March 3, 2008

As fevery continues, Thompson hunts in bargain bin

Category: NFL General,Packers — Patrick Stumpf @ 11:20 pm

Four days in and NFL Free-Agency is hotter than ever. But Ted Thompson’s plan hasn’t changed since the moment he got here. And fans should have no complaints about what they are seeing so far this year. The fact of the matter is 1) this team was 13-3 last year, 2) was one game away from playing in a Super Bowl, and 3) is returning every core player for 2008.  So why the whining? What reason justifies Ted delving into free-agency to make headlines just because he can? It seems unfortunate I have to give this same speech every year, but the attitudes of the green and gold faithful haven’t changed I guess. It’s good that they’re passionate.  But look, we all know that after the initial wave of supposedly “superior” crop is plucked off the heap, solid talent remains to be had, and for a fortune less. And really when you look at it, the numbers between a elite first tier guy and middle second tier guy aren’t all that drastic. To be honest, I have no idea what some teams are thinking. The Raiders. Re-signing DE Tommy Kelly to a seven-year, close to $51 million deal- all for a guy who played a mere seven games last year. Wow. After that deal, Teddy looks like a genius once again for getting Kampman at four for $21 million. Guess what? Ex-Cardinal LB Calvin Pace just got 6 years, $42 million from the Jets. Now anyone care to tell me who that is? When it comes down to it, is Pace really going to outperform Niko Koutouvides, who signed a three-year deal for probably $30 million less? Probably. But are those extra 20, 30, 40 extra tackles worth all that money? Is it worth investing money into a player who has only churned out one good statistical season? I say no. Ted Thompson can and will wait for his chance, believe me. He might not make a big splash, but please, don’t judge prematurely. Wait until after the guy has played out his deal. That’s all I ask.

Rumor Mill: The Packers have apparently contacted former Lions’ LB Boss Bailey’s agent. Exciting stuff (sigh). At 28 years old, Bailey has been a boom or bust guy with injury-problems in his career, hardly the kind of guy I would want to sign in this outrageous market. I’d much rather prefer, LB Brandon Chillar, who was supposed to meet with Arizona either today or tomorrow. The Cardinals have been said to be hot on this guy’s heels, so I’d be shocked if he got to visit Green Bay. The Packers are set to meet with LB/DE tweener Corey Smith tomorrow, and may offer him a contract to be a special teams guy. One guy I still like out there is Colts’ OG Jake Scott. He surprisingly hasn’t drawn much interest up to this point, and would certainly look good in a Green Bay uniform.

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