Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spend the Money, Damnit

Before the Don brokered his deal with the new CBA for the NFL, the Packers stood at the top of the heap in terms of available money under the salary cap for the upcoming season.

The new CBA added almost an additional 7.5 million more dollars to the salary cap than teams were expecting. That put the Packers at $35 million under the cap at the start of the free agency period. Should Brett Favre decide to retire, that could open up another 7-9 million dollars of cap space.

Now, I love Brett and all.... but dude. Make up your freakin' mind already. The draft is just over a month away. You're in the discussion of greatest QB of ALL time, and possibly in the discussion of greatest PLAYER of all time. But enough already. If you're going to go - give the team a chance to calculate that in this free agency period. If you're going to stay, you'll make alot of people happy, and you'll make the front office sweat a little less, knowing what they have to do.

But Brett's mindset of not being able to make a decision seems to be sweeping across the front office. Even without Brett's retirement, the Packers were $5 million dollars ahead of any other team (Vikings) in terms of available cap room.

Now, the Packers need alot of help, and one free agency season prolly won't turn it around. But, with some really big names out on the market for free agency, lets take a look at what the Packers have done so far.

QB - no need. If Brett's back, he plays. If not, Rodgers gets the keys to the car for a year or two.

RB - All three of the Packers runningbacks are free agents, so the Packers re-signed Ahman Green. Not a bad move here. It didn't cost them too much, and he should still be serviceable for a couple more years in the system. The big name free agents didn't factor in here, so despite the trend you're about to see, the Packers prolly did the right thing here.

WR - There's no name on the market that's worth the dollars they're asking, so this is sort of a non factor as well. They did however issue a terse press release, basically telling disgruntled wideout Javon Walker to shut his fat face, and show up for training camp. Walker wanted a contract extension last year, didn't get it, and got hurt. Now he wants OUT in the worst way, and the Packers basically told him to suck it. Should get interesting.

TE - Bubba's about at the end of his productivity rope, and while serviceable, it never hurts to at least look at other options. This is a thought the front office doesn't share, as they have NO intention of signing a TE, let alone talk to one.

OL- It was well documented that the loss of the two guards hurt the Packers in a bad way. The two best offensive linemen in free agency didn't so much as get a phone call from the Packers. Hutchenson ( a guard ), got a MAMMOTH deal from the Vikings, and the best center around ( LeCharles Bentley ) isn't even on the Packers radar. The Pack keeps yelling from the rooftops that they want Brett back. A few good offensive linemen might go a long way to making that happen.

DL - The position with the highest "Q" rating as of late in the NFL. The Packers opted to resign Kampman, and while not a bad move, we prolly gave him more money than his production warrants... but if we didn't, some other team would have, so I'm conflicted on this one. Glover and Tripplett, the best available linemen, again, didn't even get a sniff from the Packers.

LB - Where do I start? The defense last year was horrible, and the linebackers take alot of the blame for that. Barnett shows some flashes, but he needs help. Witherspoon would have made a great addition to the team, and comes from a well coached defense.... but say it with me.... the Packers showed NO interest.

DB - They share the blame with the linebackers. Ahmad Carroll got flagged for pass interference so much last year, it carried over to bar in the offseason, where a police officer threw a penalty flag on him. Well, that, and he threatened to hit the cop, but I digress. The best safety available? Adam Archuletta. Interest from the Packers? ZERO. Good plan so far. They thought it might be better to go for a guy that almost got cut by Seattle, Marquand Manuel. Oh, by the way... Manuel has ZERO career interceptions.

ST - They let Longwell go. I know, I know. He's a bitch, and can't kickoff past the 15 yd line. But you know what? When he kept his mouth shut, he hit the field goals he was supposed to. And that's not so easy in Lambeau. Now, he signed with the Vikings (yet, another theme), and he's gonna kick indoors. I don't blame him for wanting out. But I liked having to NOT worry about special teams, even if he didn't have the longest leg. With THIS much cap room, we could have resigned him, AND signed a kickoff specialist. Don't even get me started on BJ Sanders.

So I close this open letter to Ted Thompson, by saying this.

We're rich, beyotch!! Get off your ass, and start writing some checks beyotch!!! It's not like you can save the money for next year!!


At 9:43 AM, Blogger clids32 said...

Let's not forget about DL Willy Davis. I believe he is a free agent, but no one is biting. I think the Packers should jump on this diamond in the ruff and make him an offer. Last I heard, Will is putting up 475 on the bench and 705 in the squat. His moves are lightning quick. In fact, I think he trained with Rex Quando to improve his cat-like reflexes. He may even play for league minimum.

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Nort said...

I agree with your statement on Brett, enough is enough already.

RB - Ahman's signing was OK. Maybe a little too much money for a RB who is coming off a major injury, fumbles for the first half of the year, and has asthma problems. At least it was only a one year deal, no big harm done.

TE - Bubba at the end of his productivity rope? Someone should have clued ol' Ted Thompson in on this before he signed him to a 7 year contract (with $7 mil bonus) LAST YEAR! There's no way to afford to look at any FA TE's... plus this draft is supposedly TE heavy.

OL - There's absolutely no freakin' way Thompson would come close to offering any guard the kind of money the 'Queens threw at Hutchinson. Does Hutchinson's contract open up the possibility of Tauscher thinking it would be OK to move into guard, and sticking Kevin Barry at RT?

DL - I agree with you on Kampman, overpaid, but not a lot of other options. Does Ryan Pickett's signing make you feel any better? Can we team Pickett and Grady up front? With AJ Hawk and Barnett behind them?

LB - Agreed, Witherspoon would have been nice, but does passing up on him mean they're targeting Hawk in the draft?

DB - Archuletta? I don't know, he's only had 3 career INT's... granted, Manuel only has one. Other than some promise shown by Collins, this position needs to be scrapped.

ST - Shortwell or Vinatieri? Gimme the guy who has kicked 19 game winning field goals out of 20 chances. Talk about not having to worry. A kickoff specialist? Uh, I don't think so... not when we already have a roster spots taken by a dedicated long snapper and the U-71 tight end. BJ? yea, see ya later. But a punter isn't one of those positions you have to jump on quick in free agency. There will be enough guys to pick from later.


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