Packers Encouraged to Sign 5-Time Pro Bowler by ESPN

The cornerback position has some question marks for the Green Bay Packers, but an established veteran like Stephon Gilmore could give the team some much-needed depth.

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz shared a list of final moves all 32 NFL teams should make before training camp. The list included extensions for current players and free agent signings.

For the Packers, Schatz laid out why Gilmore would be a logical addition.

“The Packers need a backup for Stokes with more experience than Corey Ballentine or Carrington Valentine,” Schatz wrote. “Gilmore, 33, still has something left in the tank and would be valuable to the Packers even if he couldn’t beat out Stokes for the starting spot in training camp.”

Given his resume, Gilmore could come in and immediately compete for a starting job in training camp.

Can Stephon Gilmore Still Play at a High Level?

Gilmore may not be the superstar he used to be. However, it seems like he has enough left in the tank to keep competing as an NFL cornerback.

It’s been an impressive career for Gilmore. He was a first-round pick back in 2012, and has done just about everything someone can do at his position. He’s a Super Bowl champion, Defensive Player of the Year, two-time first-team All-Pro, and five-time Pro Bowler.

However, it’s been a few years since Gilmore’s last Pro Bowl appearance, or significant accolade. That doesn’t mean that he’s completely fallen off. He had a respectable 2023 season with the Dallas Cowboys, recording a career-high 68 tackles with two interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

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According to Pro Football Focus, Gilmore has also continued to be reliable in coverage. He allowed a passer rating of 90.4 when targeted in 2023, which is just a slight uptick from the 82.6 rating allowed in 2022.

Gilmore will turn 34 years old at the start of the 2024 season. However, for a team that could use another veteran presence, he could still be a valuable piece to their secondary.

Don’t Sleep on Carrington Valentine

Plenty of media outlets are projecting the Packers sign a veteran cornerback. Don’t tell Carrington Valentine that, because he could be in store for a strong 2024 campaign.

Valentine was only a seventh-round pick last season out of Kentucky. He wasn’t expected to have much of an impact, but made a big splash as a starter for a large chunk of last season. He played in all 17 regular season games, racking up 44 tackles and nine pass breakups.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur expects big things from Valentine in Year 2. He spoke glowingly about what he’s seen from the young corner during offseason workouts.

“I think it’s been outstanding,” LaFleur told reporters at minicamp “That’s a guy that stands out, quite frankly, in my mind, in terms of, we challenged him to put on some weight after the regular season. He came back, and he definitely looks bigger, and is bigger. He’s stronger…I’m excited for him. I think he has a really bright future.”

He may not have been a household name coming out of Kentucky, but Valentine’s intensity and effort have him in a legitimate competition with Eric Stokes to be a full-time starting cornerback in 2024.

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