According to an NFL source, the New York Jets are readying a “monster” offer in an attempt to wrest Nick Perry away from the Green Bay Packers.
The free-agent signing period doesn’t begin until 3 p.m. Thursday but teams have been allowed to negotiate with free agents since 11 a.m. Tuesday.
An offer — possibly for five years — may be given to Perry today, the source said. It’s possible the Packers asked Perry to shop himself around, with the understanding that he and his agents would give the Packers a chance to make a comparable offer.
According to the latest NFLPA salary-cap data, the Packers had $38.38 million of cap space. The Jets had $24.43 million.
Playing on a one-year, prove-it style contract, Perry’s fifth season in the NFL was by far his best season. Not only did Perry have a team-high 11 sacks, but his 60 tackles were twice as many as any of the team’s other outside linebackers.
Perry would be a huge loss for a Packers defense that wasn’t very good last year, anyway. And he’d be a huge upgrade for the Jets. In their 3-4 scheme, Ourlads.com lists Sheldon Richardson and Jordan Jenkins as the starting outside linebackers. Jenkins had 2.5 sacks and Richardson had 1.5. In fact, the seven outside linebackers on their roster combined for 6.5 sacks as New York finished 28th in sack percentage.
The Packers got every penny out of Perry’s $5 million contract. He had 12.5 sacks and 19 additional hurries (according to STATS) in his first four seasons. This season, Perry had a team-high 11 sacks along with 16.5 additional hurries (according to STATS) and 15 quarterback hits (according to the coaches’ count). Perry missed two games with a broken hand but recorded three one-handed sacks in the final two regular-season games. Adding the sacks to the coaches’ hit count, that’s a total of 26. Julius Peppers had 19.5, Clay Matthews had 18 and Datone Jones had 17. In ProFootballFocus.com’s pass-rushing productivity, which measures sacks, hits and pressures per pass-rushing snap, Perry was a team-best 24th out of the 57 3-4 outside linebackers who played more than 140 pass-rushing snaps.
Moreover, Perry led the unit in tackles (60) and snaps per tackle (10.05). He’s as strong as an ox; Perry vs. a tight end is a mismatch. Long regarded as one of the best run-stopping linebackers in the league, Perry ranked No. 1 among outside linebackers who played at least 104 snaps vs. the run in ProFootballFocus.com’s run-stop percentage, which measures impact tackles. Perry had 24 run stops; Matthews and Peppers combined for only 14. Perry led the outside linebacker corps with five stuffs (tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage vs. the run).
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.