Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The biz side of the Harris and Kampman injuries

As bad as the season-ending injuries are to CB Al Harris and LB Aaron Kampman from their potential impact on the Packers' season, and the even more important aspect of their own personal health of course, there comes the inevitable business discussion. As in how these injuries will affect future roster moves.

One of the more immediate moves that was just made by the Packers was the signing of former Denver Broncos CB Josh Bell. The Packers worked him out yesterday and liked him enough to reportedly sign him to a two-year deal. He is expected to be part of the Packers walk-through practice today (without pads, given the short turnaround before Thursday's game in Detroit) and be on the active roster for the Lions game. You can read more about Bell here. Sounds like a good signing, given the circumstances, although Bell himself is coming off an injury and is the reason he wasn't kept on the Denver roster this season.

But there are obviously decisions that will need to be made regarding Harris and Kampman, as well. As an article yesterday pointed out, Harris, who turns 35 in December, will have two years remaining on his contract. He keeps himself in great physical condition and has been known to be a fast healer. But at this age and with this injury, he will need a spectacular recovery in order to pick up where he left off.

Of greater concern is Kampman. When the move was made from the 4-3 to the 3-4 defense this off-season, and it became somewhat apparent to all that Kampman was a bit out of place in the new scheme, some pundits felt that the Packers should have traded him. Coming off outstanding seasons in his down defensive end position, the Packers should have gotten a high value for him. But Kampman was also going into his "contract year," eligible for free agency at the end of the season. There was some speculation that perhaps the Packers would put a franchise tag on him and then do what they did with Corey Williams: trade him for a good value. Now, with this injury, the likelihood of Kampman being able to get big money from another team or the Packers being able to trade him and get something in return, is out the window.

According to the above-mentioned article, "The injury could sideline Kampman 10 months, which would put his return to the football field somewhere around the first or second week of the 2010 season." He may have to sign a one-year deal with the Packers to reestablish his value, and the Packers may have to do so if they wish to try to get something in trade for Kampman later on.

To paraphrase, football is what happens while you're busy making other plans.