Ted Thompson has set the standard for keeping his own players in the fold. Of the nine signed free agents, five have agreed to come back to Green Bay.
But three Packers remain as free agents. With the NFL Draft looming on April 30, will Thompson bring back John Kuhn, Jarrett Bush and Matt Flynn?
I could make an argument to not bring back any of those guys. Kuhn’s role has continually been slashed each year. And with Eddie Lacy taking on the role of the bruising power back, Kuhn has been left in the shadows.
Bush is listed as a defensive back, but his real position is special teams. His quickness and coverage skills get exposed whenever he is asked to be in coverage for a length of time. The Dec. 20, 2009 Steelers game comes to mind. Ben Roethlisberger continued to pick on Bush and he didn’t have an answer as the future Hall of Fame quarterback lit up the Packers’ secondary for over 500 yards.
And Flynn is just out of time. He doesn’t have the arm speed to make all of the NFL throws anymore. I completely understand putting him as the No. 2 quarterback last year, because he was a trusted guy that knew the system. With an ever-improving Scott Tolzien, Flynn will be hard-pressed to make the Packers’ roster let alone remain an NFL player.
But all that said, I could still see the Packers keeping one or two of these guys. Kuhn is a fan favorite, but that will have no bearing on Thompson’s decision. He turns 33 in September, but there is a mutual interest between both sides — mainly because the 9-year veteran would be willing to take a minimal contract.
Flynn is out. There’s no way he comes back. Tolzien outplayed him in the preseason and Flynn looked very tentative in limited game action last year. He might be great in the huddle and is well-respected by everyone, but that only gets you so far. Sooner or later, you have to produce.
Bush is a wild card. I actually would like to see the Packers bring him back. His deal is going to be much lower than the 3-year $5.2 million contract he signed in 2012. But the reason I would like to see Bush, who turns 31 in May, remain as a Packer is because special teams has been a sore spot in Green Bay for awhile now. It’s why Shawn Slocum is gone and now more than ever, special teams should have some stability and a familiar face.
But even if the Packers sign Kuhn and Bush, I wouldn’t be surprised if either one got cut in the summer. Like Flynn, both of those guys are almost out of time. And it won’t matter how much love Packer Nation gives Kuhn after a meaningless one-yard plunge or the applause Bush receives following a tackle on a successful punt coverage.
Neither one of those guys is going to hold the key to Super Bowl 50. Kuhn’s 20 carries aren’t going to make much of a difference and neither will Bush’s 10 tackles. But if they can make a positive impact off the field by being a player-coach for the younger guys, then it’s well worth it.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn