Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ground Hog's Day in a Packers' Uniform

Let's see...who was that receiver drafted in the 2001 second round by former (thank goodness) general manager, Mike Sherman, out of Texas A&M? You know, the one taken ahead of University of Wisconsin receiver and current Miami Dolphis star receiver Chris Chambers? The poor soul who has been injured seemingly (actually?) every season? Oh yeah, that's right, it's Robert Ferguson. Ferguson is the guy with all the physical potential but with all the bad breaks, or at least pulls, strains, etc. He is like the boxer with a glass jaw: he just can't stay healthy. Given that record, despite momentary flashes and undeniable toughness, he shouldn't be back in uniform. However, according to reports out of Green Bay, current Packers' GM Ted Thompson says he wants Ferguson back. OKaaaaaaaaay....

Ferguson will be competing with Greg Jennings, Ruvell Martin, Carlyle Holiday, Shaun Bodiford, Chris Francies, Carlton Brewster and Calvin Russell for a spot on the receiving corps this spring and summer. In addition, the Packers are likely to add a receiver in the draft. And don't forget that the Packers still have the rights to Koren Robinson when he comes off his suspension next fall.

So, why is Thompson so keen to give Ferguson another shot? Perhaps less for his receiving ability than for his special teams work. Ferguson has been productive in that capacity both as a returner -- we need one! -- and on coverage units. And to be fair, Ferguson's injury problems are due at least in part to his work on special teams. Still, competition among receivers is always a good thing. And the downside is minimal: the Pack has plenty of cap room to bring Ferguson to camp, and if they wind up cutting him the team will only incur a $700,000 cap hit in 2008 according to reports.

So, it is a bit of deja vu all over again...Ground Hog's Day -- the Bill Murray version -- in a Packers' uniform.