The Green Bay Packers have room for improvement at the linebacker position. Nick Perry broke out as a star on the outside last season, but the team has question marks throughout the rest of the group. There were not a great deal of strong contributors in the free agency pool, but the team could show interest in Rey Maualuga, a new entry into free agency as of Saturday.

Meet the newest free agent

The Cincinnati Bengals cut Maualuga on Saturday afternoon, saving the team a cap hit of nearly $4 million. The decision likely wasn't a big surprise after the team signed linebacker Kevin Minter in free agency.

Cincinnati likely considered trading the veteran, but failed to find a partner for him - the team has been trying to get younger throughout their defense this offseason.

Maualuga was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. During the eight seasons he spent on the team, he made 104 starts. His playing time went down last year and he recorded just 27 tackles and one interception in fourteen games. Over the course of his career, however, the linebacker has 584 combined tackles, seven interceptions, and six forced fumbles.

Evaluating Green Bay as a destination

The Packers have plenty of questions in their linebacker corps right now. Clay Matthews is nearing a decline in his game and continues to struggle being asked to do different things every week.

There are also holes that need to be filled by veteran starters or young draft picks ready to make a mark. It's unclear if Maualuga would actually solve any of those problems.

An underrated factor worth considering is a prior relationship between Matthews and Maualuga. The two were part of one of the most dominant linebacker groups in college football history at USC, which also included current Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing.

They were featured on the cover of an issue of Sports Illustrated together and won three Rose Bowls together in college. Maybe they could see more important games in their future as members of the Packers.

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