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No Decision on Williams and other tidbits

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by RainX, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. RainX

    RainX Cheesehead

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    http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080212/PKR01/802120468/1989

    The odds look long on the Green Bay Packers re-signing defensive tackle Corey Williams, though they haven't given up on it.

    The Packers have been in contact with Williams' agent, and the sides have discussed contract parameters. But considering the possibility Williams could be the most coveted defensive tackle available in a thin free-agent crop this offseason, he could be in for a payday on the open market that General Manager Ted Thompson would consider too steep because of the Packers' depth at that position.

    Thompson could use the Packers' franchise tag on Williams by the Feb. 21 deadline, and said Monday he has not ruled out that possibility, though the $6.263 million tender would be high for a rotational player at a deep position. If the Packers don't sign or tag him, Williams becomes an unrestricted free agent Feb. 29.

    "I'd say ongoing," Thompson said of the Packers' talks with Mitch Frankel, who is Williams' agent. "It's safe to say there were some differences of opinion of where it was headed. We have guys here, (pro personnel director) Reggie McKenzie and (personnel analyst for the general manager) John Schneider, that have touched base with all those (pending free agents) and certainly have talked to Corey's people and let them know we still like him and still would like to have him on the team."

    Williams is the Packers' lone unrestricted free agent of note — he started nine games, and his seven sacks was third on the team and tops among the club's defensive tackles. The Packers will be about $25 million under the cap when the new league year begins, so they have the money to pay Williams a sizeable contract, but defensive tackle is their deepest position, and Thompson has helped build a healthy cap by being careful about the salary structure of the roster.

    Though Williams probably was their best pass rusher at defensive tackle, the Packers have an up-and-coming defensive tackle of even more promise in third-year pro Johnny Jolly, who arguably was playing better than Williams before his season ended with a shoulder injury in the 10th game. Jolly had surgery and faces a relatively long comeback, though the Packers expect him ready for the start of training camp at the latest.

    The Packers also return starter Ryan Pickett, their best run stopper, and Justin Harrell, their first-round draft pick last year. They'll be looking for Harrell to make a major jump from his nondescript rookie season after spending this offseason in their workout program.

    "We're big believers in improving from within," Thompson said, "and we'd expect all of our players, including Justin, to improve. We felt like we made great strides last offseason, and I think that's the reason we were successful this season as a team is our individual players worked very hard and got better. Each of them improved in areas they needed to improve. So yeah, we'd hope for improvement from everyone, including Justin."

    Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth will be the best defensive tackle available in free agency if he hits the open market, but chances are he won't. If the Titans don't re-sign him soon, they're expected to use their franchise tag on him, which will make him all but unavailable because it will cost another team two first-round draft picks as compensation to sign him. Williams at 27 might be the next-best defensive tackle on some or many teams' boards, so he could be looking at guaranteed money as high as $10 million on the open market from a team desperate for a starting-caliber defensive tackle.

    By comparison, Pickett in 2006 signed a four-year deal with the Packers that included $6.5 million in first-year pay and averages about $4 million a season.

    Along with how hard to pursue Williams, Thompson has several other decisions to make this month. Among those are to map out a plan for free agency; whether to bring back highly paid veterans Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Bubba Franks; and what tenders to offer to his restricted free agents.

    Thompson was unusually inactive in free agency last year, when the only unrestricted free agent he signed was backup cornerback Frank Walker, who signed a one-year deal won't be back. With the $25 million in cap room and a team that advanced to the NFC championship game, Thompson probably will be more active in free agency in an attempt to get the team over the hump and into the Super Bowl.

    Judging by his first three offseasons running the Packers, Thompson is less likely to pursue the most-coveted free agents, who generally sign inflated deals in the first few days of free agency, and more likely to go after players still on the market after a week or 10 days. The Packers could use an upgrade at any number of positions — a tight end, a starting guard, a linebacker, an outside pass rusher, a cornerback — and Thompson and his scouting staff will have to decide whether the draft or free agency offers better opportunities at each spot.

    Thompson also will have to decide whether to pursue a pay cut from Gbaja-Biamila as a pass-rush specialist. Gbaja-Biamila, 30, will make a base salary of $6.15 million in '08. He plays a crucial pass-rush role, but that might be on the high side for a part-time player who had a solid but not great season (9½ sacks). The best pass rushers who could be free agents probably won't make the open market — Kansas City President Carl Peterson has said he'll use the franchise tag on defensive end Jared Allen, and the Baltimore Ravens are expected to do the same with defensive end-outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.

    Franks' base salary for '08 is $3 million and he's due a $500,000 roster bonus in March, but he's had a chronic knee injury the past couple of years that sidelined him for eight games last season. If the 30-year-old Franks doesn't accept a substantial pay cut, the Packers will have to consider cutting ties with him.

    The Packers' two restricted free agents are defensive tackle Colin Cole and halfback Vernand Morency. Cole helped make defensive tackle the team's deepest position last year before a broken forearm ended his season in the fourth game. He's a good candidate for the $927,000 minimum tender — the Packers then will retain the right to match any deal he signs with another team but won't get compensation if they don't match because he entered the league as an undrafted rookie. If they think another team would sign him, they could offer the second-round tender of $1.417 million, and have the right to match or get a second-round pick as compensation.

    The decision with Morency is whether to tender him at all because of patellar-tendon injury that limited him all last season and could be a chronic problem. The minimum tender in effect will guarantee his return to the Packers, because he entered the league as a third-round pick, and it's a certainty no NFL team would give up that high a draft pick to sign him.

    Thompson also might consider signing former Packers guard Mike Wahle to compete for a starting job. Carolina cut the 30-year-old Wahle on Monday.


    6 million might be a little high to keep Williams around another year, but if we can't work out a long-term contract, I'd say it's worth it. While on paper we have a pretty deep DT rotation, the Jury is still out on wether Harrell will live up to his 1st round draft status. You have a proven commodity in Williams already, and it would give us another season to see what we have in Harrell since he was hampered by that muscle tear last year.

    As far as KGB and Bubba go. We do have the money to retain them both, but we'll probably only stick with one, and I'd go with KGB here. He is more valuable as a DE than Bubba is as a TE despite his high salary. We already paid 5 million for KGB last year, so 6 million isn't THAT much higher. Bubba has never really lived up to that big contract he signed in '05 and we can probably find someone in free agency or the draft that is comperable to his talent level to replace him.

    It's also imperative we keep Colin Cole in the fold if possible. He's a valuable reserve DT and well worth a small raise. Morency wouldn't be that huge of a loss. Grant is clearly the starter right now and Jackson will hopefully start showing signs of maturity going into his second year considering how raw he was coming out of college. We also could get another RB via FA or maybe see if someone like Deshawn Wynn will step up in training camp.
     
  2. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

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    6 million over a long term deal sounds better i would say
     
  3. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    All this talk about free agents and restructuring deals won't happen until the Packers have hired someone to permanently fill Brandt's position, IMO.

    So exactly how are the Packers fairing in that task? The article below gives an update on the situation:

    Article courtesy JSOnline

    No surprise that the Packers are drawing interest from some (apparently) good candidates. I'm surprised the article didn't mention in-house candidate Jason Weid, who has taken over Brandt's role on an interim basis, and is seen as having a bright future.
     
  4. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Here is what I don't understand, why not try to resign him during the course of last season and divert some of the cap hit into the previous year? Or even just start this process earlier so we are up against the leverage of the pending Free agency?

    It is my opinion, that we didn't really want to resign him, that they are testing the waters to see if a home town discount can be had, but in the end, like the Ahman situation, will let Free Agency wisk him away to a larger payday elsewhere. And they can point to a large contract as a reason that they have no option but to let him walk.

    But make no mistake, I am not complaining or griping, I am just saying for whatever reason to me, it seems that he was either going to give us a big discount on his services or was going to be allowed to walk via a contract elsewhere. Maybe we have deemed it too much money to spend on one position or there is, as reported, concerns with Willaim's in some regard.
     
  5. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Who knows maybe they are internally happy with Harrell and think he will and can replace williams
     
  6. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Basically that is what I am saying, that they feel ok with where they are at and are using this as a soft way of not resigning Williams.. letting the market play their hand for them.
     
  7. Gattocheese

    Gattocheese Cheesehead

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    Harrell was a suprise pick for me during last years draft. I actually never heard much about him before it! I like our rotation, but we have invested alot of 1st round money into Harrell, so i would assume he should get more play time this season. Saying that, i see us not signing Williams to a lucrative deal.
     
  8. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    I say we franchise the guy then trade him for a pick or two. At least get something out of him..
     
  9. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    And what happens IF no one bites on his salary?

    LOL
     
  10. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    If no one does, (they would) then we get a DT with good health history who averages around 7 sack a season @ about 6 1/4 mil . IMO, that's still worth it, regardless of our depth at the position.
     
  11. bigfog

    bigfog Cheesehead

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    I predict that he ends up in either Washington or Buffalo...with a huge payday.

    Ah well. Hopefully Jolly and Harrell step it up.
     
  12. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    If we had to keep 2 out of 3 between Williams, KGB, and Bubba, I'd keep Williams and KGB. Williams is a magical 27 years old, which is probably the ideal age for his position. KGB got 9 1/2 sacks as a pass rushing specialist. Between both, they got 16 1/2 sacks.
     
  13. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    If he makes it to the open market, I seriously think it will be a 3-4 team that can use his size strength combination at a DE spot in that alignment.. Williams would be a absolute monster in a 3-4. Could slide up and down the line, penetrate yet if need be hold up against the run.
     
  14. PackFanWithTwins

    PackFanWithTwins Cheesehead

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    The last three years the team that has gone on to win the Super Bowl has lost one of their big play makers the year before. This year, Giants-Barber, last year Colts-James, Pitt-Plaxico.

    Could Williams fill this bill for the Pack? SB XLIII.
     
  15. Gattocheese

    Gattocheese Cheesehead

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    Well from my opinion - Barber and Plaxico had a huge ego complex. Give me the ball complex. James was in the situation where he wasnt so bad, but wanted the big payday. One of the players that cared more about money then winning.

    I also focus the injury to Shockey as being a big part in allowing Eli to thrive a little better.

    As far as i know, in house right now, we dont have really any "me" players. Everyone is fairly a class act such as Driver, Jennings, Grant, ect.. So nobody points fingers in a certain direction or calls out the coach. Losing Williams will hurt or will only hurt if our rookie and Jolly does not step up this season. I personally like Jolly. But losing Williams wont stray me from saying that we are a good team and still have a decent chance at the SB this season. I still believe, especially as the season goes on, we need to bring some blitz's.
     
  16. packerfan4ever

    packerfan4ever Cheesehead

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    well the did fill brants shoes now i forgot who it is :oops: but they will make a statment within 48 hours still hope they can make a deal with williams :)
     
  17. Aaronstory

    Aaronstory Cheesehead

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    For a situational player? He won't even be the starter. (That will be Jolly)
     
  18. PackFanWithTwins

    PackFanWithTwins Cheesehead

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    Is Williams worth more than Kampman or Pickett?

    I don't believe he is on his own. So I cannot justify paying him more than either.

    The depth and rotation is great but bring in a full time DE and move Jenkins inside full time, that would be better for the team. Would still leave a good rotation at DT.
     
  19. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    I just don't think you can adopt that line of thinking. If Kamp or Pickett were on the open market this year, i'm sure they'd get a bigger payday than Williams, but they aren't. The cap is higher now than it was then, so lesser players might make more than more talented players who signed several years ago. Sad but true. Tough luck for Kamp and Pickett, but good for Williams, that's the way the market moves.
     
  20. PackFanWithTwins

    PackFanWithTwins Cheesehead

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    If he would agree to a contract around what Kamp did that is fine. But Kamp is worth way more than Williams.

    Vonnie Holliday
    2/21/2007: Signed a four-year, $20 million contract. The deal included a $6 million signing bonus and contains $10 million in total guarantees. 2008: $1.65 million, 2009: $2.8 million, 2010: $3.55 million, 2011: Free Agent

    Anything between 4 yr 25-30 mil would be good. More than that is too much.
     
  21. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    I agree that Kamp is worth way more to the team than Williams, but the market doesn't take into value to the team. It only has to do with money.
    But I agree that more than 4 years for 25-30 million would seem to be a bit too inflated.
     
  22. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    We have 20+ mil in cap space. We currently have 0 starters not extended past the 08 season besides Williams (who is the starter as of now, Jolly's not guaranteed to be a starter). That being the case, we only need that money for FA's and draft picks.

    Knowing TT, we aren't gonna be giving out any Nate Clements-to-SF type of bank breaker deals.

    We pick #30, so even our #1 pick (if we don't trade down from that spot) will come relatively cheap.

    That leaves us a decent surplus. For a team that's justified paying KGB starter-money for being a situational player the last couple years. One year of 6 mil for another KGB is a good deal to me.
     
  23. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    In the NFL, inflation is much higher than in real life. So it's nothing personal against Kampman or Pickett. It's just they signed their contracts sooner.

    Was Jenkins hurt last year? I was expecting a HUGE year out of him in '07 and he didn't fulfill.

    From experience, it appears we have a lot of DL injuries. I'd rather pay the bucks and have the depth, especially for someone who can register sacks.
     

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