Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Packers and Free Agency: An Oxymoron?

Many fans of the Green Bay Packers were chiming in on social media yesterday as the Packers sat on their hands during the start of the NFL's free agency signing period. Other than holding serve, so to speak, with their own CB Sam Shields, GM Ted Thompson hasn't done much. At least, not on the surface. Thompson likes to work quietly, so the fact that we haven't heard much doesn't necessarily mean nothing is going on.

Thompson's M.O. is usually to let the big money fly on the first day and then see who is available after the dust settles. Usually, that's any number of good players, whose price drops as the hours and days go by. The Packers have a lot of salary cap room, but one thing Thompson will not do is sign players who eat up that cap and offer little in return in terms of impact. Given the draft-and-develop philosophy that Thompson has relied on -- for good and bad, both -- we can expect him to look for strategic signings.

For example, could DE Jared Allen bring anything to the mix? Could he be a situational pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews? Think about that package for a moment. Could be good...if you could get Allen at the right price, of course. Julius Peppers and DeMarcus Ware were also released by their respective teams yesterday. They are older players who still have something to give, but not at the salaries to which they have become accustomed.

Thompson will let other teams overpay. He'll do things his way and, with perhaps a few key veteran signings and a good draft, will keep the Packers atop the NFC North and once again establish the Pack as a true contender for the Super Bowl.

Go Pack Go!!!