The Green Bay Packers have had an interesting past few weeks. They've lost seven players to free agency, added a few and still have areas of the team to address. It has many talking about the abundance of change that is taking place in Titletown.
Free agency is far from over but after signing two rather notable players in tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lace Kendricks, we don't know if general manager Ted Thompson is done dipping into players outside of his own compound.
A few names that were rumored to be of interest to Green Bay have signed elsewhere. Defensive lineman Connor Barwin was probably the most notable and oft-linked to the Packers after his release from the Philadelphia Eagles. Many thought the Packers would wait until his market cooled a bit and sign him to a bargain deal. He's now a Los Angeles Ram.
Cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Morris Claiborne were also though to be possible targets of the Packers to boost their secondary. Both have other new homes. The Packers added Amukamara's former Jacksonville Jaguars teammate Davon House.
With most of the impact players signed, the Packers have likely turned a lot of their focus to the draft. The Packers were awarded a second fifth round pick for the loss of Casey Hayward last year and they'll have quite a few opportunities to add quality depth to their roster. This draft is said to be "rich" with cornerbacks, something the Packers need more of. They also need help with their pass rush and this appears to be a good draft for edge rushers.
But even if Thompson nails this draft, does it feel like this team is in a state of flux? With so many players exiting at one time, there is a lot of change coming. Head coach Mike McCarthy has seen a lot in his 11 seasons with the team. Free agent signings, some big (Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers), and some offseasons with no free agents at all.
Through it all, McCarthy has led his teams to playoff appearance after appearance. Based on his history (and the fact that one of the best quarterbacks in the league is on his side) one would likely feel like McCarthy and his staff will figure it out and have this team winning in 2017.
As Packers fans, we're used to winning. We're also used to disappointment in the postseason. Some of the losses have been soul-crushing. Others, like this past NFC championship game, were a lesson in humility. With the last Super Bowl win just six years ago, Packers fans want to see this team get back to the promised land. With Rodgers at the helm, some argue that the team simply has to win another title or it's a bust and waste of Rodgers' career. That take, to me, is a bit extreme as we've seen over the years how hard it is to win in the NFL.
But regardless, the sentiments of fans and media will continue to be heard and it sounds like there are more questions than answers at this point. Reminder, it's only March. A lot can happen and change over the next five months. The Packers may bring in another veteran or two, the draft could turn out to be a raging success or, it may leave the team with a deficiency in depth.
Questions such as whether Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez can be the answer at inside linebacker. Or whether Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins at cornerback are salvageable. Or can Nick Perry and Clay Matthews become a scary duo getting after opposing quarterbacks (even though we didn't see that happen in 2016).
With so many unknown's at this point, my question is: how do you feel about this current Packers team? Are you concerned about a regression? Or do you scoff at that idea and remind us that with Rodgers, this team is good for at least 10 wins every year?
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