Packers’ free-agent signees playing well

Letroy Guion

The level at which Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson eschews signing free agents each offseason has gone from a local talker to a national meme in recent NFL offseasons. These days, it’s not just Packers fans who smirk/smile/shake their head/grumble whenever the topic of Thompson and free agents arises.

Now, everyone talks about Thompson’s team building style. It’s not just us Packers’ fans who know what the phrase “build from within” means.

That’s why everyone turned their heads and said “HUH?!?!?” when Thompson signed Julius Peppers this offseason. Signing a guy on the wrong side of 30 who was cut by his former team seems like the exact opposite of the Thompson mantra.

But oh what a signing is has proven to be. Peppers has five sacks, two interception returns for a touchdown and has provided the long-desired pass rushing threat opposite Clay Matthews. In fact, Peppers has been so good opposite Matthews that the Packers have now moved Matthews inside.

But Peppers wasn’t the only free-agent signed by Thompson. He also signed Letroy Guion to back up B.J. Raji.

Guion wasn’t well-known enough to merit any type of reaction after he was signed, but Packers fans quickly became familiar with him after Raji tore his bicep in the exhibition season.

At first, Packers fans didn’t like what they saw. Guion looked every bit like the Vikings’ castoff we worried he was.

But he’s come around lately, even showing some pass rushing moves in addition to doing his best to clog the middle of the line so Matthews can help bolster the Packers’ run defense.

Will the success of Peppers and Guion lead to Thompson signing more free agents in the future? Who knows.

What we do know is that his two signings this offseason have proven to be good ones.

Build from within is still the mantra, but Thompson has shown that it’s ok to get a little help if you need it.


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


10 thoughts on “Packers’ free-agent signees playing well

  1. Without free agency the team does not win the Super Bowl after the 2010 season. (Woodson & Pickett).

    Good to see TT getting back in the game this offseason with 2 home runs in Peppers and Guion. Hope he remains active next season, wish he had not sat on the sidelines the prior seven years.

  2. I am not sold on Guion yet. He had a good game yesterday I will give him that. I am not ready for TT to make him the highest paid defensive player just yet. As far as Peppers, I think he has outplayed any expectations out there. He does take a play off here and there, but when he pins those elephant ears back and lets loose, look out boys…

  3. This has always been my beef with TT. There is such a thing as a value FA signing. And if they bust – so what? As long as you don’t break the bank it’s no big deal!

    Glad to have these 2. We’d be screwed without either of them.

    1. I know this is a long effin shot but there’s only one other guy (at least on his college tape) that I see that compares to Clay Matthews as far as his speed and relentless pursuit and desire and that is Carl Bradford.

      TT could have easily let him go but he kept him for a reason. Like Clay he had very little experience at MLB but that last preseason game he did play there ( he had no other option as OLB was absolutely loaded) and he showed me something and I think that last game convinced TT to keep him on the roster despite probably never playing a down this year.

      I think TT sees a possible future for him at MLB. Could Bradford be that guy that replaces Hawk next season? I think it’s highly possible. Of course I also expect TT to draft a MLB high next year as he loves competition. Next year could be Peppers, Bradford, Matthews, and Perry as your starters at linebacker. Your thoughts on Bradford?

  4. Guion is the home run. GB is getting a lot from him for Vet min. salary. He becomes a FA after this season. The Peppers signing is solid, too. He is worth the $8.5 million he received this year. He is not worth the $12 million base salary he is scheduled to make next year. I assume he and TT will work that out.

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