Packers re-signing LB and special teamer Kristian Welch - Sport News

Packers re-signing LB and special teamer Kristian Welch

Green Bay is bringing back one of their core special teamers for 2024, but the linebacker position still has holes.

According to his own Instagram page, the Green Bay Packers have re-signed linebacker Kristian Welch for the 2024 season. Welch was originally brought in last season to assist on special teams, a phase of the game where he wound up playing 60 percent of the team’s snaps in available games. For perspective, the only players to record more special teams snaps for Green Bay than Welch last season were Eric Wilson, Jonathan Owens and Josiah Deguara, all Packers whose contracts expired after the 2023 season.

Don’t expect Welch to contribute much on the defensive side of the ball this year, even in defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley’s new scheme. In his four-year NFL career, he’s recorded just 44 defensive snaps — all with the Baltimore Ravens — compared to 1,101 special teams snaps. He’s about as true of a special teams ace as they come.

With that being said, he’s also only one of four linebackers that the Packers now have under contract. The others are Quay Walker, Isaiah McDuffie and former practice squadder Christian Young, who is a converted safety. Recent reports have indicated that Walker is going to be playing the “Will” linebacker role for Green Bay under Hafley, meaning that the Packers still have a void at either the “Mike” or “Sam” linebacker position, depending on how they see McDuffie fitting with the team.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Packers were still in the mix in the veteran linebacker market, as they were apparently interested in former Denver Broncos “Mike” linebacker Josey Jewell up until he signed a three-year, $22.75 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. It has also been rumored that Green Bay is hoping to bring back Wilson, who played 121 defensive snaps in 2023 for the Packers to go along with 308 special teams snaps.

View this as a win for Rich Bisaccia’s unit, as they’re able to bring back a core special teams contributor. Plenty of work still needs to be done at the linebacker position, though, before they’re ready to play a football game in 2024.

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