Cornerback Chandon Sullivan is officially coming back for another run with the Green Bay Packers after signing his $2.133 million restricted free agent tender on Friday.
The Packers had placed a right-of-first-refusal tender on Sullivan back in March that granted them the ability to match any offers he might receive in free agency, but his future with their secondary was not guaranteed until Friday when his representation — Katz Brothers Sports — announced he had re-signed with the team.
— Katz Brothers Sports (@KatzBrosSports) April 23, 2021
Sullivan is one of just two restricted free agents who received a tender from the Packers and the first to sign. They also placed a second-round tender on Robert Tonyan, who had a breakout 2020 season with 11 touchdown receptions.
The NFL deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets has now passed.
Sullivan Gets Another Chance
Sullivan was in a prime position heading into his second act with the Packers. He had demonstrated a good amount of capability in the slot behind Tramon Williams in 2019, allowing the lowest completion percentage (35.5) and passer rating (34.3) among the team’s defensive backs across 350 defensive snaps. And with Williams out of the picture for 2020, he was the natural candidate to become their primary slot defender.
Sullivan wasn’t always at his best with increased responsibilities, though.
While he played more than twice as many defensive snaps (729) and made 10 of his 11 career starts in 2020, Sullivan struggled to maintain the same reliability in coverage with opposing quarterbacks completing 67.9% of their passes (38 of 56) when targetting him. He was also one of Tom Brady’s victims in the NFC Championship Game, giving up three first-down receptions.
Fortunately for Sullivan, the Packers felt giving him another shot was worth the $2.133 million price tag on his restricted free agent tender. It makes sense given their 2020 cap constraints and that Sullivan — once an undrafted rookie for Philadelphia — has shown moments of excellence in his first two years in Green Bay, which found a new defensive coordinator this offseason.
The move also suggests that, even if the Packers draft a new cornerback next week, the slot defender job is still Sullivan’s to lose heading into 2021.
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