Fullback and Green Bay Packers cult hero John Kuhn is returning to the team in 2014. Kuhn has agreed to a one-year deal worth just over $1 million with incentives included.
Kuhn has been with the Packers since 2007 and has become one of the stable veterans on a perpetually young roster. While Kuhn reportedly had some conversations with other teams, Green Bay seems to be the best fit for him over anywhere else.
Similar to quarterback Matt Flynn, Kuhn flourishes in the Packers offense where he is needed and seems to max out his value potential.
Case in point is last season’s week 17 season finale against the Chicago Bears, when it was Kuhn’s block on defensive end Julius Peppers that allowed Aaron Rodgers to escape the pocket and find receiver Randall Cobb downfield for the go-ahead and game-winning score. That win helped the Packers secure their third straight NFC North division title. Now that Peppers is with the Packers, the two can likely share a laugh or two over that monumental play.
The fullback position has changed quite a bit in the NFL overall. Gone are the days of the I-formation and the need for a bruising fullback to pave the way for the tail back. With running backs becoming bigger and more versatile and athletic, the traditional fullback is a dying breed. Green Bay’s offense is no exception. With the addition of Eddie Lacy in last year’s draft, Kuhn had just 10 rushing attempts in 2013. In 2010, Kuhn had his career high in carries with 84, mostly due to injuries to other running backs at the time.
Still, keeping Kuhn is valuable for depth purposes and also insurance that there is a wily veteran that can come in on passing downs and help keep Rodgers on his feet. Kuhn is said to be a great presence in the team’s locker room and will surely assist in bringing the young running backs along as they mature in their early careers.
Of the current Packers backs other than Kuhn, James Starks is the most senior member with four seasons under his belt. DuJuan Harris, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin and Michael Hill all have just one season to their credit. Harris was with the team last year but did not play after being placed on season-ending injured reserve during training camp.