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While much of the attention is focused on which new player, or players, that the Green Bay Packers are going to add in free agency — and they will, they’ve reportedly been interested in addressing the cornerback, interior defensive line, and offensive line positions — one not so flashy move that they should make is once again re-signing Marcedes Lewis.

The soon-to-be 37-year-old Lewis, as he has done for much of his career, does the dirty work in this Matt LaFleur offense—and he’s really Wholesale Green Bay Packers Jerseys good at it too. Occasionally we will see him catching a pass from Aaron Rodgers for a touchdown, but more often than not, he is like a sixth offensive lineman on the field in an offense that is built off the run game.

Over the last two seasons, he has 30 receptions on 38 targets, averaging just over 10 yards per catch with four touchdowns. As a run-blocker, he finished fourth among tight ends by Pro Football Focus’ ($) grading system in 2020 and eighth in 2019. In pass protection, he’s finished in the top-15 among tight ends the last two seasons, including fifth in 2019.

What Lewis brings to this offense more times than not isn’t going to show up in the stat sheet, but the impact and the value are there; it just might not be easy to quantify:

“I’ve said it a million times: You can’t put a real value on the impact he has on this football team,” said LaFleur via the Wisconsin State Journal. “I couldn’t be higher on Marcedes Lewis.”

Lewis has not only made a major impact on the field here in Green Bay but in the locker room as well, where he has become a leader and a favorite teammate of many. Again, this isn’t exactly something that can be quantified, but it’s felt throughout the entire team.

“I mean, there’s nobody like that guy. He’s awesome,” said Nathaniel Hackett via the Wisconsin State Journal. “It starts in the locker room, and then it goes onto the field. You can’t say enough about what he brings to our football team. He’s a special guy, and it shows. And that’s why he’s played so long. I hope he plays a lot longer.”

Even without Lewis, the Green Bay Packers have a fairly full tight end room with Robert Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, Josiah Deguara, and Dominique Dafney–although Deguara and Dafney are categorized more as H-backs. And while each of those players is asked to block and can do so with varying degrees of success, there isn’t another Marcedes Lewis on this roster–and the Y-tight end is an important role in LaFleur’s system.

With 15 years in the NFL under his belt, Lewis has no intentions of retiring as he told TMZ Sports last month, and he’d like to continue playing with the Green Bay Packers if possible:

“I’m definitely gonna keep playing. It’d be good if it were in Green Bay. We’ll see. But I feel really good, but most importantly, my mind feels really good.”

In his most recent Zoom call with reporters, Brian Gutekunst was asked about Lewis’ future with the team, and he did say that Green Bay is open to bringing him back for the 2021 season. Take that as you will, but if we’ve learned anything this offseason — and I’m referring to them keeping Preston Smith and re-signing Aaron Jones — if Gutey says something or alludes to something, he’s not just saying it for the heck of it.

As we all know, the Green Bay Packers don’t have a ton of operating room when it comes to the salary cap, but Lewis will likely sign for a veteran minimum deal as he has done in the past. His base salary in 2020 was just $1.1 million, and he registered a cap hit of $2.3 million. Even for the cash-strapped Packers, this is a signing that they should be able to make work with no problem–especially for a player as important to this team, both on and off the field, as Lewis is.

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“The way he prepares, the way he takes care of himself, even after a lengthy career like he’s had, what we ask him to do he’s still able to do at a very high level,” GM Brian Gutekunst said, via Packers Wire. “He’s very important to Matt (LaFleur) and our offense but also to me and our whole team. You can’t have enough guys that are wired like him in your building.”

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