Green Bay Packers 3-4 defensive end Ryan Pickett is one of the team’s leaders and is still one of the team’s better players on defense despite his age. Part of the reason why Pickett is one of the Packers best defensive players is because the Packers defense doesn’t have that many good defensive players, but most of it is due to Pickett’s role in the Packers scheme and quietly solid play. He hasn’t recorded many stats this season and his numbers aren’t nearly as good as they were last year, but I think Pickett is still doing a solid job this season.
Like nose tackle B.J. Raji, Pickett is set to become a free agent. While the Packers have reached out to Raji and have even offered him a ridiculous $8 million per year (what’s even more ridiculous is that Raji rejected that massive offer), Pickett said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn, that the Packers haven’t reached out to him about potentially re-signing him. Ted Thompson and the Packers don’t usually like keeping players as old as Pickett, but Pickett is well-worth keeping.
First of all, Pickett really wants to stay in Green Bay and retire with the Packers organization, and he’s also a leader for this team. Additionally, Pickett is still a quality player, and the Packers have so many holes on defense that they can’t afford to allow a spot that has always been solid suddenly turn into a need. Getting rid of Raji makes plenty of sense due to his cost and mediocre play (yet, the Packers want to throw the farm at him and give him a huge long-term deal), but Pickett is cheap and only wants a short-term deal that fits his age.
Though his lack of stats may seem to show that Pickett isn’t doing as good of a job (18 tackles this year compared to 51 last year), you can’t evaluate 3-4 DEs solely off of tackles. He’s still been one of the best players on the Packers defense this year and deserves to stick around for at least another year, and Pickett definitely seems willing to take a paycut.