Packers ‘Free Agents’ May Already Be On Board

Packers third-round pick DT Khyri Thornton in 2014 pre-season action.

With Wednesday’s modest signing of “street free agent” safety Kyle Sebetic, who spent a week on the Giants practice squad last November, the Green Bay Packers became the last team in the league to sign a free agent who spent time with another NFL team.

Simply put it is not in their DNA to spend wildly on the open market for players who were unsigned and in some cases unwanted by their former teams.

The Packers hit home-runs on their own players when they re-signed key players Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga to team-friendly contracts and later added back-up QB Scott Tolzien. But that has been it and it drives some Packers fan nuts.

If any Packers fans thought that this year’s free agency would bring a loosening of the Packers purse-strings to lure tempting veteran free agents to Green Bay, they don’t know Ted Thompson very well. Or more accurately, they don’t remember the history of the Packers since Thompson took over in 2006.

Over the years the Packers have found that what glitters to others most often does not translate into gold for most.

The Packers know the value of their own veteran free agents who they prefer over those from other teams. They are acutely aware of the over spending that occurs with NFL team that have money, but little common-sense in the opening days of free agency. It is not the “Packers Way” to overspend.

Fear-not Packers fans your ‘free agents’ may already be on board.

Third-round defensive tackle Khyri Thornton and fifth-round wide receiver Jared Abbrederis were placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the season. Fourth-round linebacker Carl Bradford, sixth-round cornerback Demetri Goodson and seventh-round wide receiver Jeff Janis made the 2014, 53-player roster but found themselves on the inactive list nearly every game day.

Jason Wilde of ESPN-Milwaukee and Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel were in attendance when McCarthy met with a few select reporters at the NFL Meetings this week in Arizona and noted McCarthy’s remarks:

“I think Thornton has really turned the corner in the weight and conditioning part of it,” he said. “And Jared is here every day. So, he just has to get stronger, a little bigger. Everybody felt great about the way he showed in spring and the training camp he was having. So, yeah, definitely. It won’t be lack of work ethic, that’s for sure.”

“Yeah, I know (when) we drafted Carl, Ted felt pretty strongly that he was an outside linebacker,” McCarthy said, “and it really helps in our scheme if you train them outside to inside just because the way everything fits together, then the learning is seamless jumping in and out of certain personnel groups. That was the thinking early with Brad (Jones). Brad, Jamari (Lattimore) and Carl.”

“I’ve always focused on the guys who are here,” McCarthy told reporters in the lobby of the Arizona Biltmore hotel Sunday afternoon as he arrived for the annual NFL Meetings, which officially begin Monday morning. “I don’t get too caught-up on the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve and all that other stuff.”

“When it all shakes out, you lose some guys you hope to have back. But you just keep going,” McCarthy added.

“I’m excited about Casey,” McCarthy said. “He had his [2013 hamstring] injury, [but] he was able to get through the whole [2014] season and finish strong. I think he’s got definitely a chance to take a step. Obviously with the loss of Tramon … there’s obviously a big opportunity there for all of our young corners.”

“I look at Tramon (Williams), he comes as practice squad and the way he worked and the type of man he is. A.J. and him both, they’re great husbands. They’re great fathers. They’re great representatives of the organization. They were very consistent, accountable. Tramon played three years with over 1,000 reps for us. You don’t just replace that.”

“With that being said, there’s a bunch of young guys who look at it as an opportunity. Maybe it’ll take a couple of guys to replace those guys, but that’s why you go to camp and that’s why you play the games,” McCarthy offered.

“You got to coach the ones that are here. You have to build it off the guys who are on the board right now,” McCarthy said. “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

“Veteran free agency is still going on,” McCarthy said. “That will play out. We’ll see what happens between now and the draft. Obviously, we’ve put a lot into the draft. We rely on the draft as probably our prominent avenue of player acquisition….I’m not concerned.”

Of course with losing your players in free agency, comes the prospect of gaining additional draft picks during the following year’s draft. Many of those bonus picks have become contributors for the Packers.

Among the players the Packers have selected with compensatory picks are TE Richard Rodgers (3rd, 2014), WR Jared Abbrederis (5th, 2014), DE Josh Boyd (5th, 2013), DE Mike Daniels (fourth, 2012), S Jeron McMillian (fourth, 2012), CB Davon House (fourth, 2011), Newhouse (fifth, 2010), and Josh Sitton (fourth, 2008).

Packers fans have to admit that is a pretty impressive list. From the young, eager and hopefully talented group already on the roster, plus what promises to be another strong draft class, the brain-trust of the Green Bay Packers frets-not about developing future stars.

Should the team decide to participate in veteran free agency they have the resources to do so.

The web site overthecap.com has placed the Packers available salary cap room at $21,330,042.  That is now the fifth highest of any team in the league – more than the Saints, Cowboys, Chiefs, Lions and Steelers combined.

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Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .

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  • Archie

    Just remember history. When T Twas GM in SEA he had a good offense and a less than stellar defense. Sound familiar? Tight Ted refused to dip into FA to bolster his defensive troops. Sound familiar? The year Ted left SEA, his successor spent heavily in FA, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Result? A SEA Super Bowl victory. Upshot: When you are close it is stupid not to go all out to plug a few holes. Far preferable to a bunch of close but no cigar years as was witnessed in SEA and GB under nearly two decades of TT’s way. Yes we won a SB but it is hard to give TT much credit for that as the Pack snuck into teh playoffs on the last day of the season following a seccession of unlikely outcomes and then were led by the near perfect play of a young QB that TT had tried to trade the pick he used on him rather than draft him. That is the acts and the real history re: TT. Yet Packer fans embrace this socially awkward, professionally indecisive GM as though he were Lombardi. Just amazing to me.

    • Rossonero

      I don’t hate TT that much, but I do agree with you that when you’re in the Super Bowl window, that it’s unreasonable to not spend anything in free agency to get over the hump. The Packers are trying to do it for cheap. Despite drafting heavily on defense the past few years, many high draft picks have not worked out (Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy, Mike Neal, Datone Jones, etc.).

      • dobber

        I think it’s just as interesting to note that despite drafting heavily on defense the past few years, the offense is likely the best in the NFL. Only two first-round picks currently starting in that offense.

        We can point to TT in his draft selections on the defensive side of the ball, but no matter how you draft, you need your coaching staff to teach and coach up the players you’ve got. We can heap blame at the feet of TT for the defensive personnel, but when positional groups tend to struggle (ILB, DL) that says something about the coaching.

        “it’s unreasonable to not spend anything in free agency to get over the hump.”

        The Packers did spend in FA: they bought one of the best WR available and the top OT available. Caponomics don’t allow you to spend willy-nilly. I would argue that TT has his eye on the 2016 off-season when he’ll have a bunch of his own FAs to sign, and will probably lose a couple even with the cushion the team currently has.

      • william dickson

        perry played well so did neal and jones in 3rd year,we had the best team last year just did not win…but still the TT haters …don’t get it,signed cobb and bb but not enough..o well….good luck archie

    • Since ’61

      Archie – I understand your frustration, at least to a degree, but my recollection of history is that Seattle was defeated by the Steelers in the 2005 Super Bowl, not victorious. To be fair, I would say that Seattle was the victim of some terrible officiating but that’s part of the game and they lost. Also, if you blame TT for not winning more SBs he deserves credit for the win in 2010 because those were his players, including Rodgers, regardless of how they won or how they made the playoffs. Who cares how the Packers made the playoffs, they did it legitimately and they went on to win it all. If you want to say he was lucky to win then we can also say he is unlucky to lose, especially when you consider all of the Packer injuries during 2011-2013 seasons and then last season to have Rodgers play hurt in the most important games of the season. I am admittedly biased for the Packers but there is no doubt in my mind that the Packers win in Seattle with a 100% healthy Rodgers. As for comparing TT with Lombardi there is no comparison, although Lombardi wasn’t a perfect GM either, especially in 1968 when he failed to sign a decent place kicker. The Packers record would have a 10-4 record with a division win and maybe another SB instead of the 6-7-1 record had Lombardi signed a replacement after Don Chandler retired. It’s unfair to compare across the eras. Compared to his peers, based on his record, Lombardi was the best no question. Compare TT’s record with his peers and he had been at least one of the best in the NFL since 2005 when he became the Packers GM, no question again. Thanks, Since ’61

      • dobber

        Oh, Since ’61, haven’t you learned that you can’t beat hyperbole with reason or facts?

        • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

          lol. Archie the resident chicken little and his sidekick Big T. ;)

          • Archie

            Bearmeat – you are one obnoxious pissant. You probably weigh 500 pounds and wash up once a month.

            • Sven

              Archie,

              This is a very funny answer. Btw I am not laughing with you.

              • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

                I agree. It is a funny answer. (Signed a 180 lb college professor who showers every morning and has a terminal degree, a beautiful wife and daughter). ;)

              • dobber

                Agreed…says another 200 lb college prof (chemistry) who showers daily, has a terminal degree, wonderful wife and daughter! ;)

            • dobber

              That would make him Grizzly Bearmeat…

            • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

              Literally LOL. Thanks for the morning smile Archie.

          • Sven

            So true. Year after year. It the same old story from Archie. Consistently one of the best teams in the league and he criticizes. It is amazing that he has apparently learned nothing in all these years. I find it humorous.

      • Archie

        I wasn’t sure whether they won that SB but thanks for the correction. I’m sorry, 2010 was a fluke. We should have never made the playoffs and when we did, a QB that TT did not want to draft played perfect football through the playoffs to win that SB. And, as we have all seen, we have flopped every year since. TT’s formula is a close but no cigar formula. The season ending choke this year was the worst ending to a Packer season I can remember. Look at our defense. It is getting worse each year despite lots of high draft picks and even a marquee FA signing. I’m sorry, TT’s nearly 20 year track record shows he can’t build a defense. For a long time he and MM tried to make us believe having a top RB wasn’t important. That was such rubbish. SB teams play good defense, have a good rushing attack and have a good passing attack. They play ST well too. We have 2 our of 4 after a decade of TT.

        • dobber

          “I’m sorry, 2010 was a fluke.”

          Tell me how you win all those road playoff games and a Superbowl on a “fluke”…

        • Thegreatreynoldo

          The close but no cigar criticism is one that occurs to me every so often, but on balance, I think it is untrue. The career ending injuries to Nick Collins and Bishop really hurt this defense. It also appears to me that TT has a knack for discerning talent at quite a few positions, like WR, CB, OG, OC, OT. Bit more hit and miss at OLB, TE, RB, FS, SS, DT, and more misses than hits at DE, ILB.

          The sample size is small and sometimes the resources devoted to a position were weak. Take TT’s 6 TEs picks. TT drafted Finley (3rd) and Rodgers (3rd), D. J. Williams (5th), Quarless (5th), Ryan Taylor (7th), Clark Harris (7th). Williams did little, Harris did less. Taylor was a 7th round guy who excelled at ST for 59 games, so that’s decent. I’d say 4 of 6 were decent picks. No gems at TE from UDFAs that I recall, all misses or ST guys. No first or second round picks here.

          At S, he drafted Clinton Dix (1st), Burnett (3rd), McMillan (4th), Rouse (3rd) Collins (2nd), and Marviel Underwood (4th). Underwood played in 16 games in his rookie year, then tore 2 ligaments in the preseason leading to his 2nd year, and was done. These are mostly premium picks: 1 first, 1 second, 2 thirds and a 4th. Of the 5, one got hurt, Rouse was a bust, the other 3 were good picks. TT seemed content with fill-ins at the other safety position – Peprah, Bigby, Banjo.

          • Archie

            I pretty much agree with what you say but I would argue injury-shortened careers are a constant in the NFL and can’t be used as an excuse. There’s no doubt TT is patient to a fault.

            • Thegreatreynoldo

              I promise to eventually evaluate TT on the basis of Super Bowls won, not W-L percentage. There probably will be a time, maybe 3 years from now, when I think TT should go all in and try to win now, even if it messes up the future cap. I always wondered whether TT realized in ’06 or ’07 that A. Rodgers was the real deal and thus decided not to damage the cap and/or draft for need at the tail end of Favre’s career. IDK. Drafting Brohm high (2nd rd) & Flynn (7th) argues against that theory, but…

              Bill Barnwell – Football Outsiders: “As we draw closer to the NFL Draft, talk has faded regarding quarterback Brian Brohm, regarded as a strong candidate to be the first overall pick following the 2006 season. It now seems entirely possible that Brohm could go as high as the top five or as low as the second round.” Maybe TT thought Brohm was just too good to ignore. [On another site there is a guy arguing that if Mariotta drops to 30, we should take him because he is too good to ignore.]

              You are free to think that I am doing some revisionist history or writing an apologia for TT or otherwise engaging in pure homerism.

    • dobber

      I think you need to be fair in saying that TT hasn’t broken the bank for offensive FAs either. In truth, his forays into significant FA acquisitions has skewed more to the defensive side of the ball (Woodson, Big Grease, Peppers, Guion) than the offensive side of the ball (Saturday?). In reality, his FA approach has been very consistent: he just doesn’t use it very much.

      I wouldn’t call him indecisive at all. Matter of fact, he’s probably SO decisive that he’s inflexible on what he’s willing to spend on players, either his own or other teams. Am I saying he’s right? No. I’m saying that he’s very true to his own philosophy, and it’s hard to be too unhappy with it when it keeps the Packers more than just competitive on a yearly basis as opposed to the Washington’s and the like that spend like crazy and can’t put two winning seasons together.

      • The Marathon Man

        The fact we have spent all that FA money on the defensive side of the ball and still fall short there rather defeats Archie’s own arguments on FA spending. Archie is looking more like Jughead today.

    • Big T

      Remember these people don’t care about superbowls they just want a winning record and 8-8 counts as a winning record. TT is their hero til the end. ” I remember when the Packers lost for 20 yrs. in a row” now under TT we have a winning record so shut up. We don’t need no stinkin superbowl. Just give us a winning record and an occasional one and done in the playoffs and we be happy. Just the thought of TT and most on here get a woody. If they only knew that we could have 3 more rings with anyone else. Oh well they don’t care…

      • TedTomsin

        Surely you can’t be serious Big T. lol
        Are you and Archie doing this just for kicks?

      • dobber

        What I care about is the long-term health of the franchise. You’re right: I don’t want the team to degenerate into a pattern of futility like the 70s and 80s again. For those of us who actually lived through it, it royally sucked. One way to accelerate a spiral back into that kind of hell is to spend the crap out of your cap.

        I think you’re mistaken to say that the posters here aren’t invested in the success of this team. Why would any of us spend all this time commenting, arguing and voicing opinions if we didn’t care about winning football games?

        Why do people automatically assume that an elite QB = easy SB wins? Ask Peyton Manning and Drew Brees how that works…neither has any more SB wins than ARod.

      • The Marathon Man

        Prove it.

    • TedTomsin

      I am beginning to think you really are the real Archie Bunker. Always complaining about something. Good Lord!!

      You have to be Cow42. Nobody else that I know of would complain about the greatest GM in Packer’s history.

      Ted

      • Archie

        What is there to complain about? We have the greatest GM in Packers’ history and the greatest defense and we will be in the SB every year. And MM is the greatest too even if he choked in the NFC Championship game last year. The only thing I’m sad about is losing Aj Hawk, he was such a wonderful player all these years.

        • Big T

          I miss Marshall Newhouse…

        • The Marathon Man

          All talk, no answers. Your theories have already been proven wrong.

    • billy

      I don’t…Rodgers makes him and McCarthy look real good…that 3rd round pick last year was dumb and a total waste and still will be…

    • dobber

      “TT had tried to trade the pick he used on him rather than draft him”

      So he tried to trade it. In the end, HE MADE THE PICK and the rest is history. You assume that ARod would’ve been a star anywhere else he played. For all we know, GB, with MM as his HC and mentor and a couple years to fix his mechanics and footwork, is the only place he would have elevated himself to his current status.

    • william dickson

      spoiled spoiled spoiled…

    • GBPDAN

      I’m frustrated, too. The problem with TT is he is not good at drafting defensive players overall. He sticks to his draft and development scheme, which is a good philosophy if you hit on players. TT just doesn’t hit on enough D players. He has a low batting average on D players, especially in the front 7. Then, he doesn’t fill enough holes, on his misses, in FA to compensate for his ineffectiveness. I’m not saying break the bank, but come on, Ted!

    • aaronqb

      SEA lost in the Super Bowl the year after TT left. And, they missed the playoffs for several years until Carroll/Schneider arrived. TT is one of the best, if not the best, in the business.

  • Jeff

    I think people will be surprised this year at the ILB position, Barrington has proven he can be a starter and they kept Bradford on the 53 all year so they could mold him into the replacement of Jones/Hawk so watch for him to make the second year jump, they also have Matthews who I believe will jump inside on certain packages again this year, back ups like Mulumba, Lattimore, Thomas (who btw I think was making a case to be on the 53 before his injury last season) the ILB position is not in bad shape!

    Hayward is going to surprise as well he is faster than Tramon and just has a knack for being around the ball. Lets hope Goodson can step up and the new guy they signed I watched play his high school football is a thumper with great hands, he just lacks a little speed which is why he did not get drafted but he will provide depth and make a awesome ST player!

    • dobber

      In the end, it’s all about the ???s at ILB. Can Barrington be a quality ILB over a full season? Are any of those others (Bradford, Thomas) ready to contribute meaningful snaps at ILB or is there an OLB conversion who is going to compete (Palmer, Mulumba)? Given how lousy the ILB play has been in recent years, isn’t just about anything an improvement?…so, I agree with you.

      Hayward is the one who makes me nervous. They sound like they’re ready to go with him on the outside, but he’s prone to soft-tissue injuries and just can’t stay healthy. I don’t see how they don’t draft a CB in rounds 1-3, and how that player doesn’t log meaningful snaps from the get-go.

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        Nah. I think Heyward will be fine and so will Barrington. You’ve got to think that CM3 moves to ILB at a pace similar to last year. If so, that means that OLB depth isn’t great. It comes down to depth at ILB and DT and CB. We get even halfway decent performance from the depth pieces there and we will have a great D next year.

        I too wish that TT would have dipped into FA a little bit – but when you combine the good with the bad, overall I’ll take TT over just about every GM in the league.

        • dobber

          Remember: change means things always immediately become exponentially better.

    • Thegreatreynoldo

      Barrington has proven that he can be JAG at ILB, which is actually a big step up from Hawk and Jones. I like Hayward and Mulumba. Agree with Dobber that a 2-down thumper should be available late in this draft, but that rookie might take a year to figure out where & when to do his thumping, just like Barrington took a year. The value in a Spikes or Foster is that they presumably can figure out the system during TC and won’t need time to adjust to the speed of the NFL in the event that Barrington misses a few games, especially early in the season.

  • Since ’61

    Jeff – good article. As many of my previous posts have indicated I am an advocate for the Packer’s approach of draft, develop and keep your own free agents. I think that the approach has served the Packers well in maintaining a healthy cap/financial situation for the team. I hope that the Packers continue their approach and re-sign at least Guion and/or Raji. They should probably re-sign Bush as well. Why? Because your article mentions several players (Thornton, Bradford, Abbrederis, Janis, Goodson) who may ” be our free agents already on board”. Yes, it’ true that 2 or 3 of these players may be ready to step up and contribute but it’s also possible that they may not be ready. If that turns out to be the case then we need some experienced depth on the team. If we look at the defensive side of this is Thornton ready to be a starting NFL NT? Unlikely, however he may develop into a very capable player in a rotation with Guion and Pennel. Same for Bradford. Is he ready to start next to Barrington? Too soon to tell. Then we have Goodson and our vacated CB position. I realize it looks like Hayward will start at corner but then we weaken our slot coverage. The Packers, as you correctly pointed out, have $21.8 million of cap space. Minus $5.3 for their draft pool and they have $16.5 left for FAs. We know that TT will never spend it all but I remain hopeful that he will spend some of it on one or 2 veteran FAs by the time we go to training camp. Maybe he is looking to repeat last season’s move of signing veterans that are released by their current teams. If not,do we want our season to left in the hands of untried and untested players like Thornton, Bradford and Goodson? It may be forced on the Packers due to injuries but given the Packers lucrative cap situation that seems unnecessary to me. Thanks, Since ’61

    • Rossonero

      Personally I wanted LB Mason Foster from Tampa Bay, but the Bears signed him to a one-year deal. Guys like Thornton, Bradford, Abbrederis, Janis and Goodson are essentially still rookies. Sure, they got some practice time in last year, so they’re not completely raw, but there is nothing like actual game speed. They need to go through those growing pains still and play in some games.

      ILB Brandon Spikes (age 27, 6’2″ 255 lbs.) remains unsigned. ESPN reported that Buffalo is going to reach out to him, but they can’t offer much since they blew so much in free agency.

      Spikes is a run-stopping guy and would probably have to be taken out on passing downs, but I’m surprised they wouldn’t even make him a cheap offer?

      • dobber

        Firmly believe that 2-down run-stuffing ILB can be had in the draft and contribute right away. I don’t blame TT for not going full-bore after Spikes, but I’m a little surprised that he hasn’t at least kicked the tires on that one.

        • Rossonero

          Agreed, although the assumption is they don’t get injured. So if the Packers insert a 1st rd draft pick ILB who goes down with an injury, who’s up next? Carl Bradford I suppose. He’s got a lot to prove this training camp though.
          I could them spending a later round pick on another ILB since they didn’t bother to bring back Jamari Lattimore, but every time Clay Matthews moves inside, we lose his outside rush. It’s become clear that Nick Perry and Mike Neal don’t offer much on the outside.

          • dobber

            “Agreed, although the assumption is they don’t get injured. So if the Packers insert a 1st rd draft pick ILB who goes down with an injury, who’s up next?”

            True, but if the Packers sign Spikes and HE gets hurt and is done for the year, who’s up next? Same answer. In the end, if you can get effective play out of a draft pick who you control for four years on the cheap and gives you the opportunity to groom into your system, is that better than signing a Brandon Spikes for 1-2 years at a higher rate?

            • Rossonero

              Agreed. I should’ve mentioned that I’d be perfectly fine with a 1st rd ILB draft pick, but I’d like them to sign a veteran like Spikes as well.

    • Archie

      IMO, the best approach to building a championship team includes a smart blend of all available means. Look at Bill Walsh to see how a master handled the draft. He traded in both directions quite frequently. As to FA – nobody is better at it than Bill Bellichek, as much as I hate to admit it. I’d say Ted’s forte is UDFA. Williams and Shields were impressive. He’s also begun to hit on mid-round OL.

      • Since ’61

        Archie – a good point and I agree. However, remember that Bill Walsh did not have to deal with free agency and salary caps. This made trades much easier during the 80s. As for Bellichek’s approach he has a rich owner who supports his FA acquisitions and is willing to take the risks of facing salary cap hell. Due to how the Packer’s are structured TT is not in a position to do the same. He is part of a custodial triumvirate which includes Mike Murphy, TT and MM. Their combined role is a custodial one in that they are responsible to leave the Packers in as solid financial shape as possible when they move. If the Patriots blow up their cap or face hard financial times Kraft can sell out and leave the mess for the new owners. Murphy and TT cannot do that. They are responsible to their successors to keep the team in reasonable financial shape. BTW, if they don’t we could find ourselves without a team in Green Bay. It would take a some time, but poor financial management could devastate the Packers. So while I agree in using every available approach the Packers need to remain fiscally responsible. Also, agree that TT is strong with UDFAs and mid-round OL. That’s part of being fiscally responsible and fulfilling his custodial role. Thanks, Since ’61

        • TedTomsin

          Clearly Archie did not take a college course in Economics.
          Ted

        • Archie

          Bellichek usually goes for bargains in FA and usually lets his own go when they get long in the tooth or fail to develop as expected.

          • Since ’61

            Agree, he also finds any way that he can to cheat and he gets away with it because of his arrogant owner and the current quisling commissioner. Thanks, Since ’61

        • Thegreatreynoldo

          I think it would be hard for GB’s front office to really make the packers financially insecure given the current NFL structure. Signing big FAs shouldn’t hit the bottom line too hard. No matter what TT does, he cannot exceed the cap. Whether what I wrote just now is true, I would like to give some kudos to GB’s Front Office.

          Mark Murphy and the pack are currently buying up a lot of the land surrounding Lambeau. The plan is to have a retail and entertainment center and possibly a hotel right on GB’s property, making GB a year-round destination. Done right, this could really enhance GB’s bottom line for decades. I know that writing about this is not as much fun as talking pure football, but it may well turn out to be the most important decision that M. Murphy makes during his tenure as the head of GB.

  • Thegreatreynoldo

    1) “Over the years the Packers have found that what glitters to others most often does not translate into gold for most.” 2) “The Packers know the value of their own veteran free agents who they prefer over those from other teams.” I would suggest that there is at least as much evidence against quotes #1 and #2 as there is for them.

    As for #1, TT’s track record on actually signing FAs is actually pretty good. All of TT’s big money FAs (Pickett, Woodson, Peppers) have been home runs. Smaller FAs have been more hit and miss. Misses include Marquand Emanuel and Jeff Saturday, Adrian Klemm and Matt O’Dwyer. Hits include Guion, Tramon Williams, Brandon Chillar, Howard Green, arguably Frank Walker & Charlie Peprah. Others FAs include Anthony Hargrove, Ben Taylor, Marc Boerigter, Duke Preston, Phillip Merling, and Muir. Most of them did not cost GB anything and were cut in camp, and most of them were no mid-tier FAs that were coveted by other teams.

    As for #2, I would suggest that a good case can be made that TT often overvalues his own FAs. Good re-signings include Aaron Rodgers, Nelson, Bulaga, Sitton, Lang, and maybe CM3, Cobb and Shields, though those were pricey. Hawk and Jones are the poster boys for overpaying. Raji and Jennings would have been terrible signings had those players possessed the common sense to accept the deals that were offered to them. Burnett is TBD at this point.

    Bottom line here is that some of us would like TT to look at the veteran FA with a price tag of say $2.5 to $5 million to plug a hole. I agree that GB has some rookies that did not play last year who might well help this year, and some 2nd yr. players who might develop.

    • TedTomsin

      Wow!! what an excellent memory Reynoldo. I forgot about a lot of those free agents but glad you put them out there. Yes, TT has more hits than misses and that’s all that matters and when he hits he usually hits big. Julius Peppers was a huge hit last year.
      Ted

      • Thegreatreynoldo

        Just remember this post next time I slam TT. I try to be fair, but also balanced in my critiques of TT.

  • mark

    Archie is correct. The facts are clear, without Rodgers the team’s record speaks for itself. Ted has assembled a team that is 5-7 wins/year without Rodgers (or equivalent QB play) If Cutler were on GB we would be the bears. And this is with MM, a top coach. Yet MM’s flaws, loyalty and faith are normally very good. But for years his refusal to hold is friends accountable, (ST and D coaches) has threatened to undermine him, this year it did.

    The reality of Ted is found in the talent level of the team w/o Rodgers and it is not good. The WR talent outside Rodgers and MM is accurately reflected by those who have left the team.

    When Oakland hired our resident buffoon our draft success went way up. Where did Oakland go?

    • TedTomsin

      Archie is not correct. He’s just an angry white guy. Why he’s constantly this way who the hell knows.
      Ted

    • dobber

      I think the bottom line is that the Packers are NOT without Aaron Rodgers. This is a team built around an elite QB…aside from maybe the 2008 Patriots–who didn’t make the playoffs, BTW–can you think of a time when a team lost its elite QB for any significant length of time and still churned out a playoff berth or even a winning record (Packers still did it in 2013)?

  • mark

    maybe someone can explain to me how you can (rationally and logically) compare a team with the best QB (the going away most important position) and a top coach to one with no coach and no QB. Only an idiot can try and compare those situations. It is not even apples and oranges, it is moondust and soldiers field. To the extent it proves anything it proves the opposite point.
    Outside of Rodgers, a lucky and fortunate circumstance mainly due to Rodgers character and work ethic because he was not good when drafted the GB QB position under Ted is a history of disaster. Who can recall starting an entire off season with garbage at QB backup, changing garbage for more garbage and say Ted is a guru of anything?

  • greenbaybornnraised

    Just keep it going ted most dont understand how you work but as long as we are winning and fighting for a superbowl every year how does one speak against with how he is doin it he is doin a good job let the man work we dnt need to overpay players we keep our own players and pay them good business practice why take a risk on a player when u dnt really knw what u got but with our own we knw what we got its just called being smart and go head look at seattle they barley got money to do much of anything let alone keep there own they over pay everybody and aint got no money we got the blueprint and i bet seattle wont be there next year i got faith it will all green and gold baby

    • Philip

      This is why the Packers received the highest grade of free agency from a few people who know what they are talking about. And it is ridiculous to say that the Packers are a 5-7 win team without Rodgers, since the only “evidence” is that the Packers didn’t win much when Rodgers was hurt. That team also hadn’t developed an offence that directed everything through AR and his particular talents. I think our combination of line, receivers, and running back stacks up pretty well with any offence.

      http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12558392/grading-every-team-free-agency-signings-point-nfl

      “They did a great job keeping their own and that is really all there is to say about it,” Polian said.

      Yates called this a “classic Ted Thompson offseason” while Williamson emphasized the flexibility Green Bay now enjoys while heading into the draft.

      “They would get my best grade,” Williamson said. “You could make an argument that they were the best team in the league last year even though they lost a crazy game in the playoffs. They have a great offensive playmaker in Cobb and a very good right tackle in Bulaga. That offense is loaded. Now they have the whole draft to do whatever they want.”

  • billy

    Third-round defensive tackle Khyri Thornton…haha, when Ted “wisely” took him in the 3rd round the rest of the league had a chuckle and said who?? He was lucky he didnt get cut…quit blowing smoke, this group aint much but a bunch of JAG’s….watch and see….waiting for the proverbial “next step”….

    • TedTomsin

      Billy, don’t be a hero. Remember Ted also took Cory Linsley in the 5th round followed by many chuckles.
      Ted

  • Bill

    Archie, just curious, are you a Packer fan? Your pessimistic approach should make you find a team that you feel is run by your standards. That would make you a happy camper and keep your blood pressure down. If you look around the league, the Pack is one of the most successful teams of the last 10 seasons. Undoubtedly because of a well managed and coached team. I am glad I can be confident the Pack will have as good a chance as any other team in the league for a SB birth!

  • Tim

    Bottom line is the proverbial “bottom line.” TT sees it as a “business.” Fill the seats and make a profit. To do that you have to simply provide a “winning” team – NOT a championship team! That’s how TT & MM & Murphy run the Packers. It is NOT about championships as it was with Lombardi or today’s Patriots and Belicheck. That’s why TT will NEVER transcend to the real level of greatness as a GM. He will also in the process “hold back” guys like Rodgers from being multiple Super Bowl champions. Great GMs recognize you draft and develop AND bring in stud free agents when necessary. Could have let Cobb go and brought you n a stud to improve defense (Revis) and used Adams, Janis to pick up on Cobbs’ catches.

    • WKUPackFan

      Pretty sure most NFL teams would take a “winning” record every year. Pretty sure most teams would take making the playoffs six years in a row. Under the current CBA those are major accomplishments. Winning records mean playoffs, playoffs mean a chance at the SB. That’s how these things work.

      In addition, Murphy (along with TT & MM, should they be concerned about such things) doesn’t need the wins for the Packers to make money. For over 20 years, while the team was woefull and dreadfully managed; the seats were filed, the season ticket list increased, and the Packers remained among the leaders in merchandise sales. GB is one of those rare teams that don’t need to win to turn a profit.

      • Tim

        wholly disagree! It’s about winning championships, not simply “making the playoffs…,” Again, see Patriots! And it IS about maintaining their $ base, particularly due to the reality that there really is no owner and the team cannot simply be sold if things go south. One cannot help but think TT IS very well concerned with keeping the Packers a money-making machine. I live in Cincinnati and know all about teams making $ without providing a real product or seeking to win. Cincinnati is one of the “richest” franchises in the league, but also one of the most woefully run and a terribly consistent loser. Just ask Buffalo fans what it’s like to be a loser after “making 4 Super Bowl runs in a row. Now they are threatening to move team to Toronto. Vikings got a new stadium deal on the threat of a move (another 4 Super Bowl loser!). Now St. Louis is threatening an LA move. Nothing is ever etched in stone in the real world of business and the NFL IS big business, but for how long? To be oh so close and watch TT and Co. not even consider “dipping” into FA to improve the defense to become a real dynasty, while they have Rodgers, is truly a sad commentary on TT! Just 2 more defensive studs and the real probability of a dynasty for the next few years was there. But not with TT running the show. Every year the same old same old. Defense loses again!

        • WKUPackFan

          OK, not sure about all of that. However, I am sure that to win a championship you must first make the playoffs.

          Congratulations on living in Cincinnati, it’s a great city. Hope you’re getting plenty of ribs at Montgomery Inn.

  • Rossonero
    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      No. If he signs with the Seahawks, good for him. He knows his best place is back in GB. He’ll get more playing time here and probably a better deal. The Seahawks are about to be in cap hell.

  • shavager

    I hate to tell you guys this, since the 2010 SB team, Ted Thompson’s signed 40+ NEW defensive players via draft picks, UDFA’s and FA’s and this team has only in latter part of the 2014 season become a upper 15 DEFENSE. You’re looking at enough defensive players to REMAKE 3+ complete defenses with that number of picks and signings–either he isn’t good at picking good prospects or Dom Capers can’t make players out of’em. We’ve seen Packers LOSE 4 CONSECUTIVE YEARS in playoffs with a defense that can’t stop the opposition when the marbles are on the line. Bombed by Giants, beaten two consecutive years by Kaepernick and his legs, again this season at end of a game they dominated, ’cause McCarthy chose to sit on ball knowing his defense had gave up playoff wins the previous 3 seasons. Packers are SO CLOSE to a winning defense–NOW is the time to chuck the previous strategy, MOVE UP and instead of coming home with EIGHT picks–settle for 2-3 BEST available defensive players in first two rounds and use the compensatory picks for most necessary depth positions.