My typical optimism about the Packers is struggling a bit.
The image often portrayed of and by Ted Thompson is of a manager who carries out his vision for the Packers with a completely disciplined and long-term plan.
I don’t doubt the discipline part. I doubt whether or not this offseason is going according to Thompson’s plan.
It is hard to believe the Packers envisioned, or planned for, some of the players who have walked to do so.
I thought perhaps the Packers wanted to get faster at cornerback and so they let Micah Hyde leave. Then they brought in Davon House, who isn’t exactly known for his long-range speed. I like House’s size, but is it a vast upgrade? Cornerback is still a significant item on the list of draft needs.
Mike McCarthy stated early in the offseason he would like to see Eddie Lacy back. The reports about his weight surely shook their confidence in him, but the Seahawks have the weight incentives in the contract one would expect and the deal won’t hurt them if Lacy doesn’t live up to it.
Lacy left. The Packers are bare bones in terms of depth at the running back position. Add multiple running backs to the draft needs list.
I can accept that the Packers did not want to pay 9.5 million per year to TJ Lang. However, there is no clear replacement unlike when Josh Sitton was cut. Why not bring in a cheaper option to compete? Add offensive line depth to the draft needs list.
The decision to let Datone Jones and Julius Peppers walk from a position with such little depth? Add outside linebacker to the draft needs list.
Maybe Thompson just really enjoys the challenge of having no room for error in the draft, and banking on at least one undrafted rookie per year to become a steady starter.
However, I suspect they wanted some of these players back. They didn’t think the draft would have this level of pressure on it.
If some of what we have witnessed this offseason has not been according to the plan the Packers set out with, wouldn’t you expect a shift in the plan to make up for the losses? There remains still the possibility that could occur, but that’s the optimist in me fighting back right now.
The trades executed by the Patriots showed that they are more creative and a step ahead. They had a vision and executed it to perfection. I wonder what Thompson thinks when he sees New England going all in to capitalize on the great fortune of having a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback. I suppose he takes comfort in the fact that the team has so much cap space. And then he remembers New England has more.
The narrative always is that leaving significant room under the cap is necessary to keep your own players who become free agents in the future.
Well, what about when you don’t even keep your own players? Can one draft provide the abundant talent this team lacks?
The Packers will play with some holes on the field. Seeing as it happens year in and year out, that apparently is the plan.
Of course free agency isn’t over, and I’ll happily admit I was wrong if I am, but I hold out little hope of Thompson doing more this offseason to help the team and little hope that the draft will plug all of our holes.
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