Evan Dietrich-Smith Signs With The Buccaneers

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Packers C Evan Dietrich-Smith
Packers C Evan Dietrich-Smith

Tom Silverstein has been a busy guy, first reporting on the resigning of defensive end/nose tackle BJ Raji and now reporting that center Evan Dietrich-Smith has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.



With that, the Packers now have a big question to answer this offseason, much like they did when they let Scott Wells sign with the St. Louis Rams.   JC Tretter becomes perhaps the de facto starter, which is a little scary considering he was a left tackle in college and broke his foot during rookie orientation last year, essentially giving him a redshirt rookie season.  Other options might include Don Barclay, who practiced at center during training camp last year with somewhat disastrous results or TJ Lang, who is rumored to be the emergency center (or at least Josh Sitton jokes that he is). Luckily, the Packers have some other options on the offensive line, with both Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod likely being in the mix at tackle, either Don Barclay and/or David Bakhtiari could slide into the interior.

In terms of the draft, the Packers have never thought very highly of centers (Wells was a 6th round draft choice while EDS was a undrafted free agent), so it’s unlikely that they would draft a center high, rather they like to draft tackles who likely wouldn’t make it in the NFL and convert them to interior linemen.

The top free agent center is Alex Mack, who was designated the transition franchise tag for the Browns, likely meaning that the Packers will not try to pry Mack away from the Browns.  Again going back to Thompson’s history drafting and retaining centers, it appears as if the Packers front office views centers as largely fungible, meaning the Packers backup likely will be another low round draft pick or an undrafted free agent.  Another option might be to run the “Jeff Saturday” play, where the Packers sign a veteran center while they hope JC Tretter or Don Barclay gain enough experience at center to play next there next season.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.


53 thoughts on “Evan Dietrich-Smith Signs With The Buccaneers

  1. Evan, you’re dead to me. You betrayed the family. Now you swim with the fishes.

    Or worse, play for the Buccaneers.

      1. Crabtree was competing with 4 other TE’s so the opportunity was better for him in Tampa. He never said anything of ill will towards GB.

        Smith on the other hand made it clear that GB was not his No. 1 choice to play. I don’t know how much TT offered him, but knowing how generously he payed Shields, I imagine it wasn’t too far off from what Tampa offered. Smith was developed and became a full time starter in GB, and this is how he repays his loyalty.
        Not to mention unlike TC, Smith plays a key position, especially when Rodgers is your quarterback.

        I hope Smith regrets this decision.

        1. Loyalty doesn’t exist in the NFL. Packers IMO are just ready to move on w/ the future at Center. Tretter was drafted as the Center of the future. Unless they got EDS at what they wanted, I’m sure they were ready to move forward w/ Tretter.

          Modetate risk in going w/ Tretter, but w/ experienced OG’s like Lang and Sitton and Rodgers at QB, he’ll get plenty of help. He’s also Ivy League smart. I’m fine w/ this…

          1. No loyalty in the NFL? Say that about Pat Tillman. Say that about DD who was an all around GB homer. Loyalties exist in the NFL. It ought to be especially true for players like Shields, Williams and Smith, who were all undrafted. Nobody picked these guys up, the Packers were more than willing to go through the painstaking work of developing them for years.

            EDS owed the Packers for giving him this opportunity to play and get a sizable contract, but no, he’s just greedy.

            1. EDS wasn’t owed anything. Very few players have loyalty, nor should they. Driver forced his way back into GB after winning dancing even tho it was pretty clear the Packers would have been fine going w/o him.

              What about Tillman? He went to be a Navy Seal, he was a very average NFL safety.

              1. Yeah and he was an anomaly! If you think players owe teams anything your mistaken. They have to get what they can while they can. Tillman also wanted to stay in the same city where he was beloved and a legend. In another city he would have been just a guy and after a bad year would have been vilified. That wasn’t the case in Phx/Tempe/Scottsdale area.

              2. I concur with Stroh! it’s a business and you have to do whats right for yourself and your family. Thats means you try and make as much money as you can before your body breaks down,and you’re Das Booted!

              3. “do what’s right for you and your family”. Uhm… do you have any idea just how much 17 million is???

                My dad doesn’t even make 1 mil in a year, and he certainly won’t make 17 mil in his lifetime. I doubt you know any that do.

                So tell me, do you think they’re all doing their families injustice by not making millions of dollars???? Are they terrible fathers???

  2. I heard last year that EDS sweats profusely. Wasn’t a problem last year since the Packers didn’t play in a lot of hot humid weather games, if any. McClown or Glennon may be getting a lot of wet slimy balls from under center down in Tampa.

  3. lets see, give Raji $4 mill a guy who didn’t show up last year, but don’t pay $3.5 to a starting center…good move Ted.

    1. What position you play makes a huge deal, paying an average quarterback $10 million a year wouldn’t be considered that outrageous but so far no safety in the history of the game has gotten $10 million yearly.

    2. Adding to what Thomas said, finding a guy who can be a center in the NFL is A LOT easier than a guy who can play nose tackle. There are only so many of those types of human beings on this planet.

    3. I think EDS departing is going to hurt, and for cheap. Now you have to replace him. If draft and develop mean developing them for other teams …..

    4. Raji also didn’t play NT last year, he played mostly at DE. Raji will be the NT this year and the Packers will be better because of it.

  4. This is exactly what I hoped would happen. Now, we can put a bigger better athlete at center, whether it’s Tretter, Lang or Barclay. We also save money by not overpaying for this position. And ARod can’t really bitch that much, since it was EDS’s decision to take the money and run.

    For those of you worried about breaking in a new center, keep in mind EDS was basically new (at center) last year and did fine.

    I think our line has the potential to be better than ever, especially if Sherrod pans out.

    1. That really depends on what the Packers offered; for instance if the Packers didn’t offer anything or such a crap deal that EDS was offended, then it would be very much their fault. If the Packers offered a decent contract and EDS got a better deal from Tampa then it’s no one’s fault.

      1. Unless all we offered was the league minimum, how could an average player like EDs be “offended”? I’m ok letting him walk if coaches think Tretter is better physically. I expect, being an ivy league guy that the mental aspect is within his grasp.goPack!

          1. Ranked by pro football focus. Interestingly, Zimmer, the new coach for the Vikings scoffed at that website yesterday, effectively saying those rankings are meaningless because while they watch the plays, they have no idea what’s called and what each player’s responsibility is. Not saying I agree with him but do think it’s food for thought. Does anyone here think EDS is irreplaceable? I don’t. Would have been nice to keep him. Tretter will be ok IMO.

            1. Gee, I’ve been saying that for a long time. Nothing against PFF, and its a decent enough guide, but hardly anything worth really being considered meaningful.

  5. Dammit! I hope this doesn’t bite us in the ass. EDS was a big reason why the middle of our line was so good in the run game this year. I have no idea if Tretter is good at run blocking. If not then our run game might go back to 2012 form.

  6. The cap is supposedly going to $150 million shortly…we have a qb is his prime. WTF?

    1. I wouldn’t take too much stock into the $150 million cap just yet. During the CBA lockout, a lot of players thought the cap would rise significantly with the new deal. The last couple years have seen basically a flat cap with this being the first year with any real growth.

  7. Barclay has to improve A LOT(!)to take over as the starting center. He did poorly when given time at center during 2013’s training camp. He had a real hard time with snapping the ball in the shotgun.

    Tretter needs to more ready than any of us think.

    1. I think if the Packers tell Barclay to start learning center now and he knows it’s probably his best shot to play, then he’ll put a lot more effort into it. I had a feeling that he was more thrown in at center to see what happens rather than a planned move, which will likely be more the case this time around should the Packers want.

  8. it’s a bit disappointing since the price seems reasonable (assuming EDS would have taken a similar offer from GB). Unless he just would rather be in Florida than Green Bay (if so, I can’t say I blame him). GB interior OL (Guards + Center) graded second-highest in league behind Philadelphia last year on PFF. The J.Saturday patch was a bit of a disaster last time and it hurt the run game.

    On the other hand, GB has proven they can develop good Centers like Wells and EDS, so maybe they can do the same with Tretter. Barclay looked pretty bad when he tried Center last year, but maybe Lang can be serviceable and then they slide Barclay to Guard and Bulaga at RT. It seems like there is more OL depth now than there was when Wells left. More $$ for the defense I guess.

    1. Keep in mind, EDS would make more money with Tampa even if the Packers matched the offer. One of the stupid reasons why there are so many sports teams in Florida is because of taxes.

  9. Arggh!!! We can’t know what transpired btw EDS and GB. But this was a very reasonable price for EDS, so it is very disappointing. I was thinking $4m poer year for EDS.

    I hate the idea of moving Lang or Barclay to center, and hate relying on Tretter. Maybe Tretter showed something when he came back late last year.

    I was comfortable with the O-line if EDS came back. Now I feel that things have to go well for the O-line to simply be about the same as last year. 2 of the following things have to happen: Bulaga has to come back healthy and be the same player; Bakhtiari has to make a jump (because as well as he played for a 4th round rookie, he was a well below average starting LT); Sherrod has to be a player; or someone else has to emerge. MM might pencil in Lang as the back-up center, but my guess is that MM won’t want to move Lang to center as the starter. That won’t be the plan, IMO. If we see Lang getting starters’ reps at center, that will be a tip off that no one else emerged at center.

    1. “we cant even sign our on free agents”

      Hmmm, see articles titled:

      Packers Sign Sam Shields
      Packers sign Andrew Quarless
      Packers sign Mike Neal
      Packers sign BJ Raji.

      C’mon man!

  10. Perhaps the cost for jordy and Cobb is higher than we are expecting. Who would you rather give up, Cobb, jordy or EDS? I know it’s not that simple but I think Tretter is bigger, more athletic and IvY league smart(smarter than Eds). Tretter will be surrounded by experienced players. He will be ok.

  11. Last thing on this, perhaps Eds signed in Tampa because he knew he would start, whereas in GB he knew he would have to compete with Tretter for the starting job. Just food for thought. Some guys thrive with competition, some guys don’t want it. Everyone knew it was going to be an active competition, including EDs.

      1. Didn’t Mike like Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien last year to backup the Franchise as well. How did that go before he fell into Flynn ? Doesn’t exactly earn my vote of confidence in this situation.

        1. Wallace and Tolzien were more like options 4 and 5, while Tretter is option 1b. Neither Tolzien or Wallace had a training camp to get ready either. Tretter an Ivy League is getting a full offseason and training camp to get ready. Vast difference don’t you thing?

  12. Friend and Packer Fan says he was told Julius Peppers has chartered a plane from West Palm Beach to Green Bay. FWIW. Hope so.

    1. Now that would be interesting! Peppers doesn’t have much left as an edge rusher, but I bet he could make a killing going against OG and C’s yet! He and Trgo have a working relationship too. Tho rumor had it it was a strained relationship, we don’t know that for sure. He now probably has more ability to make an impact as a 34 DE and interior pass rusher than he does at 43 DE. I’ll believe it when I see it, but that would be intriguing to say the least.

  13. Perfectly OK with this.

    It always kinda cracks me up when people say, “I can’t believe the Packers weren’t willing to spend more than $____ for (free agent name).”

    The fact that a free agent signs a certain contract means….

    1) NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE was willing to pay more than that, and

    2) EVEN THE PLAYER thinks that this is the best he can do

    It also baffles me how people are still crying about Scott Wells. In hindsight, TT was absolutely, 100%, slam dunk, no-doubt-about-it correct to let Wells walk. Wells was never great, got a premium contract at the age of 31, played OK-ish for 7 games the next season and 12 games in the one after that. Widely circulated reports have said that he was in serious danger of becoming a cap casualty this year. That’s what happens when you sign ordinary, older players to top dollar contracts. I applaud TT for not doing that.

    1. Chad, I understand your trepidation about it but ask yourself if you really thought eds was that good or is it just the security of having him that made you feel good? We all clamor for the Packers to improve the talent of the team, it is very possible that this is an example of this in action. Tretter has shown enough aptitude to learn the position and is athletically superior. Embrace it, don’t sweat it, you’ll feel better. GoPack!

  14. This is a lot of IF’s but consider this line next season: Bak, Sitton,Lang, Bulaga, Sherrod ( with tretter and Barclay as backup swing players). Or, if tretter does well at center: bak,sitton,tretter,lang, bulaga. With Sherrod and Barclay as your backups. Either works for me and I will be saying “eds who?”

    1. Just not seeing that.

      G – Sitton, Lang. Slam dunk. Why mess with success?

      T – Bulaga, and almost certainly Bak (Sherod?)

      C – Bestman Wynn (Tretter? Barclay? FA??)

      Swing Tackle = Whichever of Bak/Sherod/Barclay isn’t starting

  15. EDS came from the nfl scrapheap and was molded into a decent center. Wells was a low round draft pick. I have faith that TT will find someone, or McCarthy and Campen will develop someone to be as good.

  16. I think so far the Pack has done pretty well In this game of “sign someone & see if they workout” They’ve locked up their key people including Bj, picked up Peppers for spot duty to do ONE thing, & the only guy they’ve lost is EDS. That should leave some dough to work on the two receivers we want to keep, & we still have the draft to plug holes. So far so good!

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