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Nick Perry tested the market but will re-sign with Packers

The linebacker cashed in after betting on himself in 2016.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Betting on yourself is a risky move in today’s NFL, but sometimes it can pay off in a big way. Linebacker Nick Perry learned that today, signing a new five-year, $60 million deal with the Green Bay Packers after signing a one-year contract worth just over $5 million last offseason.

The Packers allowed Perry to hit free agency and test the market, but he was a priority for the team, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. His new contract includes an $18.5 million signing bonus, and will pay out $20.8 million in 2017, according to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero.

Re-signing Perry is a huge get for the Packers, who must’ve felt like their entire linebacking corps hit free agency this year. Julius Peppers (who is now 37 years old), Perry, and former first-round pick Datone Jones were all slated to hit unrestricted free agency for the Packers this offseason, and that was just at the outside linebacker position.

After tallying 11 sacks last season, Perry became an immediate priority in Green Bay. The former first-round pick has finally found himself in the Packers defense, serving both as a quality pass rusher and a capable run defender (he notched nine run stuffs over the past two seasons).

In Perry’s breakout year, the Packers improved from 21st to eighth in run defense. With an injury-depleted secondary, Green Bay’s pass defense took a significant hit, dropping down to the league’s proverbial cellar. Losing a talented edge player like Perry could’ve presented even more reason for skepticism, provided that a good pass rush is the best way to mitigate issues on the back end of a defense.

In Perry, the Packers are retaining a young, talented outside linebacker who has quietly emerged into a solid player after whispers of being a “bust” circled earlier in his career. In the upcoming season, Green Bay will look to defend its NFC North championship and win its sixth division title in seven years.