Packers: Bulaga back with Pack
The free agent tackle class wasn’t the strongest to begin with and with Bryan Bulaga’s return to Green Bay only one of our top six free agent tackles has actually made it to the open market. Injuries stunted Bulaga’s growth across 2012 and 2013 (playing only 587 snaps across the two seasons) but in 2011 and 2014 he proved that he is one of the league’s best right tackles and the Packers have waited until the last minute to keep him from getting free.
In Bulaga’s two best seasons he has excelled in pass protection, surrendering only 24 pressures in 2011 and 29 last season, only grading below zero in pass protection four times and only once below -1.0 in the entire 2014 season. The Packers understandably put a premium on protecting Aaron Rodgers and Bulaga’s play style is a perfect fit for that, even if he struggles at times to impose himself on the ground game. Including the playoffs, the Packers averaged less than 4 yards per carry off right tackle and right end even though Packers running backs broke 26 of their 86 tackles on rushes outside of Bulaga.
Much like his teammate Randall Cobb, Bulaga may well have spurned more money on the open market but the chance to stay in a winning organization with arguably the league’s best quarterback makes up for potentially taking a below-market deal. The Packers know Bulaga and he knows the system perfectly and having taken care of their own you have to place the Packers among the favorites to push for supremacy in the NFC in 2015.