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I rest my case, or at least provide some key evidence

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by net, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. net
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    net Cheesehead

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    Packers neutral in bidding war
    Team has signed just one free agent
    By BOB McGINN

    Green Bay - Minus Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett, the Green Bay Packers' defense would have been far less effective last season.



    New Broncos tight end Daniel Graham, left, and running back Travis Henry were two free agents that the Packers decided not to pursue.

    If general manager Ted Thompson hadn't agree to pay market value or even above market value, Woodson and Pickett would have been playing for other teams and the Packers might have had to start Ahmad Carroll for another season at cornerback and a lesser player at defensive tackle.

    Sometimes bidding wars are the way to go. But the Packers, flush with about $21 million in cap room, have spent the first three weeks backing away from one bidding war after another.

    That has been the story of their off-season.

    Since the signing and trading periods opened March 2, a total of 108 players have changed teams via unrestricted free agency (76), restricted free agency (three), "street" free agency (18) and trades (11). The National Football League average is 3.38 new players per team.

    Two teams, Chicago and San Diego, haven't added a player. They also had the top two records of any team in 2006.

    Green Bay, which signed cornerback Frank Walker for $1.24 million over one year, is one of seven teams with just one newcomer. The others are Baltimore, Carolina, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh. All of those teams except Cincinnati have been to the Super Bowl this decade.

    Tampa Bay leads with nine newcomers, followed with Cleveland with eight, Denver with seven and New England and San Francisco, each with six.

    Often, agents for leading free agents were called by pro scouts Reggie McKenzie and John Schneider. In effect, the agents were told that the Packers wanted to be in the game but wondered what the stakes would be.

    When that word was brought back to Thompson, most of the time he took a pass.

    "We're not going to just go through life with our head in the sand," Thompson said. "We're turning over rocks. We're looking. But I'm kind of OK with our guys."

    Said one agent: "After talking to them I couldn't help but wonder. What are they going to do with the money? You've got to spend 85% of it. They've got to restructure a lot of guys to eat it up."

    Probably Thompson's most important decision was letting Houston out-bid the Packers for running back Ahman Green. The Packers viewed Green as a two-year proposition and the Texans saw him as a three- or four-year player, which appealed to him.

    In the end, Green signed a four-year, $23 million deal that will pay him $18M in the first three years. At the end, Thompson made a competitive but shorter term offer that wasn't as good as Houston's and Green called his bluff.

    The Packers had put in one of those cursory calls after Tennessee's Travis Henry was waived. But Thompson never pursued Henry, who went to Denver for $22.5M over five years ($12.5M guaranteed).

    Green Bay never showed any interest in Jamal Lewis, who after being cut by Baltimore signed with Cleveland for $3.5M over one year; Indianapolis' Dominic Rhodes, who went to Oakland for $7.5M over two years; or Washington's T.J. Duckett, who went to Detroit for one year at about $1.5M.

    Three days after Green left, the Packers cut backfield-mate William Henderson and looked for a new fullback.

    A source said that Packers had some interest in Baltimore's Ovie Mughelli but backed away from the bidding process that landed him a six-year, $18M deal from Atlanta. The Packers then brought in former Falcon fullback Justin Griffith for a visit.

    There's no question that Green Bay wanted Griffith, but only at its price. When Oakland offered $3.8M over three years, considerably more than what the Packers want to pay him, Griffith took it.

    At wide receiver, the Packers had targeted St. Louis' Kevin Curtis for months because of his deep speed. Curtis visited five teams but not Green Bay, which never got in the running. His six-year deal with Philadelphia was worth $32M.

    After New Orleans cut Joe Horn on March 1, the Packers decided to go after him. They even had a visit set up with Horn but Falcons owner Arthur Blank wouldn't let Horn leave. His four-year deal, worth $19M with escalators, contained $4M in bonuses this year.

    "Joe's main interest up there was (Mike) McCarthy because he likes him so much," agent Ralph Vitolo said. "They talked, by phone. I think Joe was disappointed he didn't have a chance to go up there and see the facilities and talk to McCarthy."

    Although Vitolo never exchanged proposals with negotiator Andrew Brandt, his expectations were that the Packers would have made a blockbuster offer.

    "I think they probably would have gone out close to Atlanta if not above it because they had more money to work with," Vitolo said.

    But Vitolo would have found out differently. The Packers weren't prepared to offer Horn anywhere close to what he received in Atlanta.

    Much the same situation occurred with San Diego linebacker Donnie Edwards, who knew McCarthy from the late 1990s in Kansas City. They also talked by telephone before Edwards, 33, went back to the Chiefs for about $13.5M over three years. The Packers had no intention of offering him anything close to that.

    Despite losing tight end David Martin, the Packers didn't show any interest in New England's Daniel Graham, former Dolphin Randy McMichael and San Francisco's Eric Johnson. They all found new teams within a week.

    The best safety on the board, Jacksonville's Deon Grant, went to Seattle for $31.8M over six years. Green Bay made a cursory call and that was about it.

    On Saturday, Green Bay could have blown away Kansas City's modest one-year offer to retain defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson. Instead, the Packers offered almost comparable money and he went back to the Chiefs.

    Given that another 61 players are off the market due to re-signings since March 2, what's left?

    "What we're dealing with now is backups," an NFC pro scout said Friday before planning to spend his week watching more tape. "We're trying to find a bottom feeder that looks like he's got a chance."

    The Packers probably will sign a few veterans before the draft. Just don't expect anything like the seven-year, $39M deal Woodson received on April 26 unless the Raiders cut wide receiver Randy Moss.
  2. pyledriver80
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    pyledriver80 Cheesehead

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    Thanks for posting this. It shows just how passive TT is. He does not want to spend the cash to improve this team. It also seems that they lost out to Griffith because of cash.

    I don't think TT has a plan or at least not yet. Maybe he is waiting for Brett to leave. I don't know but I certainly can't figure it out
  3. OregonPackFan
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    OregonPackFan Cheesehead

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    If Thompson didn't have a plan he wouldn't be the GM of the Packers. Do you think Harlan, the executive comittee and the Packers organization is so incompetent that they leave the team to chance and in the hands of a man with no plan?

    That's an insult against Harlan and the rest of the executive comittee. If you honestly believe you know better than them you've got to be smoking your shirt.

    It is clear that Thompson is operating after a plan and a very strict plan, this shows from his firm pattern in approaching matters. He has a spesific theory on how to build a winning team and is not going to deviate from it because of some impatience in the fanbase.
  4. Zero2Cool
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    Zero2Cool Cheesehead

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    Ignorance is bliss.
  5. yooperfan
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    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    We're not going to just go through life with our head in the sand," Thompson said. "We're turning over rocks. We're looking. But I'm kind of OK with our guys."

    Theodora is "KIND OF OK with our guys".
    That statement does not instill confidence in me.
  6. OregonPackFan
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    OregonPackFan Cheesehead

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    You expect him to come out and say he isn't OK with the players on the team? He can't say that in the media.
  7. digsthepack
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    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Kevin Curtis....a $5 million plus per season receiver! Oh, yeah...bad move passing on THAT.

    The only FA mentioned that we did not land that I would consider a loss is Griffith.

    Heaven forbid....we didn't pay Curtis $5 large plus per year!!
  8. OregonPackFan
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    OregonPackFan Cheesehead

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    I'm very happy about passing on a lot of these players because they were vastly overpaid,

    I would rather extend some of the quality players already on the team, sign our draft picks and have a constant circulation of street FA's through the season, than overpay someone like Curtis.

    Overpaying mediocre players doesn't create a great lockerroom atmosphere, spend when good players are available. I would have nothing against overpaying a player a little if he was a quality player and one of the top players at his position. However, most of the players mentioned doesn't fulfill these requirements-
  9. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I agree with you digs on the griffith situation..

    I still say that the team is going to sign Moss to a big deal for this year then get Barrnett and Williams locked up..That is where all this cap is going to go..
  10. hoos
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    hoos Cheesehead

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    The part of this article that I am really finding hard to swallow is how the Raider's offer for Griffith was above what TT was willing to pay him. Compare his contract to Mughelli and it was a steal.

    Think it goes to show that sometimes TT isn't even willing to pay market value for a player that fits our needs.
  11. yooperfan
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    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    Hey Duck,

    First of all congratulations on your B-ball team and good luck. I've got em in my elite 8 but losing to Florida.

    Second, I agree with you about not going out and spending big bucks on average players.

    What I would expect Theodora to say is "I'm very happy with the players we have. We have a fine young football team to build on and an excellant core group of veterans."
    That kind of confidence would go alot further with me.
  12. OregonPackFan
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    That's probably what he means, however Thompson doesn't seem to be a very vocal guy, he seems more introspective in his behaviour.

    Also I don't think Thompson really cares about fan confidence in the offseason, what matters to him is what the board of directors and the executive comittee thinks, their confidence to Thompson seems pretty good.

    Thompson learned to be extremely cautious with statements to the media over in Seattle, maybe he is overcautious but that is definitively better than being overzealous.
  13. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    McGinn is loving this today, we are going to provide him with ideas for the rest of the week to draw from. The article is an attempt to draw debate because he has sided on both pro and con TT supporters.

    IMO... bottom line, Ted mis-played the Griffith deal, but deciding not to get into wars for the rest of the players is a judgement call. To say there is nothing left out there is hogwash to speak. Remember, June 1st cuts have to be made yet as well. Might be a light year with all the salary cap space, but some will be made.

    Running back, is pretty well picked over unless you consider Dillion or a trade for Betts or something along that line.

    WR - not much left but there wasn't much to begin with out there. Stallworth and Washington have loads of potential. Curtis and Bennett are good players that got way over paid due to the lack of WR on the market. Does make them excellent signs Eagles and Rams.

    But Grant isn't worth millions more than some listed here... List from the NFL.com site.

    James, Tory DB
    Doss, Mike S
    Gibson, Derrick S
    Schulters, Lance S
    Parrish, Tony S
    Hamlin, Ken S

    Not in Griffith's age range and might not be the reciever he is, but can punch holes for a running back to run through.

    Sowell, Jerald FB
    Smith, Terrelle FB
  14. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Does Harlan strumming up his excitement of something happening around the Moss deal and per another poster here, look for something big to happen soon sound like a man that is confident on where we stand?

    Mixed messages comming out of HQ, IMO. Ted is closing the leaks off as we speak and basically shutting the doors until he is ready to play his cards.

    And I agree... he doesn't use what the fans are saying to drive the team. How his plan turns out will only be judged at the end of the season, if we take steps forward, he is on the right track, if we revert... blast him:)

    You have to love this time of year:)
  15. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    isnt it interesting that Griffith signed with the Raiders and the Pack are "supposdley" trading with them for Moss..

    Could it be possible Ted didnt want to out bid them for fear it would ruin the chances of them dealing Moss?
  16. hoos
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    Intriguing idea, but I don't see the merit in it. Griffith's deal did not significantly affect the Raiders cap space and the only ill effects would be scorn from being outbid. I am not aware of the level of political pettiness that occurs between GMs, but I'd have to believe in a free market this would be of little consequence in the decision to make another move that seemingly is good for both teams (provided that the terms are fair).
  17. OregonPackFan
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    The cap wouldn't be a factor, however pissing the Raiders off by signing a player they were very interested in is not a good thing to do if you are hoping to swing a trade with them that is a little more benefitting for you than them.

    There is in fact a high level of political pettiness as you put it between GMs in the league, they are competitors just like any other place.
  18. trippster
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    Since we improved from 4-12 to 8-8 shouldn't we then agree he is on the right track? Or are we going to be bias and prejudge him and not give him credit for that?
  19. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I agree that is why I haven't been bashing, I think he is on the right track overall.

    Could he be a little more agressive or have more of a sense of urgency, at times I think so. Could we rely on vets more at times, maybe. But yes the record is better than 05.

    I have read it on here before, and I will say that I support the thought completely. It takes more than a year to judge a GM or even a coaching staff on how there style or tatics relate to winning on the football field. To me, 07 he a put up or shut up year for Ted and company. We need to take another step forward.

    Brett is still here...if that wasn't the case, well then maybe the thought might be different.

    Trip - would you agree that we need to take another step forward this year?
  20. porky88
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    You've made so many good points in this thread thus far.

    You hit it right on. If Thompson didn't have a plan then Harlan would not of hired him or stayed with him for this long. Thompson clearly knows what he's doing. It's not really a secret. It's build through the Draft and develop from within. Anyone who can‘t see that is in denial or is to ignorant enough because they disagree with it. I just hope the Packers don't over evaluate their talent such as guys like Donald Lee and Tyrone Culver. I do believe they are doing it to some extent.

    I also agree with your statement that he's not going to ever come out and "bash" a player publicly. It'd be very unprofessional and it wouldn’t do much for the players confidence.
  21. longtimefan
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    That is EXACTLY what I was talking about
  22. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    In the title you have Daniel Graham is a good example, I would like to know how a block first / recieve second TE would be that much of an upgrade over the block steady but plodder that we have in Bubba?

    If you want a player such as Graham, there is Erron Kinney, 1st round pick from Florida, 7 year vet is still available out there... better reciever than Graham and a heck of a lot cheaper.
  23. Greg C.
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    What does this article tell us that we don't already know? Am I missing something here? If you think that a GM's job is defined by how many free agents he signs, then yes, Thompson has done a lousy job this off-season. So have several other GM's. I'd feel better as a fan if Thompson had picked up a couple more guys, but only if he'd paid a reasonable price.

    For Packer fans, this off-season has been like going to the candy store with your parents and not being allowed to buy anything. But I'm not going to judge this off-season until the 2007 NFL season is history. We have a little over nine months to go. Let's see what happens.
  24. cheesey
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    In this weeks Packer Plus paper, Thompson is quoted as saying:
    "I would like for everybody to think that we are good at what we do. But you do what you think is best for the team and you can't be reactionary and you can't do something just so you can say, 'Well, look what we did'.
    If it doesn't do something to help the team, then you haven't helped the team. You've hurt the team. Unless there's somebody you've really zeroed in on and you think can make a tremendous impact on your team, sometimes you may be a little better off waiting."

    This sounds to me like a man that HAS a plan, and isn't going to leave that plan just to make the fans FEEL better. Sounds to me like he puts plenty of thought to what he is doing, and doesn't just react out of pressure from what he reads that the fans want him to do. In the end, HE will pay the price, or reap the rewards of his labor. It's HIS butt thats on the line. If he messes up, he will be out of a job. If he shows that he knows what he is doing, he will be here a long time.
    I have seen fans on here write "TT doesn't care if the team wins or loses, as Lambeau Field will always sell out no matter how bad the Packers are" but this statement isn't true, because if the team does poorly, the sales of Packer merchandise drops alot, and the prime television coverage won't be here. That would drop the Packers income GREATLY. So i see TT as a man that knows what he is doing, who won't just "buy" a player to make himself LOOK good, but truely cares about how the TEAM will fare.
    This bodes well for the Packers in my view.
    Just TRY to be patient, and give the man a chance to show through RESULTS that he knows what he is doing.
    I think some people on here would have rather had the Packers win less games then they did last season, so that they could use that against TT. But it didn't work out for them.
    The Packers went from 4-12 to 8-8 in ONE season. I think thats a heck of an improvement. Yet we hear "The wins were against lesser teams" even though in the NFL there are VERY FEW teams that are THAT much better then the rest. Parity has been very evident in the NFL. Now, if GB does WORSE then 8-8 this next season (barring some severe set back, like loss of a few key players) then i would say TT wasn't heading the team in the right direction.
    He let Green go (and for what Green got from Texas, i don't blame him) and cut Henderson. I love Henderson, but the reality is that he was NOT nearly as good as when he was in his prime. To use valuable cap space and valuable roster spots just to keep the old guys here is in reality a waste. Yes, it's cruel, but the right approach to take if you want to build a strong team. You can't let our love for what a player did in the past dictate what you do to keep your team strong, or you will fail. I'm glad TT doesn't make his moves based on that, or we would be doomed to mediocrity for certain.
  25. warhawk
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    Keeping the money right so that he can keep a core player like Barnett for years to come ABSOLUTELY does not have the sex appeal of signing some big name guy to an insane contract.

    But TT is getting this team in a position contractually that will not require a significant turnover of players because it's a revolving door. At least if a guy does leave it's because he's older and he can find more cash elsewhere.

    This won't happen to the guys in their PRIME.

    Last year there was a bunch of turnover on the defense and a lot of hope for what it would mean. It took longer than anticipated for them to mesh but towards the end they played at an extremely high level.

    Other than Safety this is a solid unit that was playing as well as any defense in the NFL. We will not be changing much over there and as far as I am concerned that's a good thing.

    TT's plan is solid. Keep the good ones worth keeping and don't change what's working. So many want change just to mix it up a little.

    We played the Bears in the Opener last year and they had brought back all 22 starters from the previous year. We got smoked. They looked together. We, on the other hand, with like 5 new guys on defense, looked confused.

    I don't have a problem keeping a unit together that shows they can play a little. And change for what? To bring some guy in for $10mil or whatever and piss everybody off? No thanks.

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