The Green Bay Packers aren’t having much luck at re-signing their own free agents before free agency begins. Like Sam Shields and John Kuhn, the Packers have been in negotiations with outside linebacker Mike Neal.
Like Shields and Kuhn, Neal is choosing to test the market.
The only difference between Neal and the other two guys is it looks like the Packers were actually in the ballpark with their offer to Neal.
Source updated on OLB Mike Neal talks said Packers made meaningful offer but not enough to keep Neal from testing market.
— Pete Dougherty (@PeteDougherty) March 7, 2014
Neal had his finest season as a pro in 2013, after the Packers shuffled him from defensive end to outside linebacker. He put up 47 tackles and five sacks, while starting 10 games. All of those were career highs.
Neal seems to have found a home at linebacker and he’s still learning the position, so he’s only going to get better. Clearly, it would be a good move for the Packers to keep him around and continue his development.
The market will dictate that, though. Other teams may very well see the potential in Neal that the Packers do and offer to pay him accordingly.