GREEN BAY — After an active opening week of free agency in which he added four new faces to the Green Bay Packers’ roster — including new safety Adrian Amos — general manager Brian Gutekunst said there could be some worthwhile bargains to be found as free agency moved into its second week.
Perhaps one of those bargains will turn out to be Amos’ running mate at safety.
ESPN reported Monday evening that New York Giants safety Curtis Riley visited the Packers earlier in the day.
Riley started all 16 games for the Giants last season and had four interceptions — a total that would have led the Packers in 2018. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix led the Packers with three interceptions even though he was traded in late October to Washington.
Riley’s visit came on the same day two other Packers defensive backs moved on to new teams.
Veteran cornerback Bashaud Breeland, an in-season pickup last year who bolstered the team’s injury-plagued secondary, departed after agreeing to terms with the Kansas City Chiefs, a league source confirmed. ESPN reported Breeland’s deal is for one year at $5 million, plus incentives.
Breeland, 27, signed with the Packers in late September after the team showed interest in him in the spring in free agency and Breeland’s three-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers was voided because of a non-football foot injury. He wound up playing in seven games, starting five, and had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown against Miami late in the season.
With Breeland departing, the Packers figure to count heavily on cornerbacks Kevin King and Jaire Alexander, their top draft picks the past two years, as well as veteran Tramon Williams and second-year cornerback Josh Jackson in coverage.
Later Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they’d signed ex-Packers safety Kentrell Brice to a one-year deal. Brice, who made the Packers’ roster as an undrafted free agent in 2016, was a restricted free agent but the Packers chose not to make him a qualifying offer.
With Brice out of the mix and Williams, who turned 36 on Saturday, seemingly more suited to play corner and in the slot, the only other safeties with any game experience currently on the roster are 2017 second-round pick Josh Jones and Raven Greene, who made the team as an undrafted rookie free agent last season.
Meanwhile, veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb was visiting the Dallas Cowboys’ facility on Monday, ESPN.com reported. Cobb, 28, is an unrestricted free agent after the four-year, $40 million deal he signed in March 2015 expired.
Cobb was plagued by hamstring injuries last season and finished with just 38 receptions for 383 yards and two touchdowns after a nine-catch, 142-yard performance in the season opener against Chicago, in which he caught a winning 75-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to cap the Packers’ come-from-behind victory.
The Cowboys are in the market for a slot receiver after free agent Cole Beasley departed for the Buffalo Bills. The Los Angeles Rams also have shown interest in Cobb, and it’s unclear whether the Packers are interested in bringing him back if they can do so at a reasonable price.
“Randall has been a great player for us. He’s one of the all-time Packers,” Gutekunst said at the annual NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last month. “We’re kind of still putting that puzzle together. (You have to) kind of see where their markets are going to be at, and does that fit what we’re trying to do as a football team?”
Another of the Packers best wide receivers in recent years, Jordy Nelson, was set to visit the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, ESPN reported. Seahawks GM John Schneider was on the Packers staff in 2008 when Green Bay drafted Nelson, who was cut by the Oakland Raiders last week. The Chiefs, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans also are reportedly interested in Nelson.
The Packers did announce the signing of veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis, who came to terms on a one-year deal last week.
Lewis, who turns 35 in May, played in all 16 games last season but was targeted just four times and caught three passes for 39 yards. He’s primarily a blocker at this point in his career but could play a meaningful role for new coach Matt LaFleur, who said at the combine his scheme requires a strong blocker at tight end.
Lewis also has history with Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who was his coordinator and play-caller in Jacksonville in 2016 and 2017, when Lewis had 44 receptions for 487 yards and six touchdowns.