I don’t normally criticize things the Packers do, but this really seems like the Packers are buying high. Lang only has one year of starting experience and it’s not like he was an elite guard or anything last year. Making 15 starts, including playoffs, he graded out as ProFootballFocus’ 19th ranked guard. He’s better in pass protection, where he ranked 6th at his position, allowing just 2 sacks, 1 quarterback hit, and 9 quarterback pressures, but he struggled as a run blocker and he committed 7 penalties.
Obviously, pass protection is more important on an offense like the Packers’ than run blocking is, but it’s important to know that he’s a one dimensional player and not an elite player, never mind that he’s only got one year of starting experience. Last year at this time, he was fighting for a starting job as a career backup as 2009 4th round pick out of Eastern Michigan.
The Packers didn’t give him a ton of money, tacking on 20.8 million over 4 years to the 1.26 million he was owed in the final year of his rookie year in 2012. However, it seems like he probably would have accepted the same sort of offer next offseason, when the Packers would have had 2 years of starting tape on him to more accurately evaluate him.
If they had given him this contract next offseason after another solid year as a starter, it would have been a reasonable deal, but they’re buying high here with him. This isn’t like the extension they gave Josh Sitton last offseason. Sitton was coming off a season in which he graded out as ProFootballFocus’ #1 guard and the year before that, he was their #7 rated guard. He was very reasonable paid at 33.75 million over 5 years.