com: