The decision by Ted Thompson not to renew Andrew Brandt's contract a few years ago was surprising if not a little controversial when it happened. At the time, there was no word from either camp regarding reasons for the change either than generic 'it was time to move on' platitudes. In Brandt's words to Cheesehead TV:
It was time. The Cap is healthy for years to come; we had just hosted the NFC Championship game; the person I worked close with was named Executive of the Year. All seemed well for the future.
It did indeed.
After letting the man most responsible for the Packers sterling reputation when it came to getting guys into camp (and, it should be noted, with Packer-friendly contracts) walk out the door, Thompson hired Russ Ball as his chief negotiator.
And so far, Ball is not producing what would be considered sterling results.
First, there was the Ryan Grant situation. Yes, it was incredibly unique. But the fact remains that Ball came at Alan Herman, Grant's agent, with a ridiculously low offer to begin negotiations which threatened to turn the whole affair contentious. And one can't help but draw the conclusion that Thompson and Ball caved into the pressure of the whole Brett Favre fiasco by signing Grant to a deal that, let's face it, was a bit more than Grant deserved.
Next, there was the Greg Jennings deal. I know, it's great that Jennings' is signed - everyone is happy about the Packers tying up their best young player. But look closer at the deal and you could make the argument that the Packers got taken. The contract nicely front loaded, roughly $16 million guaranteed, as is custom, but usually that money will earn the team some extra years. In Jennings' case, he's set to be a free agent again in three years. If Jennings continues his upward assent into the upper echelon of NFL wide receivers, and there's really no reason to think he won't, the Packers will be forced to dance this dance again only to a much faster beat.
And now, of course, there is the B.J. Raji mess.
Look, I know there's a whole mountain of stuff I don't know here. But it would seem at first blush as though Thompson might have made a mistake in letting Brandt go.
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