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Offline play2win  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 5:26:27 AM(UTC)
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I'm just zipping through some stuff on Twitter, saw a comment from Osi Umenyiora saying the Falcons are the most talented team he has been on. It got me thinking about what we do to make our team better, and I wonder whether we hurt ourselves more than help ourselves with such a strong policy of staying away from Free Agents?

This is not a bash Ted Thompson thread. That is not the intent.

That is one hell of a lot of talent they have amassed there in ATL. Same with BAL, and SF. Proven talent at that. I look at how we've been mentioned as possible destinations in all the chatter and realize we were pretty much just played by most players looking for new homes to get better deals.

Are we not even a consideration to some players who could really help us?

Personally, I think a team's roster is best developed by adding great young talent via the draft, with some veterans added at key positions to help show some of the younger guys the way. A balance if you will.

Somehow, I think we've lost that balance. We've swung so far to the other side of FA where we don't add top talent, that many players available probably don't look at Green Bay as an attractive alternative destination. For instance, remember the Marshawn Lynch signing in SEA. I know Woodson really wanted GB to get him. Granted, we won the SB that year. However, we've been looking for that punishing RB element ever since, while Lynch has gone onto 1204 yds in 2011, and 1590 yds in 2012. How differently would our team have looked if we had Lynch, and used that 2011 R3 on a position other than RB Alex Green?

Would we have run the table in 2011 by adding Lynch in 2010 along with a top DL FA in 2011 or a good DL with the R3?

There is indeed a method to Thompson's approach, as both FA and draft & develop register around a 50% success rate from what I read recently (sorry, can't recall where). Maybe Thompson's method will prove best. Then again... I feel like we really missed out in capitalizing on how hot we were 2011 by failing to add a powerful pass rusher or two. I believe that could have taken us over the top. And, we were missing the very same thing in 2012, while waiting and hoping for draftees with one or two years experience, or none at all, to produce at a high level. Meanwhile, we lose out on opportunities with a potent offense and Rodgers poised to deliver.

Our recent Brad Jones signing seemed a bit frivolous to me, as his play was decent, and there is a possibility he will improve, but he signed for more than some top talents around the league at other positions of great need to the Packers. Those dollars that Thompson doesn't wish to waste on FAs, well, there is a strong possibility they have been wasted in other areas by wanting to keep his own, if some of this "potential" is not realized.

I'm curious to know your thoughts, as it seems Green Bay is losing some of it's lustre as a possible destination for top FA talent, especially being as devoid of top talent as we are at so many positions: S, DE, LB, LT, C, RB, TE. In listing those, I'm merely talking about how our depth or lack thereof may be perceived by others around the league.

So, what do you think?
Offline buckeyepackfan  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 5:53:58 AM(UTC)
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Ted is not going to overpay for anyone, as far as Lynch goes, would have been great to get him, from what I remember Seattle contacted Buffalo with 11(eleven) offers before Buffalo let Lynch go. I don't have a link, but remember the guys on Sunday night Football talking about it.

Ted has pretty much shown he is not going to get into a bidding war with anyone, let alone make multiple offers to a team for a player.

Injuries hurt The Packers more than anyone wants to admit last year, the only good thing to come out of it was that many of the rookies and 1st year guys got valuable playing time, some when they really weren't ready.

That is only going to make them better this year.

Always go back to Vegas for the real story, they make money for a reason. The Packers are still one of the prohibitive favorites this year, so it probably isn't as bad as many think.

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Offline texaspackerbacker  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 5:55:37 AM(UTC)
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I hardly think Osi Umenyora qualifies as a great judge of talent. Players getting or wanting to get a big paycheck see talent as a lot of other players getting a big paycheck.

Yeah, in hindsight Lynch might have made a difference, but he could just as well have been a high price bust, and Starks or some other Packer RB could have had a break out year.

I suspect, not having benefit of hindsight, Thompson weighs the alternatives and if there is no clear bargain in sight, he goes with the cheapest. And the record has been pretty good. I fault him more for the money he has spent than the money he has not spent - Hawks, Brad Jones, Crosby, to name a few.
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Offline TheKanataThrilla  
#4 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:12:24 AM(UTC)
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I remember when the Eagles amassed a whole bunch of talent. Big Grin
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Offline play2win  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:36:08 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: TheKanataThrilla Go to Quoted Post
I remember when the Eagles amassed a whole bunch of talent. Big Grin


Yep.

Now there about three or four of those Dream Teams out there. A lot of proving for them to do. Pressure is on, big time.
Online Zero2Cool  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:36:16 AM(UTC)
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in the last 50 years, how many teams that were the most "talented" won it all? I'm willing to bet less than 20%
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Offline play2win  
#7 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:51:14 AM(UTC)
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The ones that really come to mind are some of the Jimmy Johnson DAL teams, the Bill Walsh SF teams, the Chuck Knoll PIT teams, the Holmgren Packers, maybe a couple of those Patriot teams, Giants teams.

Ted Thompson landing both Woodson and Pickett in 2006 were huge for our team. None really since. I'm just wondering if this tact is turning some players away from us? With Woodson, he did wait him out till just before TC I think... and HE didn't want to come here.
Online Zero2Cool  
#8 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 7:30:15 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
The ones that really come to mind are some of the Jimmy Johnson DAL teams, the Bill Walsh SF teams, the Chuck Knoll PIT teams, the Holmgren Packers, maybe a couple of those Patriot teams, Giants teams.

Ted Thompson landing both Woodson and Pickett in 2006 were huge for our team. None really since. I'm just wondering if this tact is turning some players away from us? With Woodson, he did wait him out till just before TC I think... and HE didn't want to come here.


Why don't you count players like Sam Shields or Tramon Williams?
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Offline Pack93z  
#9 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:00:49 AM(UTC)
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Just thinking back to the last couple of SB champs.. and cannot think of a single high profile Veteran Unrestricted Free Agent that was signed that spearheaded them to the title.

Last season.. Boldin had been there a couple years off a trade. Birk did I believe ink a FA deal a few years prior.

Giants - Canty comes to mind.. but past that I can't think of one impact FA.

Packers.. Woodson, Pickett but that has been discussed. Walden was a UFA.


I might have to comb through the last say five years if I find the time to see if I am missing something.. but I think more of it is drafted and growing your own.. and augmenting the roster with depth that fills needs. But sitting on the front line and signing a splashy expensive UFA... can't say there have been many.

Saints might have been the last real blended team with any number of UFA.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline play2win  
#10 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:11:32 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
Why don't you count players like Sam Shields or Tramon Williams?


I'm not following you. Shields just got slapped with a 2nd Round RFA tender. He was arrested for marijuana possession and killed his draft chances, signed as a UFA in 2010.

2006 Williams signed with Houston as an UFA, was released, then signed with GB. Those are hardly top talent FA signings at those times.

Have they worked out well? Absolutely. Thompson rolled the dice and won with both players. However, both of those guys were just happy to find a team to play with. My point is some of the FAs that are less of a risk because they are known quantities, those top players at their positions. It appears they don't want to come here. They include us in their schedules, mostly to drive their price higher, but they don't seem truly interested in coming to GB.

And, of course, Thompson doesn't give a whole lot of chase. Not a slam, it is just his way. But, is this a detriment?
Offline Pack93z  
#11 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:23:44 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
I'm not following you. Shields just got slapped with a 2nd Round RFA tender. He was arrested for marijuana possession and killed his draft chances, signed as a UFA in 2010.

2006 Williams signed with Houston as an UFA, was released, then signed with GB. Those are hardly top talent FA signings at those times.

Have they worked out well? Absolutely. Thompson rolled the dice and won with both players. However, both of those guys were just happy to find a team to play with. My point is some of the FAs that are less of a risk because they are known quantities, those top players at their positions. It appears they don't want to come here. They include us in their schedules, mostly to drive their price higher, but they don't seem truly interested in coming to GB.

And, of course, Thompson doesn't give a whole lot of chase. Not a slam, it is just his way. But, is this a detriment?


To me.. it is the accumulation of those types of moves that really good teams make, keeping their salary caps in check and providing a deep and talented team.

If anything, the Packers drafts have provided good players, but has been a bit light on the home run hits. Matthews and Rodgers.. home runs. Jennings.. home run. Raji looked like he could have been one.. but consistency seems to escape him. There are more.. but the point is either we haven't gotten lucky enough or that when drafting we shade towards the players we think have a better chance of not busting out and contributing then taking larger risks with guys that might have a higher ceiling but also a bust factor.

We also have had some poor luck in terms of injuries.. Example is losing Collins at his prime. Justin Harrell failing to bounce back and reach anything close to his potential. Bulaga and a developing player like Quarless and Sherrod sustaining drastic injuries. Those are some rather large hits to the core of this team.

But I think it ultra wise to comb through talent to find guys that fit and come in with a chance to develop and contribute. There is a reason we attract so many undrafted players after each draft.. because Ted and Co. have no qualms of adding talent that might need time to develop.

Again.. this NFL season is only a few weeks old.. I am confident as the season and rosters take shape we will add not only youth but a few well placed Veteran Free Agents to form a deep and talented roster.

I think more falls on the coaches to utilize that talent more effectively this season than last.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline DoddPower  
#12 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:30:15 AM(UTC)
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Marshawn Lynch would have been great, but that's been covered over and over. Seattle had a higher pick to give up. Additionally, in what position would the Packers be salary cap wise right now even if they would have gotten Lynch? He is set to make $8.5 million this season, $7 the next, and $9 the next (http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/marshawn-lynch/). I believe he only had one year left when they traded for him. It was definitely a risky trade in many regards that just happened to work out. Having a salary like that on the books would no doubt complicate things otherwise on the Packers roster. Additionally, his stats have been great, but it's a completely different team and system. Obviously he would be an upgrade in talent, but it's very unlikely he would have the same stats on the Packers roster. Again, the bigger problem comes down to the emphasis on the run game and balance, as the Packers were having some success late in the season when they actually ran. It would take a lot of convincing for me to believe Lynch would be worth almost $9 million/year given all the other players that need resigning.

Trades and player acquisitions just aren't as simple as they appear on the surface to us fans. There's so much that goes into the transactions, and a lot of the considerations are 2, 3, or 4 years down the line. I'm sure Ted Thompson would love to sign many other players. However, he has a budget to work with that is well studied and thought out beforehand, and he can't/won't go beyond that; and he shouldn't.
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Online Zero2Cool  
#13 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:30:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
I'm not following you. Shields just got slapped with a 2nd Round RFA tender. He was arrested for marijuana possession and killed his draft chances, signed as a UFA in 2010.

2006 Williams signed with Houston as an UFA, was released, then signed with GB. Those are hardly top talent FA signings at those times.

Have they worked out well? Absolutely. Thompson rolled the dice and won with both players. However, both of those guys were just happy to find a team to play with. My point is some of the FAs that are less of a risk because they are known quantities, those top players at their positions. It appears they don't want to come here. They include us in their schedules, mostly to drive their price higher, but they don't seem truly interested in coming to GB.

And, of course, Thompson doesn't give a whole lot of chase. Not a slam, it is just his way. But, is this a detriment?


You pine for free agent signings, but yet the free agent signings that have worked out well for the Packers you ignore. Have you ever even looked at how many free agent signings the Packers have on their roster? Check it out, - link.

Oh wait, that doesn't matter because they weren't BIG NAME OVER PRICED players that their own team no longer wanted. My mistake, I'll step down ... carry on.
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Offline warhawk  
#14 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:43:41 AM(UTC)
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I look at teams like the Bears that have made some pretty big FA moves to elevate them above the Packers and it's not working. They gave up several draft picks along the way ultimately not giving them fresh talent to develop.

They got old quick on the defensive side of the ball and also sacrificed quality depth having to pay these players they brought in.

I remember back in '05 thinking "we're in trouble". The quality players we had on the roster were getting old and we had no infusion of young and upcoming talent because Sherman totally sucked in the draft.

It would be nice if we could keep some of the better young players on the field instead of leading the league in missed games by starters due to injury. The thing I see as far more the problem than a FA here or there taking us to the SB.

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Offline play2win  
#15 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:44:54 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
Just thinking back to the last couple of SB champs.. and cannot think of a single high profile Veteran Unrestricted Free Agent that was signed that spearheaded them to the title.

Last season.. Boldin had been there a couple years off a trade. Birk did I believe ink a FA deal a few years prior.

Giants - Canty comes to mind.. but past that I can't think of one impact FA.

Packers.. Woodson, Pickett but that has been discussed. Walden was a UFA.


I might have to comb through the last say five years if I find the time to see if I am missing something.. but I think more of it is drafted and growing your own.. and augmenting the roster with depth that fills needs. But sitting on the front line and signing a splashy expensive UFA... can't say there have been many.

Saints might have been the last real blended team with any number of UFA.


Good call Pack93z!

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Offline Pack93z  
#16 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:50:52 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
Just thinking back to the last couple of SB champs.. and cannot think of a single high profile Veteran Unrestricted Free Agent that was signed that spearheaded them to the title.

Last season.. Boldin had been there a couple years off a trade. Birk did I believe ink a FA deal a few years prior.

Giants - Canty comes to mind.. but past that I can't think of one impact FA.

Packers.. Woodson, Pickett but that has been discussed. Walden was a UFA.


I might have to comb through the last say five years if I find the time to see if I am missing something.. but I think more of it is drafted and growing your own.. and augmenting the roster with depth that fills needs. But sitting on the front line and signing a splashy expensive UFA... can't say there have been many.

Saints might have been the last real blended team with any number of UFA.


I forgot a large at for the Packers in 2010.. Howard Green. Huge addition.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline play2win  
#17 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:51:51 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
You pine for free agent signings, but yet the free agent signings that have worked out well for the Packers you ignore. Have you ever even looked at how many free agent signings the Packers have on their roster? Check it out, - link.

Oh wait, that doesn't matter because they weren't BIG NAME OVER PRICED players that their own team no longer wanted. My mistake, I'll step down ... carry on.


WTF?

I pined for a -proper- pass rusher to be added to our team after winning the SB and losing Cullen Jenkins. What is wrong with that?

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Those are not proper. Those are bargain bin players. Maybe 3rd or 4th tier FAs. Why are your undies in a twist over this? Because we signed Hawk to his monster deal? Finley? Crosby? And now Brad Jones?

How have those worked out for us? If Bish comes back healthy, it is either Hawk or Jones who will be riding some very expensive pine...

Oh wait, that doesn't matter because they were BIG NAME OVER PRICED Packers....Flapper
Online Zero2Cool  
#18 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:13:31 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
WTF?

I pined for a -proper- pass rusher to be added to our team after winning the SB and losing Cullen Jenkins. What is wrong with that?

Hargrove
Muir
Mehrling

Those are not proper. Those are bargain bin players. Maybe 3rd or 4th tier FAs. Why are your undies in a twist over this? Because we signed Hawk to his monster deal? Finley? Crosby? And now Brad Jones?

How have those worked out for us? If Bish comes back healthy, it is either Hawk or Jones who will be riding some very expensive pine...

Oh wait, that doesn't matter because they were BIG NAME OVER PRICED Packers....Flapper


Nothing is wrong with wanting your team to be better. I won't dispute at all that the A.J. Hawk contract threw me a little. I think he's a good player, just not a monster contract worthy player. Mason Crosby deal I thought was good at the time because he was doing well. Hindsight from last season makes it easy to whine about that one now though. Brad Jones, I'm not sure of his contract details, but I read some folks saying he did really well last season. Well enough to earn that contract? I dunno, but I trust the Packers and they seem to think so.

I will say this, in the 3 - 4 you can never have too many solid linebackers. Maybe the contract signed by Brad Jones is indicative of the lack of depth at the position below the top three and they didn't want to risk it?

There are only a handful of NFL players that I feel are not overpaid. I still think they should have a wage scale like the rookies do.

You also have to understand that the Packers don't have a billionaire owner that can eat up some of the mistake signings too. That seems to be lost a lot of times. The Packers have to be very calculated and low risk in order to stay afloat, especially since the Packers play in an open stadium in the NFL's smallest city that also happens to be quite cold. Factor everything in ... you'll be more objective.

Wait, no, don't do that. It is fun having these debates, lol. :)
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Offline steveishere  
#19 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:22:23 AM(UTC)
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All I know is that every March the Packers "get worse" while the rest of the North "gets better" then the Packers end up as the best team in the division. Must be magic.
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Offline Pack93z  
#20 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:24:19 AM(UTC)
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Brad Jones contract to me.. really isn't that awful..


Code:

YEAR	   BASE	     S. BONUS	  MISC.	   CAP HIT	    DEAD
2013	 1,000,000	 1,000,000	 500,000	2,500,000	 3,000,000
2014	 2,500,000	 1,000,000	 500,000	4,000,000	 2,000,000
2015	 3,250,000	 1,000,000	 500,000	4,750,000	 1,000,000


Looking at what guys like Walden got on the open market.. it is in line. If we need to get out of it.. 2015 we walk away with a million dollar hit.

If we really want to stop it.. then we the consumers have to reduce the pure amount of interest and money poured into it.. otherwise.. it is all relative to the massive amount of cash it generates. the NFL or any of the sports leagues.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline Wade  
#21 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:41:19 AM(UTC)
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I am among the people who regularly wishes that Ted Thompson took a few more chances in free agency.

I don't want him to be Dan Snyder/Jerry Jones/Stephen Ross/Jeffrey Lurie. And I acknowledge that free agency's changes mean he probably shouldn't even be as aggressive as Ron Wolf was.

But I think there's still quite a big gap between even the Wolf approach and the approach to free agency that Thompson takes. Not every high-priced free agent fails; not every move in free agency by other GMs is idiotic.

I am so tired of Pickett and Woodson being cited as evidence of Thompson's willingness to play. How many years ago was that again?

The guy is a great judge of on-field talent, especially at skill positions. But I do believe that his extra-conservative approach to free agency means he must take more risks in the draft. And it means that just having a better draft record than the average GM isn't going to be enough -- he has to have a much better record, and he must have it not just at skill positions.

And, IMO, he has not. Skill positions, yes. DB's yes. LBs, maybe.

But on the OL he's found Sitton and a bunch of projects/potential/serviceable types. On the DL his biggest draft success to date is the inconsistent Raji. There's still some potential there (Bulaga, maybe Newhouse on the OL, Neal on the DL). But mostly he's been pretty average when it comes to drafting the line. And, IMO, if he's going to eschew risk-taking in free-agency, he needs to do better than he has.

Colledge/Sitton/Moll/Lang/other names I've forgotten... this part of his record is *not* an argument in favor of the position Ted's draft-heavy approach is sufficient.

It can't all be blamed on Campen. Some of it has to be placed on the personnel department -- after all, how many of those Thompson draftees that didn't pan out under Campen went on to extensive success elsewhere with another coach?



And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
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play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#22 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:46:02 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
Nothing is wrong with wanting your team to be better. I won't dispute at all that the A.J. Hawk contract threw me a little. I think he's a good player, just not a monster contract worthy player. Mason Crosby deal I thought was good at the time because he was doing well. Hindsight from last season makes it easy to whine about that one now though. Brad Jones, I'm not sure of his contract details, but I read some folks saying he did really well last season. Well enough to earn that contract? I dunno, but I trust the Packers and they seem to think so.

I will say this, in the 3 - 4 you can never have too many solid linebackers. Maybe the contract signed by Brad Jones is indicative of the lack of depth at the position below the top three and they didn't want to risk it?

There are only a handful of NFL players that I feel are not overpaid. I still think they should have a wage scale like the rookies do.

You also have to understand that the Packers don't have a billionaire owner that can eat up some of the mistake signings too. That seems to be lost a lot of times. The Packers have to be very calculated and low risk in order to stay afloat, especially since the Packers play in an open stadium in the NFL's smallest city that also happens to be quite cold. Factor everything in ... you'll be more objective.

Wait, no, don't do that. It is fun having these debates, lol. :)


Well, it is why I posed the question. And, again, no intent to turn this into Thompson bashing. Just trying to get an objective look at what our team is doing in its hard line stance in FA compared to what other teams are doing, and how that might be affecting us.

Pack93z made some good points in thinking back on past SB winners, and how they approached FA. I went as far back as 2009, and really, there were no significant additions made to those SB winning teams in the offseason FA periods after the Saints stocked up their 2009 secondary. Packers, Giants, Ravens pretty much just re-signed their own guys.

Howard Green is an exception. He was an awesome addition to add depth to the interior DL. And, Ted followed suit in playing the waiting game with that one too. I think he nabbed him late, just before TC from the Jets, just like he did with Woodson. But, Green wasn't one of those major FAs in the marketplace that the media goes gaga over... Howard Green was a cost effective, good value addition.

I'm not whining, and I agree the hindsight is bliss thing with Crosby. The jury is out on Jones, and Finley, as I believe both are kept on at higher than real value prices based on future potential performance.

Really looking at how we might be perceived by other FAs in the marketplace, as I think the hard line stance against signing other top talents to top dollar deals may push some of these players away. Top dollar isn't a bad thing if you get top performance in return. There is value there. That is why I consider the Jones and Finely signings somewhat frivolous, as I think they are based more on principle than performance. I'd have rather spent the money on a top tier S and a powerful, experienced RB or DE. $13M for Jones and Finley. Is that detrimental to us landing better talent in areas of need?
Offline play2win  
#23 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:54:21 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: steveishere Go to Quoted Post
All I know is that every March the Packers "get worse" while the rest of the North "gets better" then the Packers end up as the best team in the division. Must be magic.


I forgot. We do have that Packer Magic. Laughing

What you say is true. To a point. The division crown. I want for this team to be perennial contenders, and we've looked like a joke in the playoffs the last two years. Personally, I think we were one or two players away from being perennial contenders and multiple SB winners with Rodgers & Co.

One or two players we didn't even try to sign.
Offline Pack93z  
#24 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 9:58:45 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post


What you say is true. To a point. The division crown. I want for this team to be perennial contenders, and we've looked like a joke in the playoffs the last two years. Personally, I think we were one or two players away from being perennial contenders and multiple SB winners with Rodgers & Co.
.


I would agree here.. but could we not realistically say that maybe our injuries accounted for those differences with subtracting a player here or there?
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline steveishere  
#25 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 10:31:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
I would agree here.. but could we not realistically say that maybe our injuries accounted for those differences with subtracting a player here or there?


Yeah the 49ers were down what 1 starter last year? I'd say that having a team with Bishop, Perry (with a season of exp under his belt), and Bulaga could have made it quite a different game. Not to mention the guys who were basically just coming off injuries (Nelson, Cobb, Woodson)
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play2win on 3/29/2013(UTC)
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