The Green Bay Packers have opened training camp. This is the next in a series of articles previewing the Packers position by position, analyzing the talent on the roster and discussing key questions that are facing the Packers as they begin preparation for the 2022 season.
Today we look at the safeties. For our look at the quarterbacks, click here and for running backs, click here. The wide receivers can be found here and the tight ends here while the offensive line can be found here. The defensive line here, the outside linebackers here and inside linebackers here. The cornerbacks are here. We will examine another position each day until the start of training camp.
- Adrian Amos
Amos has been a great pickup by the Packers since they signed him as a free agent in 2019. The former Penn State star may not be flashy but he’s very intelligent and his sound positional play allows his teammates to take make plays because they know Amos will be where he’s supposed to be.
Amos is consistent, hard-working and provides leadership in the locker room. He deserves the respect he gets from coaches and teammates.
- Darnell Savage
Savage struggled with his consistency in 2021 after finishing the 2020 season at a near Pro Bowl level. The Maryland alum should be more comfortable in Joe Barry’s defense in year two and the Packers are hoping he can bounce back and raise his level of play.
Savage can make plays near the line of scrimmage and in coverage but he seemed hesitant at times last season.
The Packers picked up his fifth-year option so Savage will be back in 2023. How well he plays this season will go a long way towards determining his long-term future with the team.
- Vernon Scott
With Henry Black gone, Vernon Scott will battle for the wide-open third safety spot behind Amos and Savage.
Scott only played 17 defensive snaps last season it what was a disappointing season for the former seventh-round pick out of TCU only got into three games and needs to show more in training camp this season to make the team.
- Shawn Davis
The Packers signed Davis to the practice squad last season and he was elevated for one game and made one tackle on special teams.
The coaching staff seems high on the former University of Florida star who was a fifth-round pick of the Colts last year.
Davis has yet to prove he can contribute at the NFL level but he will be in the thick of the battle for the third safety spot.
- Innis Gaines
Gaines played five special teams snaps in one game for the Packers a year ago and spent the season on the practice squad. Gaines is trying to overcome two torn ACL injuries that cut short his final two years at TCU.
He is hoping to put the injuries behind him and regain his college form so he can compete for a roster spot.
- Tariq Carpenter
The Packers love Carpenter’s size and range. At 6’3” and 225 pounds, he can hit and may be asked to play a hybrid safety/inside linebacker.
Carpenter was selected in the seventh round of this year’s draft for his potential on special teams but he could battle for playing time on defense since depth at safety is wide open.
Rich Bisaccia was instrumental in the Packers decision to draft Carpenter.
Three Key Questions
- Can Savage Bounce Back?
Savage looked like he was heading for star status late in 2020 but couldn’t quite get back to that level last season.
This means his career is at a crossroads. Will he remain inconsistent and just be an above average safety or is he capable of being an upper-echelon player at the position? This year will go a long way towards determining that.
It will also determine his long-term status with the team.
- Who Will Be the Third Safety?
Amos and Savage have the top two spots on the depth chart but behind them there is nobody proven on this roster. Right now, if either of the top two safeties miss significant time, this defense could be in trouble.
The battle is wide open right now but if nobody steps up don’t be surprised if Gutekunst looks to sign a veteran who can fill in for the short term.
- Will the Packers Re-sign Adrian Amos?
This is the final year of Amos’ free agent contract that he signed with the Packers in 2019. He will be 30 before the 2023 season starts so the Packers will have to decide if it’s worth signing him to a new long-term deal.
If Amos plays well this season, he will help his chances significantly. If Savage also falters, the pressure will really be on Gutekunst to bring Amos back to provide stability at the position and throughout the secondary.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
Click here for more great Packers coverage