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Packers neutral in bidding war

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

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  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

    Nov 22, 2005
    Team has signed just one free agent
    Posted: March 18, 2007
    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. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

    Jun 5, 2005
    Let's take a CRITICAL THINKING approach to this article:

    Interesting... last time I checked, I could have sworn that agents were NOT in charge of the financial cap situations of NFL teams. They've got to "restructure a lot of guys"... well um how about 0 guys? The Packers are currently using around 93 million dollars of cap space out of the allotted 109 million. (This figure INCLUDES Frank Walker's 1.24 million cap charge + Cullen Jenkins average per year 4 million dollar cap charge).

    SOURCE FOR CAP INFO. (Just subtract 21.7 from 109, then add 5.24 for Jenkins + Walker).

    Currently, the Packers are using 86.2 % of the cap space (93.78/109). Already, the Packers are over the minimum 85% spending requirement.

    Last two years, Jamal Lewis has averaged a mere 3.5 YPC. In those 31 games spanning over two years, he has exactly 6 runs of 20+ yards. Clearly not having his best years, nor was he ever that fast of a runner; basically not a great fit for the ZB scheme.

    People were outraged that we signed K-Rob, someone who had a record of DUI charges and alcohol abuse problems. We took a risk with signing K-Rob, no need to take a risk in signing Rhodes who had a DUI arrest very recently. People would be in over arms for having 2 DUI charged players.

    TJ Duckett averaged 3.4 YPC last year. He was the backup to Warrick Dunn, who is 32 years old. Not exactly a spring chicken. If the Falcons thought they were better off without Duckett to back up the aging RB, that doesn't exactly speak glowingly of what the Falcons thought of Duckett, does it?

    He is stating conjecture as fact. NO WHERE DOES HE DISCUSS EVEN HEARING THAT THE PACKERS EVEN MADE AN OFFER TO GRIFFITH. He says that was more than GB was willing to pay, but where is the proof? Is the proof Griffith being a Raider? How do we know it wasn't for other reasons besides money?

    Conjecture that is reported as truth, and is based on factless sources.

    McGinn reports that the Packers has a visit scheduled with Curtis, but he signed with Philly before the visit.

    The Packers were definitely interested in looking at Curtis, but I ask you how they could have possibly got in on the running for Curtis when Curtis never gave them the chance? He signed before they even had the chance to get in the running, can't blame TT for that IMO. Or perhaps you could, but it wouldn't be fair. TT was waiting his turn in line, unfortunately by the time his number got called, he couldn't get in on the action.

    The bold part is once again McGinn's conjecture being reported as fact. NO OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE TO PROVE HIS OPINION, YET HE PASSES IT OFF AS FACT. There is nothing to suggest anything either way. However, given that Horn's agent was in talks with TT, I think his word is important. He says the Packers would have made a comparable offer. McGinn doesn't give any evidence proving otherwise.

    YET AGAIN, passing off conjecture as fact. How do we know there wasn't a visit scheduled that got canceled? Perhaps the cursory call was for TT to tenatively schedule a visit? Perhaps it was to gage Grant's interests in the Packers, and Grant's agent said his client wasn't interested in the Packers. Kinda hard to fault TT for not doing anything more to get a guy who might not have wanted to come to Green Bay.

    Daniel Graham: By his own admission, he is a better blocker than a catcher (he stated he needs to improve his pass catching). I could have sworn we had a TE named Bubba who was a better blocker than he is a pass catcher.

    Randy McMichael: I really trust porky, because I know he is one who reads around a lot and watches a ton of tape. Plus he has ties to insiders. If he says McMichael has bad hands, it is a cause for concern. Not to mention his whole spousal abuse fiasco.

    Eric Johnson: Injury prone. Better than David Martin, but what use would he be if he was injured?

    Bottom line: TT has a history of targeting needs in the draft. He will target TE fairly early on day 1.
  3. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

    Jun 5, 2005
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