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From the Press Box: Free Agency! Championships Won! Hearts Broken!

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From the Press Box: Free Agency! Championships Won! Hearts Broken!

Ok.

We're most of a week into free agency.

Some of you have teams who are tearing up the league and "winning the off season".

Some of you have teams who have been sitting on the sidelines.

Whatever your situation, just know this:

This is one of two times per year I abuse the hell out of that clip—free agency and the draft.

Because those are the two times of the year most prone to ridiculous amounts of freaking out over something—good or bad.

Now, of course there are teams who screwed it up. And some who did extremely well. Guess what?

Some of the teams which came to mind for you when you read those words aren't going to be examples of them.

Maybe the Miami Dolphins are Super Bowl bound (I doubt it) or maybe they just bankrupted their 2014 for a run to save GM Ireland's job this year (that's the one).

Maybe the Packers were foolish to not do whatever it took to sign Steven Jackson, or maybe GM Thompson is a genius.

Or maybe both.

You can't tell now. That's why I laugh when TJ Lang wrote on his twitter congratulating the Lions on winning the off-season. Because the overreaction to all these moves is really funny.

While it was a snide and somewhat childish reaction to what I feel are pretty smart signings, it's not out of place. Certainly Lions fans were happy, but not cheering in the streets that they were heading to New Jersey for the Winter Bowl. They had some good signings, they're happy—why not?

But by the same token, Lang is dead on—if not about the Lions, it certainly applies to the Dolphins, whose beat writers are even starting to rip on other teams because they're feeling their oats.

All in good fun, right?

But let's not forget this is a team with about $32 million in cap explosion for four players in 2014.

If this doesn't work, they have issues because none of these players can be cut. So, sure, they can feel good.

But by this time next year they could be dealing with post-spending hangover.

And teams which did only a little or stood pat—they may be drinking champagne out of the Lombardi—oh wait, that's the Stanley Cup.

Whatever, they could be polishing championship rings. The point is, they will be just fine.

Or hell any team can completely screw it up by doing something stupid in the NFL Draft (which we'll talk more about soon). Or maybe they get hammered by injuries. Or maybe they go down in a horrific blimp crash.

You see, there's a long way to go before we even play football much less hit the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl.

During a period like this it's really easy to see a lot change (or nothing change) and overreact.

So keep perspective. We've a long way to go and a lot of time to kill.

Save pulling out your hair for September through next January. Keep the corks in the champagne bottles.

Everything could change for better or worse tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, GAME OF THRONES IS JUST 15 DAYS AWAY!!!!

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (41) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackerBacker's picture

See, now if a whole team of NFL players goes down in a horrific blimp crash you're going to feel pretty bad, aren't you. Suspect #1, right here.

Rocky70's picture

Oh, you're right. -- On the field is what really counts. --- However, the NFL is all about playing the odds. Several teams (In the NFC) have replaced marginal players with better players. ---- Unfortunately, GB is not one of these teams.

The truth is GB will have to rely on the draft to improve. Alas, TT has lost his magic when it comes to the draft. The last 3 drafts & 25 draftees has yielded only 4 starters. The rest are either hurt, projects, rotational or not even NFL quality players. --- I'm not making this up or being negative to irritate anyone. --- Check it out for yourself.

Wilson, Starks, Newhouse, Quarless, Burnett, Neal, Bulaga, Guy, Taylor, Elmore, DJ Smith, Schlauderaff, DJ Williams, House, Green, Cobb, Sherrod, Coleman, Datco, Manning, McMillian, Daniels, Hayward, Worthy & Perry.

Please, no counter comments about potential or development & improvement. That's all hopes & dreams by fans. (I mean (IE), who honestly thinks Mike Neal will ever be an impact player?)

packeraaron's picture

<em>Please, no counter comments about potential or development &amp; improvement.</em>

Right? God forbid fans demonstrate actual understanding of how this team is being built rather than baselessly throwing out "They're doomed!" every offseason.

Rocky70's picture

You know exactly what I'm saying. --- Fans have a propensity to embellish &amp; exaggerate the potential future play of players. --- Fans have always done this &amp; always will.

GB doesn't have CM3 &amp; BJ Raji coming into camp for the 1st time in 2013. They will have another 1st round pick &amp; a bunch of wounded warriors from the last 3 years. --- At this point, the only impact players on the 53 are AR, CM3 &amp; RC. -- Who else??

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Casey Hayward was the best slot defender in the league as a rookie. Add him to the list.

Stroh's picture

Hell he graded out as the top 3 CB in the NFL last year!

Stroh's picture

Well SOME fans, like you do that. The smart ones understand the Packers have a philosophy and its a PROVEN one that produces SB's.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Up until this year Flacco was considered to be a "potential" star QB. It's always about potential until you prove it consistently. Face it...no team has stars at every position....it isn't possible with the salary cap. Teams that over pay and go for broke usually end up becoming broke and rebuilding year after year.

Rocky70's picture

All one needs to do. Count the number of legitimate impact players on GB's 53 in season 2010. Now count the impact players who are presently on the 53. --- The difference is alarming.

Hayward had a great rookie season. His 2nd &amp; 3rd seasons will determine if he is or can be an impact player. (I mean who would have believed that AJ Hawk's best years as a football player were going to be his last year at OSU &amp; his rookie NFL season ?)

James's picture

Right on the money. Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

GmanB1984's picture

I still think if you look at the rest of the NFL GM's you'll find that TT is one of the best. However, he has never drafted a RB that has stayed healthy or proven to be a top 15,20,25,30 or even top 50 running back. It is disappointing to not land Steven Jackson and equally as disappointing to see him go to one of the best teams in the NFC. (Any news on Michael Turner?). Likewise, TT has proven that he can find great WR talent in the draft which is one reason why they aren't sweating-it about Jennings.

James's picture

I don't see how anyone would take any pride in saying we got our team from the young draftees. I wouldn't be proud of that. I would be proud of putting togethera super bowl team. We have not. I agree with some of the past writers. Now, the FA market is alsmost gone and so are our players. Get ready for a "fight fight fight" season but no awards. Time to change GMs?

Evan's picture

Were you in a coma in February 2011?

James's picture

That was good year.

Evan's picture

So why do you now want TT to change his ways?

JimTalkBox's picture

I get the feeling that a lot of Packer pundits think the rest of us fans have a "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality when it comes to Free Agency, but I don't think that's the case AT ALL.

I think a lot of people are upset about NOT signing Steven Jackson because he didn't end up signing for a lot of money and TT hasn't shown a penchant for drafting running back talent.

GmanB1984's picture

exactly my thoughts as well

Evan's picture

Sure. And there are also a lot of ignorant fans who want TT to sign anyone just for the sake of doing it. "Sign that tackle from Miami...whatever his name is..." when they clearly don't know anything about the player.

JimTalkBox's picture

Of course there are, but I think the perception is that it's the majority and not the random few goofballs that just speak up a lot.

Evan's picture

I agree.

It's a shame that the people like that tend to drown out the more sensible among us. I wanted Jackson as badly as the next guy, but I'm not going to burn TT in effigy because he went to Atlanta.

JimTalkBox's picture

If I ever see him in person, even if it's years from now and he's a retired old codger...

I WILL SLAP HIM IN THE FACE WITH A PANCAKE OVER THIS MATTER.

Revenge is a flapjack best served cold. :)

Evan's picture

haha...who are you talking about?!

JimTalkBox's picture

Ted Thompson.

He's going down for this. Breakfast style.

Stroh's picture

You deserve to be slapped w/ a pancake for saying that! Simply I D I O T I C!

James's picture

I would like a GM that has the penchant for drafting running back talent. Our team would have exploded in the last three years with AR. But, no. We continue to grovel and push every other place position to make up for poor decision making.

Evan's picture

That's the only qualification you're interested in?

Denver's picture

Well, as they say, RB's win Super Bowls these days.
I wouldn't put a very big wager on it, but am I the only one who thinks Starks might magically stay healthy with this being his contract year?

Evan's picture

Also, this sentence literally makes zero sense: "We continue to grovel and push every other place position to make up for poor decision making"

California Cheesehead's picture

A lot of what he wrote makes no sense other than to him or others who only see pessimism and not reality. We're in the playoffs every season. How many teams cannot boast even close to that? Teams that make free agent signings every season? Whatever. Some people can't help but see the sky as falling every time they look out the window.

Stroh's picture

I would rather have one w/ a penchant for drafting QB's! RB are a dime a dozen in the NFL. QB's put you in rarified air!

KurtMc's picture

SJ39 would have been a solid addition but not the piece we need. D linemen, D linemen, D, flipping lineman.

I'm sure (not) TT has some master plan for getting D linemen or upgrading the Defense. That has got to be the 2013 priority.

I guess I don't understand. ugh

JimTalkBox's picture

Good Lord, YES.

D-LINE, D-LINE, D-LINE.

Denver's picture

Too bad it appears to be a pretty weak draft for 3/4 DE's.
DT's seem somewhat plentiful, though, so here's hoping.

Pack12's picture

While I basically agree with TT's build through the draft philosophy I wish he would show a little bit of flexibility when it comes to signing a significant free agent(s). If Ron Wolf had taken the RIGID position TT takes he would have never signed Reggie White or signed Andre Rison when the Packers lost Robert Brooks in 1996. Both White and Brooks played major roles in winning a Super Bowl. No one is saying that TT should go nuts and sign every free agent out there but that he should pick his spots in signing free agents like a Steven Jackson to supplement the draft.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Different time and different players. White's signing was done to bring others to Green Bay....not to mention that he was the most dominant defensive end in a predominant 4-3 league. Is Jackson the most dominant back in the league? Nope. You have to weigh the cost to the value and the fact that this is a passing league. Jackson would have improved the position but to the extent to make the offense unstoppable? Nope. Wolf got Rison during the season out of necessity and cheap too. It still comes down to the 4 key positions on a team. Do you have an all-pro QB, dominant pass rusher, strong LT, and a shut down corner? Packers have the 1st two, not the 3rd, and possibly the 4th when you evaluate Shields, Hayward, and House. The only FA TT should have thrown money at was Long because he was the best FA at a position the Packers sorely need to fill but then you risk the future of resigning Clay Matthews and Raji. Outside of Long there isn't one FA where you say "boy, he's worth every penny." Canty....too old. Jackson....too many miles to justify the price tag. Jennings and his 18 million guaranteed is great for Green Bay. The Vikings are more than Jennings away from winning the North and now they've sunk all this money into a guy who will be cut after 3 years. They have an offense built around a RB with a mediocre QB. But somehow Jennings is going to deliver them a title? Was Jackson going to deliver us a title? Nope. Improve the position...yes, but not enough to justify the cost in a QB driven league.

Stroh's picture

Fuckin aye Right! Use 1st round picks on LT, QB, Pass rusher and CB. Use the rest of the draft for the ancillary positions!

We have the best QB in the game. Among the best pass rushers, and the deepest CB group in the NFL. We used a 1st on Bulaga and Sherrod to solidify the OT's. Get Bulaga and Sherrod and Perry healthy and the Packers compete w/ anyone in the NFL!

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

The only exception to that rule this year is Lacy. I understand most don't like the idea of taking a RB in the first round but if he is available I think the Packers would be missing out on great value. He is by far the best back in the draft for several reasons. First, he's a downhill runner and has good vision. Second, he has good elusiveness in the open field for a back his size. Third, he has great burst....saw him switch gears fluidly. Lastly, he finishes runs (i.e. moves the pile). Add all this to the fact that he has low miles. Essentially he's a more polished Steven Jackson at this stage of his career than Jackson was coming out of Oregon St. an playing against tougher run defenses in the SEC. Like I said, not a big fan of the RB 1st round pick but if he's there I don't think the Packers can afford to pass up such great value.

packeraaron's picture

I'm all-in on Lacy as well. Doubt Ted pulls the trigger, but he's the rare back I would love to see the Packers use a late first round pick on.

Stroh's picture

I think 2nd for Lacy. He got a lot of help from a great OL. Move down to top 2nd and I agree. I also like Michael and Ball in 3rd.

phillythedane's picture

Paul-Ott! Paul-Ott! Paul-Ott!

Man, do I enjoy the voice of reason, sense and sensibility. So much more refreshing than the woulda-coulda-shoulda's who think there's not much more to managing an NFL franchise than watching the games and picking up the phone.

I understand the passion and the need for dialogue. Suggesting, however, that the GM of one of the most consistent winners and productive rookie classes year-in-and-year-out does not know what he is doing or is doing nothing, is pure folderol.

And, btw, the game is won in the trenches. If you can't control the line of scrimmage, you control nothing.

Hands's picture

Does Green Bay know how many good GMs are out there? I mean look at all these post about how to improve the Packers.I bet they will work for much less than TT.

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