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Hargrove Reportedly Makes Free Agent Visit to Green Bay

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Hargrove Reportedly Makes Free Agent Visit to Green Bay

Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove had a free agent visit with the Green Bay Packers, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network.

 

Hargrove's visit perhaps comes as a surprise because he's not exactly what one would describe as "Packer people," a term coming from head coach Mike McCarthy's mission statement upon becoming hired by the Packers that refers to the high character and integrity he prefers in his players.

Previous to spending the 2011 season with the Seattle Seahawks where he had 18 tackles and three sacks in 15 games, Hargrove spent the the 2009 and 2010 seasons in New Orleans where he was part of the Saints' Super Bowl winning team.

But before that, Hargrove was suspended by the NFL for one year because he violated the league's substance abuse policy and had a run-in with the law as a member of the Buffalo Bills, situations that draw parallels to a pair of other defensive linemen who've worn the green and gold, Mike Neal and Johnny Jolly.

Hargrove's career has included one eyebrow-rising incident after another since being drafted into the NFL as a third-round selection of the St. Louis Rams in 2004.

In the middle of his third year with the Rams in 2006, Hargrove had a curious unexcused and unexplained absence from practice that led to his eventual trade to the Bills.

He spent the remainder of the 2006 season and all of 2007 with the Bills, but the 2007 league year included several unfortunate incident for Hargrove. In August he was charged with several misdemeanors after an altercation with police outside a nightclub in New York. He was also suspended the first four games of 2007 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Yet another violation turned into a one-year suspension in 2008. In 2009, Hargrove was re-instated by commissioner Roger Goodell and signed with the Saints.

With Neal suspended for the first four games of 2012 and Howard Green currently being a free agent that may not return to Green Bay, the Packers could use some depth on the defensive line.

Whether the signing of another free agent defensive lineman, Daniel Muir, has any impact on the Packers' interest in Hargrove is up for speculation.

As someone who's listed 6-3 and 272 lbs., it's also unseen how Hargrove fits into the Packers' 3-4 defensive system. He's always been a defensive lineman in the NFL, but Hargrove is more than 10 lbs. lighter than the Packers' current lightest defensive lineman, Jarius Wynn who's listed at 285 lbs.

Could the Packers be interested in converting a player like Hargrove or Dave Tollefson––another defensive line free agent they reportedly have interest in––to outside linebacker? Either one of those options could be more experiment than surefire solution.

If they could sign either one to a minimal contract, however, it probably doesn't hurt them to find out.

UPDATE: Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com points out that while Hargrove is listed as being 272 lbs., he's played close to 300 lbs. as recently as 2010.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Anthony's picture

Love this. TT is confident in his current players but would like to get some depth, which he is looking at doing, if it comes in at a good price. We really, really need depth too, as proved by last year's defense. He realizes that all these late round draft picks will rarely ever be ready to be on the field in the first year or two.

BubbaOne's picture

"...late round draft picks will rarely ever be ready to be on the field in the first year or two..."

They don't need to be since TT has built a deep team. Therefore I wish he would alter his M.O. to trade some late round picks for future picks i.e. trade this year's 6th rounder for a 5th next year.

Rocky70's picture

Sorry Bubba ----

I keep reading where TT has 'built a deep team' in GB. Offensively, yes. Defensively, far from even close. Some of you claiming all this depth in GB have got to start naming names.

All these FA inquires, visits & possible signings are the first clue that TT is not at all content with the depth on this team (on the "D").

Rocky70's picture

Actually, it's the exact opposite. TT has little confidence in his 'current players' on the DL. He'd love to bring in a bit more talent to eliminate some of the current players such as Wynn, Wilson & even Neal.

Here's a guess: If TT can draft a DL in the 1st or 2nd & another a little bit later (4th), all 3 players (Wynn, Wilson, Neal) will be on the roster bubble come August.

Anthony's picture

It's not the "exact opposite". I didn't say the D-line precisely, I said the D as a whole. Pickett, Raji, and Neal will undoubtedly be Packer players next season. We're not going to be signing all the Defensive players we're looking at. We're not getting rid of any of our previous years' starters on defense... They may not be starting next season, but we're keeping all the players. That's what I meant. And what we DO need is depth behind these players we had starting. Maybe one or two of those guys (via draft or FA) will turn into a starter for us, come week 1.

BubbaOne's picture

I know not to get into a debate w/ you so here's my one time response.

First off, "deep" is a relative term. I judge it to mean the falloff from starter to backup made especially difficult w/ a salary cap and a 53 man roster.
Here's examples for you. In 2010, when Burnett went down Peprah stepped in. Bishop stepped up when Barnett was lost for the season and finished 2nd in tackles. Even w/ all the injuries the D ended up in the top 5. In the SB we probably wouldn't have won if Bush and Lee hadn't played as well as they did when Woodson and Shields went down.

Last year when Hawk and Bishop went down DJ Smith and Francois stepped in nicely, some say Smith should have kept the job even when Hawk returned. Bush also stepped in nicely when Woodson was nicked up.
We did see that the rookie Burnett/Peprah combo was no match to a 3 time pro bowl Collins/Peprah tandem. One injury (Collins or Tramon or Neal) can have a significant effect on the D but the back half of the roster is much more solid than what TT inherited.

Re Neal: Even Cullen Jenkins said before he left that Neal was going to be a "beast". The Packers have had the mantra "next man up" and Neal was to be the latest. Unfortunately injuries once again got in the way. BTW-that's not TT's fault.
A blogger who has some contacts says Neal is using PED's again like he did at Purdue and his claim that ADD meds caused the positive test results are bogus. The blogger also states that TT/MM are getting tired of it all. This is just one persons opinion but if true it speaks to TT's focus on the DL. We all knew Green was going to be replaced but now we may have to replace Neal. And w/ Pickett turning 33 this year TT is doing his due diligence to make sure the position is covered.

Fans would like to have a pro bowler at every position and a quality backup. Fans would also like tboth sides of the ball to be equally good, doesn't happen that way. After a SB winning team and 17 players coming off IR we still had 10 rookies make the 2011 team. Injuries, age, contracts influence rosters but from top to bottom TT/MM field a solid team.

Rocky70's picture

I have no problem with the word 'solid' but a 'deep' team means that many back-ups are close to the same ability as the starters. I don't know any team that's like this in the NFL.

My major depth problem in GB is at the QB position. Better hope AR has an injury-free season because I'm not sure Graham Harrell will ever be an NFL QB. Lose AR for any sustained period of time & GB's in huge trouble. Packer fans & Colt fans will have much in common.

BubbaOne's picture

I'll continue to use "deep". From 1-53 the gap in talent is much less than on other teams. All 7 of our 2011 FA's were signed by other teams including Bigby and A.Smith which speaks to just how deep the team TT assembled is.

For every team, they hope their starting QB doesn't go down. I can't name the backups for the final 4 teams who made it to the last years championship games. And those teams are soooo glad we didn't have to know them.

Oppy's picture

People said the exact same thing about Favre/Rodgers- we're screwed if Favre goes down. Then Dallas happened.

People said the exact same thing about Rodgers/Flynn.. We're screwed if Rodgers goes down, how can we go into seasons without a proven vet.. Well, then the PATs game happened- it was a loss, but it wasn't due to poor QB play.

Is Graham Harrell ready to step in and play? Probably not, but then, how many NFL teams are ready to win with their 2nd string QB if the starter goes down? Not many.

I believe you should always be looking to improve, no question. But your comments indicate to me that you have unrealistic expectations for what the bottom third of a roster should look like. You need to step into the modern era of football- there's this thing called a salary cap. BubbaOne's comment regarding our lost FA's is right on target. Perhaps you fail to understand that the MAJORITY of NFL talent doesn't just come into the league and set it ablaze.. It's filled with young men with talent ceilings that take time to develop to be fully realized. The Packers play a game of catch, groom, promote, release. Those who don't grow will eventually be replaced by those who do.. But the roster is stuffed with talented players..

Rocky70's picture

You're not just replacing another QB with his back-up, you're replaced the league's MVP & best player with someone (GH) who has done 'zero' as an NFL QB.
Your examples are nowhere close to what exists in GB at this moment.

This roster is 'stuffed' with talent. You say this as GB talks with more & more FAs. Face it, you "hope & dream" that GB has a 'stuffed' roster. We shall see.

Oppy's picture

Rocky,

I don't see how these scenarios are much different at all..

Established, MVP type starting QB's who went into a season with a backup QB who has done "zero" as an NFL QB.

There's no tangible difference.

As far as the talent on the roster, BubbaOne's statement is one indicator; other indicators are the glowing praise NFL scouts and execs regularly show for the depth the Packers have on their squad.. And the fact that TT is among the leaders in the NFL when it comes to percentage of acquired players who still play in the league. A good number of those that aren't playing in the league anymore are due to injury.

I guess I "hope and dream" they have decent depth, while you "hope and dream" they don't. I'll take my side of the fence.

Rocky70's picture

Please, just a few real names. You need to identify this 'depth'.
Warm bodies don't guarantee depth.

I only 'hope & dream' the best for GB. I've got an entire life (decades) emotionally invested into their success. But, I'll not purposely ignore reality to just make myself feel better. It's not about me or any other fan.

QOTSA1's picture

I just read Kevin Seifert's NFC North Blog, and he says " He's listed at 272 pounds but played close to 300 pounds as recently as the 2010 season", so he would be a fit as defensive end in the Packers 3-4.

Chad Toporski's picture

Is there a chance Hargrove faces fines and possibly suspension as a member of the New Orleans Saints during their "bounty years?"

I haven't read all the documentation, so I'm not sure if any specific names have been brought up yet.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

I heard a am radio interview with him last year when Seattle signed him. I remember being impressed with it. He said all the right things and said he made a lot of changes in his life. Sounded sincere.

GBP 4 LIFE

Bearmeat's picture

Unless his listed weight is 30 pounds too low, he's too small for a 5 technique.

Plus, his character red flags concern me. He might even be suspended come wk 1 for the 09 New Orleans crap... I don't want 'thugs' on GB's team.. what would you call us then? The Minnesota Vikings East? No. Way.

We've got to be able to do better than this...

fishcrane's picture

But fot the grace of God there go me

Bearmeat's picture

I'm not saying that people can't make mistakes. What I'm saying is that he has made a NUMBER of mistakes over a period of years..... Think B. Marshall... when's it gonna happen again?

Jake's picture

My only take on the matter...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70cwBbbVF8

Cole's picture

Hahaha

Ruppert's picture

Bring him in. Bring anybody in. We need several new/different D linemen heading into this year. It's the position group with the largest area of concern, IMO.

Think about it...if Thompson wants to sign TWO free agents to one position group, even he sees the need for wholesale changes. I'd rather see somebody without discipline issues, but priorities change when the need is greater.

Oppy's picture

Ruppert, it's probably the thinnest group on the defensive side of the ball.

That being said, as far as base D goes, NT is the premium position in a 3-4. Everyone says it's OLB (which IS extremely important), but you absolutely NEED that big NT who can two gap and clog the middle for a 3-4 to work at all.

The DE's? meh. Just need guys with long levers who can use their hands well.

The real problem isn't that the Packers don't have DE's that can pressure the QB... the REAL problem is that the Packers don't have enough LB's who can pressure the QB and are forced to generate that pressure from the DL. It shouldn't be that way.

Of course, we also play a lot of nickle which often puts an extra DL on the LOS. Our D shouldn't need to do so much 4 down linemen. Dom has tried to use 3-3-5 (frisco) and 1-5-5 (Psycho) alignments over the years to attempt to keep extra DL from being needed, but quite frankly, we don't have the other OLB to make it work...

So, forget everything I just wrote..I guess we DO need some top flight DL, even though we really SHOULDN'T need them.. Pickett and Raji should be enough at NT to make it work if our 3-4 had adequate OLB help.

Rocky70's picture

You could save yourself some words & needless examination.

Bottom line ----- Both the OLB & DL areas are a complete mess because of a lack of talented players. Only Raji, Pickett & CM3 add anything to either area.

Why do you think TT is looking at alternatives in free agency? ----- Next step ---- look for OLB & DL (and the "D") to be the focus of draft 2012.

Ruppert's picture

OLB vs. DL.

That's really the big debate on the Packers' defense, isn't it? Will upgrades at ROLB cover up deficiencies in the D Line? Or will a couple good DL cover up the disaster that is ROLB?

The answer is really this: We need to upgrade both.

But if we can't do that, (and it's probably unrealistic to think we can) it is my opinion that the greater need is on the D line.

Case in point: Cullen Jenkins. Somehow, in 2010, Erik Walden was a hell of a lot better playing behind Jenkins. So was Frank Zombo. They were both totally useless in 2011. Couldn't find the QB with a map. Did these guys get worse from year to year? I doubt it. This defense goes from crummy to dangerous if we can get a DE that can push a double team backwards.

It's just a useless cliche that 34 D Linemen only need to occupy double teams. It's garbage. They need to create havoc. When they do, the entire D is better...championship quality, even.

Rocky70's picture

I agree. DL would be a better place to add a high draft pick or two. Signing Lawson just may make this decision a bit easier.

Evan's picture

As Jason Wilde pointed out on Twitter, Anthony Hargrove's twitter sure seems to suggest he's coming to GB.

packsmack25's picture

So the moral of the story here is that if we can just get them to GB, we can sign them.

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