It was “bittersweet” leaving the Green Bay Packers for the Lions, but T.J. Lang simply got a better deal to return to his native Detroit.
The Packers’ final offer of $21.5 million for 3 years didn’t come close to Detroit’s $28.5 million along with $19 million guaranteed, and that was that.
Many are left scratching their heads at what the team does next to address the big void left by the departure of a Pro Bowler and integral part of the offense.
“(The Packers’ offer) was something that I’m sure will be brought out over time. I’ll let other people handle that,” Lang said during a conference call. “(With) Detroit, not only just the offer, but all things considered, it was just a no-brainer in my mind.”
A few current options (sans draft and free agency), but very limited:
– Don Barclay, returning on a one-year deal – started 24 games in four years, but inconsistent.
– 2016 2nd-round pick Jason Briggs – played some guard, but only useful at tackle.
– 2016 6th-round pick Kyle Murphy – redshirted last season, could make the transition from tackle to guard, but unlikely.
– Lucas Patrick – 2016 undrafted FA – practice squad; longshot.
The State Journal’s Jason Wilde, per Madison.com: ‘ Instead, the Packers now must decide how they’ll replace their second Pro Bowl guard in just over six months. The most recent time, when they cut three-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton at the end of training camp, they did so with the knowledge veteran backup Lane Taylor was ready to move into the starting lineup. This time, there’s no obvious replacement for Lang on the roster.
Even coach Mike McCarthy, speaking at the NFL scouting combine recently, was hoping he wouldn’t have to find a replacement. “Those are hypotheticals,” McCarthy replied when asked who’d take over if Lang left. “I’m counting on T.J. to come back.” ‘