Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hello, I must be going...

As the whirlwind feeding frenzy (is that a mixed metaphor?) of the first week of the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement continues, the Green Bay Packers will be bidding adieu to a few longtime veterans.

Barnett, Colledge, Jenkins and Jones...going, going...
As reported the Tuesday, LB Nick Barnett was informed by the Packers they would attempt to trade him or, failing that, part ways with him when today's release timeline kicks in. Late yesterday, free agent LG Daryn Colledge apparently agreed to terms with the Arizona Cardinals, according to A Tweet from Colledge this morning confirmed that his days in Green Bay were done following conversations with Arizona. The St. Louis Rams had also been rumored to be a possible suitor. Nothing can be made official until tomorrow, however. According to both Colledge and his agent, the Packers "never showed interest" in resigning him. Apparently, GM Ted Thompson and the coaching staff feels confident that either veterans T. J. Lang, Nick McDonald or Marshall Newhouse can fill the slot at least as well -- and cheaper -- than Colledge, or rookie first round-pick Derek Sherrod will be be able to do what Bryan Bulaga did last season and step right into the fray.

Thank you, Mr. Colledge, for never missing a game during your tenure as a member of the Packers. You never got the appreciation you deserved, in this writer's opinion, for your solid service. You weren't a Pro Bowler, but you weren't chopped liver either, as the saying goes. Good luck in the desert.

Another apparent, although not unexpected, loss for the Packers in free agency is DE Cullen Jenkins. Reports this morning indicate that Jenkins has come to terms with the Washington Redskins although, again, nothing can finalized until Friday. Well, at least he's not going to Da Bearz.

One possible inter-division free agent loss that is getting some buzz this morning is that WR James Jones may be going to the ViQueens. With Sidney Rice bolting the 'Queens for the Seahawks, Minnesota is now desperate for a starting receiver to play opposite Percy Harvin. Jones has made it clear he wants the opportunity to be a starter. While Packers QB Aaron Rodgers stated on a radio program yesterday that he felt re-signing Jones was a priority for the team as he saw things, Jones will likely be offered more money than the Packers are willing to pay. My guess is Jones will be dressing in purple this Fall -- just as other former Packers have (what's up with that, by the way?). Stay tuned.

Crosby scores a deal
The Packers did come to terms yesterday, however, with one free agent: kicker Mason Crosby. He apparently will be signing a five-year $14.75 million deal with $3 million in guaranted money. There seems to be some mixed feelings about this deal among Packer fans. While Crosby's leg strength has never been in question, his accuracy has been at times, and stats demonstrate he is below the NFL average in that regard. He also is merely 1 for 4 in game-winning kicks. Speaking for myself, I have had very little confidence when he comes in for those clutch kicks. I hope to have that opinion reversed over the next five years.

Shareholders meeting today
Today is the annual meeting for Packers shareholders, which is being held at Lambeau Field. Will do a re-cap of anything newsworthy that might arise.