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Free agency and draft thoughts

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Andy, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Andy

    Andy Cheesehead

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    Free agency and draft thoughts

    Packer Report.com


    By Bob Fox
    greenbaybob@hotmail.com
    Posted Feb 23, 2008


    Will Thompson trade down? Favre is due to announce decision; keep an eye on Finley

    Much like the Green Bay Packers in the 1990's, the franchise now has three leaders looking to improve the team enough to win a championship. In the 90's it was Bob Harlan, Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren. After the 1996 season, the team did indeed win a Super Bowl championship.

    Now the Packers have Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy as leaders. The team made it as far as the NFC Championship game last year before losing. Just like the 90's version of the Pack before they won it all.

    Wolf was Thompson's mentor. It was Wolf who hired Thompson in 1992 and helped teach him the manner in which a general manager should function. Wolf should know. Before Wolf arrived on the Green Bay scene, the team was 57-85-1 from 1983-1991. After Wolf took over, the team went 92-52-0, 3 NFC Central titles, two NFC championships and a Super Bowl win from 1992-2000. Wolf had to make key decisions. He hired Holmgren. He traded for Brett Favre. He signed Reggie White as a free agent. A championship was made.

    But Wolf did much more than that. He had outstanding drafts for the most part, especially later in the draft rounds, over the years. He helped acquire key free agents like White as well. Thompson has proven that he is having similar success as well. After a 4-12 2005 season under head coach Mike Sherman, Thompson hired McCarthy, and the team posted an 8-8 record in 2006 and a 13-3 record and a NFC North title in 2007. Now he has Murphy as a boss, and the Packers are hopeful that the team will have the same success it had under Harlan.

    Thompson has had three pretty good drafts in his time in Green Bay. He has changed the blueprint of the team over that time, as the team was the youngest in the NFL in both 2006 and 2007.

    Thompson accumulated a lot of choices in those drafts as well. In 2005, Thompson had 11 draft choices. In 2006, he had 12. In 2007, Thompson had 11. Right now, the team has six draft choices in the 2008 draft, because a sixth round choice was traded to the New York Giants for Ryan Grant.

    I'd say that was a pretty good trade. Just like his mentor Wolf. Wolf traded for a few guys you might recognize. Favre, Ahman Green and Keith Jackson. Anyway, the Packers now have six choices. I don't expect the Packers to have too many more than that when the NFL decides compensatory picks or if Thompson trades down to acquire a couple of picks. The team has been the youngest in the league for two consecutive years now. The roster is definitely rounding into shape.

    If I was to guess, I would say that the Packers will end up with eight overall picks in 2008, when it's all said and done. The Packers have many needs like most teams. More depth at cornerback, linebacker, guard, tackle and tight end. I also think there will be a quarterback taken by the Pack. Remember, it was Wolf who drafted Ty Detmer, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks. And that was when Favre was a young pup.

    I could also see perhaps a safety being drafted as well, along with a wide receiver and running back. Plus, as the New York Giants proved, you can never have enough defensive lineman. I think the Packers will have their own board as usual, and Thompson will take the best player on their board when the time comes. The pick may be a surprise pick like Justin Harrell was last year. But make no doubt, it will be a pick that Thompson and his scouting staff agree to pursue.

    The NFL Combine is now taking place in Indianapolis. There has already been some supposed interest in a tight end, especially after the release of Bubba Franks a couple of days ago. The Packers seem to have interest in Jermichael Finley from Texas. Finley is 6-4, 243 pounds.

    "Green Bay, they've been on me. They've been on me real hard," said Finley, who ranks among the top tight ends available in the draft, along with Southern Cal's Fred Davis, Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett, Notre Dame's John Carlson, Missouri's Martin Rucker and Tennessee's Brad Cottam. "I think I'd fit in real nice there. That's who's showing me the most love."

    Thompson would only say this, "We look at all positions the same," Thompson said Thursday. "We'll see how it turns out." I don't know if Thompson plays poker. But I'll bet he would be pretty good at it, based on his low key comments about anything football and the Packers.

    The Packers also have two other issues looking ahead to the 2008 season. Is Favre coming back? And what about free agency? First off, I think Favre will announce this weekend that he is coming back. The announcement could come as early as today, according to my gut. That will give the team the complete focus to scout at the combine and free agency, which officially starts on Feb. 29.

    Last week I mentioned a few free agents that the Packers might be interested in. The first one they were interested was one of their own. The Packers franchised DT Corey Williams. Up and coming defensive linemen are hard to find. Again, ask the Giants. Other players the team might be interested in are LB Lance Briggs of the Bears and G Jake Scott of the Colts.

    Another guy the Packers may look into is TE Alge Crumpler, since the Falcons recently waived him. Crumpler is a very dangerous receiver down the seam, and he is a good blocker. The team's medical staff will have to be certain that Crumpler's knee problems of the recent past aren't going to be an ongoing problem. Crumpler and Donald Lee would be a very potent duo at tight end.

    I also mentioned that possibilities might be Ken Hamlin of the Cowboys, CB Marcus Trufant of the Seahawks and DE Jared Allen of the Chiefs, but all three players were franchised by their respective teams. Another name I brought up was LB Zach Thomas. But Thomas is on a whirlwind tour of the NFL as it seems like everyone wants him. The Patriots and Saints have reportedly already offered him a contract.

    There is also a lot of speculation by fans about G Alan Faneca of the Steelers. I just don't see Thompson opening the bank for a 10-year veteran, although a very good one. But Thompson has surprised before, especially in 2006, when he signed Ryan Pickett and Charles Woodson.

    Since my article last week, another couple of players are now on the market. DE Justin Smith of the Bengals is now a UFA, as he surprisingly was not tagged by Cincinnati, and the Panthers waived RB DeShaun Foster. Those are two players that I also think the Packers might be interested in. Smith has a big motor, just like DE Aaron Kampman of the Packers. Smith has 43.5 sacks over his seven-year career, plus he plays the run pretty well.

    Foster might be a viable complement to Grant at tailback. That is, if the Packers have any questions about Brandon Jackson, Vernand Morency, DeShawn Wynn and Noah Herron. Foster is a six-year veteran in the league, and although he has had some fumbling issues from time to time, he has been pretty productive in both the running and passing game. Plus, Carolina ran a zone blocking run scheme last year, and Foster gained 876 yards in that system.

    Time will tell what the Packers and Thompson will do in free agency and the draft. Hopefully, the time will be very short before Favre announces he is coming back. But if Thompson continues to function like his mentor Wolf, then the Packers will have a bright future.

    Bob Fox is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at greenbaybob@hotmail.com.
     
  2. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i admit that i get all caught up in the FA hype, but i'm a fan, and that's allowed, right? I just love what TT has done for this organization. listening to him talk is like trying to read slab of concrete, but, hey, whatever works!
     
  3. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    I think we're good at RB. I'd like to look elsewhere. Plus, fumble is one of my least favorite words in the English language. I don't like that word and don't want to hear it when we have the ball.

    Brandon Jackson is a good backup to Grant. He proved it later in the season. Wynn if he stays healthy will be our bruiser. Herron's a decent 3rd down back. I think if there's an odd man out, it may be Morency.

    I'd rather go with a young TE. We need someone willing to play second fiddle to Lee, someone to compliment him, and someone who stays healthy. We'll probably end up with 2 new ones by the start of the season.

    DB and OL should be our priorities (along with TE). I'd hate to see a pick wasted on a WR or RB. We don't need them.
     
  4. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    I saw that Jevon Kearse is supposed to be waived by the Eagles. If we were to cut KGB as has been rumored, It'd be nice to get him as a guy who can take the load off of Kampy now and again.
     
  5. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    sign fa rb m. turner
    draft talib at cb in the forst round
    draft ot chris williams in the second round
     
  6. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    I think Foster would be a great pickup. I think Morency and Wynn are on their way out and Foster paring with Herron, Jackson, and Grant would give the Pack some solid depth behind Ryan Grant.

    I've been on the Justin Smith to GB since last off season so that's an obvious interest in my opinion.

    Once again though I have no problem with the Packers doing what they do best. Developing from within and sign maybe one or two low level free agents.

    EDIT: No less than 9 picks in the draft when all said and done IMO.
     
  7. bigfog

    bigfog Cheesehead

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    Justin Smith to Green Bay...that's an interesting thought. I know little about him though. Is he a straight up pass rusher or a run stuffer, or does he do both?
     
  8. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    He's a bit of both, think Corey Williams, but strictly DE.

    He's young too, entering his prime (28). He'd be a great addition, add depth and help keep Kamp fresh.

    I don't think it's too likely that Smith comes here, but it'd be awesome if it happened, the Packers would get a solid player.
     
  9. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    Yeah I think it' slim but the Packers have to look for another DE in my opinion to pair with Kampman. I like Jenkins but he's a better pass rusher from inside than outside.

    Dolphins are looking to trade Jason Taylor. Depending the asking price, That'd be a great thing to look into.
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Cheesehead

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    Plus Taylor played under Packers defensive line coach Robert Nunn at Miami for awhile. I wonder if Ron Wolf could help mediate a trade between Parcells and Thompson?
     
  11. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    You know, I understand the chances of Ted going out and getting such players (Taylor and Smith) are remote, at best, I really understand that.

    But damn porky even throwing those names out there is enough to get me hyperventilating. I'm pretty sure I'd faint if the Packers somehow landed Taylor.

    If we land Smith, I might not faint, but I'd still be in some disbelief, expecting to wake up soon.
     
  12. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    dear ted thompson,

    please read the above quote and do the exact opposite.

    thank you,
    concerned packer fans


    First of all.... we dont need another running back bad enough to sign Turner for WAY too much money. we have grant, jackson, wynn, morency, and herron to name a few. spending money on one of your HIGH pricetag low return free agents hasnt worked. and our organization isnt stupid enough to do so.

    SECONDLY!! chris williams in the second round is a joke. in every mock draft ive seen he is in the top 15 picks. and talib is also in the top 15 picks.

    seeing as how we dont pick till 30.... im just guessing but i dont think we will see these players. look man... this aint Madden. when are your gonna learn.
     
  13. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Heard some rumors that Smith is going to the Niners. :(
     
  14. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    I think MM & TT will give Wynn one more shot. We'll see how he does in preseason. Wynn has the God given talent to be a bruising back. He'd compliment Grant well. His problem is ambition. If he can mature and do what he needs to do, he'd be a good RB.
     
  15. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    I wonder how the hell they're going to afford that after last year's Clements signing.
     
  16. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Niners currently are in 5th place for most salary cap.

    EDIT: here are the numbers for the Niners:

    Cap Room $25,802,090
     
  17. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    Oh I think he'll be in camp but I don't think he's going to change and that will be the end of him. He was I believe the #1 RB coming out of High School and he never lived up to it at Florida. He was a ok starter but he wasn't anything special. I think he'll be the same as a pro. He'll do enough to get buy but you won't see him giving that extra effort to be the best and unfortunately that won't cut it in Green Bay.

    I could be wrong though. I hope I am.
     
  18. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    I hope so too because I enjoyed seeing the little we got to see of him.

    Or maybe we should just draft a punter and put John Ryan back there. ;)
     
  19. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Just going to throw this out. How about a trade with the Raiders shopping Michael Huff. Throw Michael Bush in and I start to like the thought.
     
  20. Veretax

    Veretax Cheesehead

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    Who is MIchael Huff? ANd while I like Mike Bush. We don't need a Running back that badly to have to trade for him.
     
  21. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    I agree Packnic, its amazing how deluded some people are. These are the same people who cry WTF WTF WTF TT!!!! when GB makes its draft picks..yep those who wanted Dwayne Jarrett and Robert Meacham last year :roll:
     
  22. bigfog

    bigfog Cheesehead

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    Got this from Railbird:

    Corey Williams as trade bait...that wily Thompson
     
  23. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Michael Huff is a first round SS.. If TT as reported by many, is looking to upgrade the safety position, the Huff is a nice choice. Throw Bush in as bonus and it starts to look nice.
     
  24. Mortfini

    Mortfini Cheesehead

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    1) i was Really keen on turner last year but now i dont care we really need to upgrade other places on the field

    2)I really dont think oakland would trade huff hes like there best defensive player hes way better then the Cb ( cant remember or spell his name)

    3) Justin Smith its claimed on the nfl.com that smith is going to browns

    4) in the 1st round i think we should draft Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie i really like the look of that kid and in the 2end round a Saftey a lot like eric weddle that chargers drafted in the 2end
     
  25. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    Michael Bush has played ZERO games in the NFL and is only still recovering from a broken leg. Potential trade value = ZERO.

    Michael Huff is still on his rookie 1st round contract, he was a top10 pick, teams dont usually cut their first rounders after 2 seasons unless hes Pacman Jones or some **** like that.

    Once again Madden NFL Trade Logic has is not realistic! :-?
     

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