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Thompson sees no setback

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    GM isn't uncomfortable with loss of Green
    By TOM SILVERSTEIN
    tsilverstein@journalsentinel.com



    But they won't know that until the 2007 season is over.

    Right now, they face two questions that must be answered: Should they have raised their offer in order to retain Green; and, who replaces him in the backfield?

    General manager Ted Thompson did not characterize Green's loss as a major setback for the Packers, but he made it clear he did want the 30-year-old running back on his roster. The Packers set a price for Green and tried to get him to take it before free agency started, but it turned out to be much lower than the four-year, $23 million deal the Houston Texans offered Sunday.

    Thompson said he's perfectly comfortable with Vernand Morency, Noah Herron, P.J. Pope and Arliss Beach and didn't feel compelled to make a major move. But he said he would consider signing a veteran.

    But, letting Green get to the open market sealed the Packers' fate because with most of the league swimming in cap space, it was almost guaranteed Green would get a better offer. The Packers continued to negotiate with Green up until the time he agreed to terms Sunday with the Texans, but they never met his price.

    "I don't know if you ever know," Thompson said Monday when asked if he had done the right thing. "I think with many things you have discussions and evaluations and - and we do this with everything we put our hands on, good or disappointing - have a self-evaluation. And we'll do that.

    "We made it clear that we would like to have him back and he said he would like to come back. But once free agency starts, it's a moving target. Apparently, he had a nice visit and that clinched it for him."

    The money was a big factor as well.

    According to Green's agent, Joby Branion, Green will receive a total of $8 million this season, including $6.5 million in bonuses, $12.5 million over two years and $18 million over three. The Packers were mostly concerned with the first year because they weren't sure how many seasons Green had left and refused to go much over $5 million.

    Green gave the Packers an opportunity to match the offer, but they refused. Had they raised their offer earlier - before the start of free agency - it's possible they could have signed Green.

    "They made a strong play at the end," Branion said of the Packers. "Hindsight is 20-20. Everyone was speculating what the market would be like. They held the cards prior to free agency as is the case with any team with a pending free agent. If you get that done (a deal) you don't risk having what happened."

    Thompson put a value on Green and stuck with it. The Packers have $21 million in salary cap room and could have afforded to meet Green's demands, but Thompson's philosophy has been not to overpay, which in this case seemed inevitable given the market.

    Asked if the Packers erred in not getting Green signed before free agency, Thompson said: "We haven't gotten there. We'll certainly go back and review and see where we might have done better. But you just do that anyway."

    Branion said money wasn't the only factor in Green choosing the Texans. Former Packers coach Mike Sherman, now the Texans' offensive coordinator, convinced him the 6-10 Texans were a team on the rise.

    Plus, Green liked the idea of running in Sherman's offense, which incorporates both the zone-blocking system he played in last year and the power-gap system in which he had his best seasons in Green Bay, under Sherman.

    "That right there, I just felt real comfortable with it," Green said. "It was a big part of my decision. With learning the zone blocking scheme last year with (Packers coach Mike) McCarthy, and prior to that knowing what I know in terms of the power game and the counter game with coach Sherman, it's an ideal mix. It's a good little thing that I can't wait to be a part of."

    The next phase for the Packers is to find a suitable replacement.

    The Packers touched base with Tennessee free agent Travis Henry before he signed with Denver and have been in contact with Chris Brown, another Titans free agent.

    Other options include free agents Dominic Rhodes, Corey Dillon and T.J. Duckett, trade candidates Willis McGahee of Buffalo and Tatum Bell of Detroit, and soon to be released Oakland running back Lamont Jordan.

    "I don't feel we absolutely need someone," Thompson said. "Like with any other position, if we see someone who interests us, we'll pursue that."
     
  2. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By Pete Dougherty
    pdougher@greenbaypressgazette.com

    The Green Bay Packers will be looking to a thin free-agent crop, a possible trade or more likely the draft to find a lead running back to team with Vernand Morency as a one-two halfback tandem.

    Ahman Green on Sunday agreed to a four-year, $23 million contract with the Houston Texans that includes about $8 million in first-year pay and $12.5 million to $13 million in the first two years, according to a source familiar with the deal.

    That's above the limit Packers General Manager Ted Thompson was willing to pay Green, and thus the 10th-year pro is headed to the Texans, whose offensive coordinator is former Packers coach Mike Sherman.

    Green also was negotiating with the Packers and, to a lesser extent, the Denver Broncos until the end, but Thompson was too leery of Green's age (30) and injury history — including a torn quadriceps tendon in 2005 — to make the kind of investment in Green the Texans offered.

    "(Green Bay) is where the majority of my career is at," Green said to reporters in Houston before his deal was announced. "I think, speaking in general with anybody that has been in a situation for a long time, regardless of if it was good or bad, I've been there seven years.

    "Some good, some bad, but regardless of the fact, staying or leaving will be tough. I don't know yet, but, I think for anybody generally speaking, it would be tough to do.

    "When you're a kid and you transfer a school, and that school you have all your buddies, regardless of if it was good times or bad times, it's still a tough time to leave."

    The Packers will be looking for a No. 1 running back to go along with their No. 2 back, Morency, as well No. 3 Noah Herron and Arliss Beach, who spent his rookie year on the Packers' injured reserve list because of an ankle injury.

    Among the backs available in free agency is Travis Henry, who was cut over the weekend by Tennessee because he was due an $8.3 million roster bonus. Denver had Henry in for a visit Saturday and Sunday, and had made him its No. 1 target. However, the Packers, along with several other teams, including Oakland and the New York Jets, are believed to be interested in him.

    Henry, 28, is two years younger than Green and rushed for 1,211 yards and a 4.5-yard average last season. Green had 1,059 yards and a 4.0-yard average last year for the Packers.

    That suggests Henry is in line for a better contract than Green, and it remains to be seen whether Thompson is willing to pay what Henry's other suitors are offering.

    There was no indication as of Sunday night that Henry was scheduled to visit the Packers, but they have been in contact with his agent, Hadley Engelhard. The Titans also reportedly are interested in re-signing Henry.

    If Thompson doesn't sign Henry, he might be inclined to sign a veteran who at least could share work with Morency as a No. 1 so he's not boxed into selecting a No. 1 back high in the draft. Baltimore's Jamal Lewis probably is the best running back available besides Henry but, even at 27, time seems to be catching up to him. He averaged only 3.6 yards a carry while gaining 1,132 yards last season. He's also considering re-signing with the Ravens.

    Among the other backs available are Chris Brown, Corey Dillon, T.J. Duckett and Correll Buckhalter.
     
  3. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Advertisement

    Posted March 5, 2007

    Mike Vandermause column: Packers are going to miss Green

    No one should feel sorry for Ahman Green after the veteran running back signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Houston Texans on Sunday.

    But Green deserved better from the Green Bay Packers.

    Green served as a loyal soldier for seven years in Green Bay, yet the Packers weren't willing to reward him for his efforts and let him walk.

    Loyalty works both ways, and in this case, the Packers couldn't come close to matching the Texans' respect for Green's talents.

    Green will go down as one of the best running backs in team history, but in the end, that didn't matter to the Packers.

    Green rushed for more than 1,000 yards six times, a remarkable achievement considering just four Packers backs in the 26 years before Green's arrival surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.

    Green has been so good for so long that he amassed 8,162 career rushing yards, just 45 yards shy of Jim Taylor's team record. He accumulated more yards from scrimmage (10,870) than any player in Packers history.

    What's not to like about Green? No one could question his superior work ethic. He wasn't flashy and didn't call attention to himself. Over-the-top touchdown celebrations weren't part of his repertoire. He went about his job humbly and consistently.

    While some players would have complained about living in the shadow of quarterback Brett Favre, Green didn't seem to mind. He never threw a tantrum over not getting the ball enough.

    As an added bonus, Green never complained about his contract and never threatened to hold out. Fans surely could appreciate that after enduring messy public squabbles involving the Packers and malcontents Mike McKenzie and Javon Walker.

    In an era when pro athletes shamelessly prop themselves up and make contract demands in public, Green was a throwback.

    So, what did that team spirit do for Green? It earned him a hefty four-year, $23 million contract, but he was forced to shop the NFL's unrestricted free-agent market to find it.

    It doesn't seem right that after all Green did for the Packers, the team wasn't willing to give him his due.

    The Packers will argue the NFL is a business, and the Texans simply put a higher value on Green than they were willing to pay. It became apparent the Packers were leery of shelling out big bucks to a player who just turned 30, an age when many running backs hit the wall.

    But Green proved he was no ordinary back. He overcame a potential career-ending ruptured quadriceps tendon injury in 2005 and gained 1,059 yards last season. He remained a valuable asset to the offense with his pass-catching ability. He didn't look like a player in decline.

    Even his reputation as a fumbler was more fiction than fact. Green had fewer career fumbles per touch than Taylor, whom many regarded as sure-handed.

    For some reason, Green's skills were taken for granted, if not by the team, then certainly by many fans. As free agency approached, the possibility of the Packers losing Green never generated an outcry.

    Now that Green is gone, the Packers will find out how valuable he was. The prospect of leaving the backfield in the hands of some untested rookie draft pick, a mediocre free-agent pickup or holdover Vernand Morency is unsettling.

    The Packers had the money and should have been willing to pay a premium to keep Green, who will be sorely missed.

    Mike Vandermause is sports editor of the Press-Gazette.
     
  4. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    hmm well its easy to take one side, he could easily have wrote an article slagging off the packers for resigning an aging declining running back. Sometimes journo's will write for the sake of it.
     
  5. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Touch'e Tiger.

    Bottom line is that Ahman was grossly overpaid for the player he IS...might be appropriate compensation if he was 5 years younger and at the peak of his stellar career with GB.

    Mike Sherman continues to work his special mojo. Good for Ahman though...and best of luck in Tejas!
     
  6. chibiabos

    chibiabos Cheesehead

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    :twocents: Man! fans sure have a short memory. Green was a GB stalwart and played through many injuries as well as his fight with asthma. He was the best RB in the free agency group. Hopefully TT won't have to live to regret the loss of Ahman Green but, I really don't see any RB on the market or the draft with the intangibles and courage of Ahman Green. Perhaps those individuals already on the roster will be able to fill Green's shoes. Should prove interesting to watch it all develop. Or Not! :chalflag:
     
  7. packerfan1245

    packerfan1245 Cheesehead

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    Im so sad hes gone :kickcan: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad:
     
  8. Pack93z

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

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    This is more a sign of "no panic" than really how Ted feels in my opinion. Mostly a PR move and not to sound desperate:)
     
  9. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    No room for nostalgia in today's NFL....if you want to win, that is. And the ironic thing is, it is the players' own fault. Their union maxxed out the dollars a player could earn, but in doing so the NFL became a much colder and calculated business atmosphere than it previously had been.
     
  10. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

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    IMO, FA is NOT the best source of RBs this year. And whoever signs now will be over-paid because of FA pandemonium so far. Morency is NOT a slug. He will give 110% to try to become #1. Beach, IMHO, is the real dark horse in this equation. I jinxed him last year because I was high on him. He showed a spark badly needed. However, I doubt TT will think his basket is filled. I look for him to draft Irons since the premier backs will be long-gone.
     
  11. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    I like Beach as well...although I think TT will draft Tony Hunt from Penn State. Morency has the quick, cutback, slashing style and his ideal compleent woud be the big power runner. Irons is too much like Morency.
     
  12. spardo62

    spardo62 Cheesehead

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    Exactly, TT cannot appear to be shocked or in a state of distress as he attempts to rebuild his backfield. If he were to exhibit these traits it would 1. drive up the price of any FA and 2. drive up the price for any trade he attempts to execute.

    I am sure that he is not confident with the backfield as it stands today and will do something to strengthen the position prior to the start of training camp. Likely through a combination of Draft and either FA or trade.
     
  13. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    This article ticks me off!!! He makes it sound like Green played for FREE all his time here! Like, Green didn't get compensated for his work??? He made a nice chunk of change here!
    So.....he wanted the Packers to pay a REDICULOUS amount of money for an aging RB, because of what Green did 3 years ago? If they had, i bet he would have been writting how stupid the Packers were for spending that kind of cap space on an old RB that is obviously on the downside.
    He SHOULD have just wrote an article on how great Green WAS, and not on slapping the Packers in the face.
    Me, i LOVED Ahman Green! He was/is one of my favorite players, and will remain as such. He was one of the few "stars" that would take the time for the fans, signing autographs at the fence after practice.
    Green Bay took a chance on bringing him here, when he had a history of fumbling. Yet they stuck with him, when many fans AND "writers" thought he should be benched.
    Green is getting a HUGE payday, and i WISH he could have stayed here. (He could have, but chose to leave for the BIG BUCKS.) He made the choice that was best for him in his view, as the Packers did whats best in their view. Neither side should be villified in my opinion.
     
  14. Pack93z

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

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    Square on Cheesy... 5 million in the first year and just under 10 in the first two is not a bad contract at all. I wish him the best although it would have been nice to see him in Green and Gold for a another year or two.
     
  15. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Thanks!
    I would have loved to see him stay here too. But he saw, and went for the big payday. I can't really blame him. He knows this is his last chance to get a huge contract, to grab the brass ring, and he went for it.
    Today FA's come and go, and that makes it hard for the fans. They fall in love with a player, and then watch them run off to greener pastures.

    Many years ago, Robin Yount CHOSE to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers, the team that drafted him, when he was offered alot more money to go to a different team. He wanted to spend his entire career with one team, and took less money in order to do so.
    The fact is, Green COULD have stayed here, had he been willing to take alot less money. He went for the money. Like i said, i don't blame him, but he DID have the choice in the end on where he would play. He had a roster spot here, had he wanted to remain "loyal".
    It works both ways.
     
  16. chibiabos

    chibiabos Cheesehead

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    :packbeer: And don't forget Cheesey; TT doesn't have the loyalty of an old timer in GB either. He made what I think was a wise decision in letting Ahman and also Henderson go. As much as us fans liked these two guys, they had their days in the sun in GB. That's something I doubt that either will ever forget. I'll miss them both and while I don't see their caliber player replacements now, I hope one of the new players can fill their shoes. Personally I think GB will have tough sledding in that department at least for this year.
     
  17. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    True........and i think TT's personality is to NOT be an "old timer" and pay big bucks to someone that isn't going to be able to earn it in the future.
    It's cut throat, but necessary in order to keep the team as competitive as possible.
    I hate seeing these guys go, but I also want the Packers to be good on the field.
    I think they will be OK, there still is LOTS of time before the first kickoff of next season. It's not time to panic yet.
     
  18. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    The Colts let Edge leave for big money to the Cardinals. They replaced him with a rookie and a 2nd stringer from the previous year. The result was a strong rushing attack that helped them earn their 1st Super Bowl since moving to Indy. As stated before losing Green is not as big as a setback as some think.
     
  19. chibiabos

    chibiabos Cheesehead

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    :kickcan: No panic Cheesey; just a worried frown. LMAO
     
  20. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    It was a very untimely injury for Green. That happened at a time when there is no question he would have gotten a nice raise and extension.

    The man ended up in the right place at the right time though.

    It ended up being a a bad injury at a bad time that did nothing but make him money.
     
  21. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I know.....the normal reaction is to be concerned. I just keep telling myself that its a LONG way till the season starts, so why worry about things that might end up not being a concern?
    Could be wasting alot of good worry on something that we might look back at and say "What were we worried about?"
     

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