GREEN BAY, Wis. – If running back Aaron Jones and center Corey Linsley depart in free agency, which is the expectation, their departures would create holes in the Green Bay Packers’ lineup in 2021.
In 2022, though, the Packers would enjoy a pair of compensatory draft picks.
According to OverTheCap.com’s Nick Korte, the Packers would receive fourth-round picks for both players. His projection is based on the predicted contracts provided in ProFootballFocus.com’s ranking of the top 200 free agents.
Compensatory draft picks are awarded based on a few factors, but average annual salary is most important.
PFF projects Linsley signing with the Los Angeles Chargers on a three-year deal worth $33 million. The Packers and the All-Pro center have not spoken about a new contract. PFF projects Jones signing a four-year deal worth $46 million with the Miami Dolphins.
Those averages put them squarely in the fourth-round bracket.
For what it’s worth, the Packers would only receive one of those fourth-round picks under PFF’s predictions. That’s because PFF believes the Packers will sign receiver Will Fuller away from the Houston Texans with a monster five-year deal worth $87.5 million.
Green Bay’s interest in Fuller is easy to project. General manager Brian Gutekunst tried to acquire Fuller in a trade at last year’s deadline but couldn’t get the deal done. Good thing, too. Less than a month after the trade deadline came and went, Fuller was suspended six games for a PED violation.
Fuller explained in a post on Instagram that earlier this year he sought treatment from a medical professional who "prescribed medication that he believed to be permitted under the NFL's drug policy. However, Fuller later learned the substance was not actually permitted under the league's performance enhancing drug policy.
In 11 games, Fuller caught 53 passes for 879 yards and eight touchdowns with a 16.6-yard average. All four figures were career highs. His six-game suspension will carry over into Week 1 of the 2021 season.
The Packers have six players in PFF's top 200. They are in the video.
The Packers are expected to get three compensatory picks in 2011 for losing Blake Martinez, Bryan Bulaga and Kyler Fackrell.