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Can You Feel It?

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Can You Feel It?

(Listen to this while you read this post)

In less than 20 hours, the NFL landscape will begin to shift as marquee free agents are wined and dined, flown in private jets across the country and showered with offers of enough money to support a third world country all for the sake of securing their services over the course of the next couple years. Contracts already given to the likes of Jordan Gross and Nnamdi Asomugha have already set the bar absurdly high as far as guaranteed money is concerned. 

Of course, the Packer Blogosphere is abuzz as the big day approaches, content in the knowledge that the Packers won't be players for the big names. Indeed, this piece over at PackersLounge is a perfect primer for the naive hopeful Packer fan who hasn't been paying attention the last few years. For the fan who just can't wait and needs to engage in wild speculation, Jason Wilde has the most realiztic take on what free agency may have in store for the Packers. (As an aside - I was only vaguely familiar with Pierre Woods, the Patriots linebacker mentioned by Wilde as a possible Packer target, so I fired up my trusty Game Rewind last night and watched him over the course of three games - I can not recommend this feature from NFL.com enough)

The point is - relax. Enjoy watching other teams throw stupid money at players who, 98 percent of the time, won't come close to providing the value their contract would suggest. Do your homework on the mid-level guys. And most of all - be patient. Ryan Pickett didn't sign until three weeks into free agency and Charles Woodson didn't sign until a week before the draft. The teams that are making headlines over the upcoming weekend will not be making headlines come playoff time.

In closing, I'd like to use a quote from a Tom Silverstein article from a few years ago that I think sums up the Packers approach to free agency perfectly:

They looked at the free-agent class, ruled out the players they knew would be too expensive for their tastes and then watched as other teams paid airport restaurant prices for hot dog stand talent.

The bolded part is just brilliant. And true.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ron La Canne's picture

I'll add a link to JSOnline to the discussion this morning. At #7 with $28+ million and likely not to tender more than 3 RFA's, the Packers have enough money available to add some quality FA's. The only question is will they do it?

Tampa Bay is going for Haynesworth. They cut virtually every veteran and now have $60 million in "Cap Gap". Gone are Brooks, Dunn, Galloway, Hilliard and June. That action added $18 million to their "Cap Gap".

What I find disconcerting is the quote from Silvertein, "teams paid airport restaurant prices for hot dog stand talent." I think it could be restated like this, "teams paid airport restaurant prices for hot dog stand talent and the Packers kept their Hamberger Helper." The Packers don't need to go after the Hayesworths, but they should go after talent that is measurably better than what they have now. Especially in positions of need. And believe me the talent in the front seven and Oline AIN'T that good now. It needs fixing.

I sincerely hope Capers is going to have a significant input in the personnel mix of the defense. MM needs to step up and get his Oline in order. We have to hope the structural changes being made will improve Special Teams. Another bad year might just prove the 13-3 was the anomaly and we may be acting like Tampa Bay next year.

From Tom Silverstein 2/26/09:
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/40312077.html

gratif's picture

Patron saint Andrew Brandt on the pitfalls of tier 1 free agency:

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/2008/11/free-agency-buyer-beware/

buckslayernyc's picture

You cannot hope to keep any good players cheaply in Green Bay Wisconsin if you overpay for out of town talent. The natives will immediately get restless and then its all over.

Better to have a unified and solid locker room, than to overpay a few moderately talented individuals to upset it in the hopes that doing so will be the difference. High Priced free agents did not put either of this year's teams in the SuperBowl, and it never puts the Patriots there. Value and attitude vs. the quick fix, that is the issue.

We are not going to FIX our oline or Dline by throwing money at the problem, but we may well kill our chances of resigning Kampman or Jennings if we start throwing stupid money at average talent.

jerseypackfan's picture
Ron La Canne's picture

Jersey,

Cool, but, don't hold your breath. This is TT we're talking about.

Slayer,

Kampman's age will negate any need to sign him preemptively. He has seen his last long-term deal.

Jennings, I'm all for signing him early. Unfortunately it should be obvious his agent has other ideas. He will test FA market or force the Packers to franchise him, or more likely wait for the capless year. I'd add Collins in here as well, but I'm afraid he has an agent too.

Try as I might there are no players at this time I'd approach with future money. Poppinga and Grant? Wait they already did that. Moll, College, Harrell?

In the meantime, we must improve our Front seven and Oline now. The Packers are not in a rebuilding mode (a.k.a. Tampa Bay), they are in a must win mode.

packeraaron's picture

Ron - a few points.

First, Kampman has at least one more big contract coming. How big it is will depend greatly on his play this year.

Second, remember, if the NFL goes to an uncapped year, Jennings gets caught as one of the players who has to wait another year for free agency, which works in the Packers' favor.

Finally - I am scared to death of Collins in this defense and wish they would either sign someone or draft someone to take his place. He is severely overrated.

Ron La Canne's picture

aARON,

First, Kampman might get more money, but no more than two years.

Your second issue would then make it more advantageous for GB to not even try to pre-sign him, wouldn't it?

Third, me too. Bring in Leonhard. But we'll need the Cap money.

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