I get it.
Trust me I do.
You sit around all night waiting for the Packers to pick. You have all these players in mind that you have been reading about for the last three months.
And then Ted Thompson picks Mike Neal.
It was amusing watching all the consternation on the live blog and on Twitter over a perfectly reasonable selection. The Neal pick is a perfect example of what Greg Bedard called "release and replace" in a column last May. It's a prescient piece.
...the Packers are much better off, one through 53, than they were when Thompson arrived and he had to make drastic cuts because they were in salary cap hell. This can't be denied, no matter what the Packers' record was last season.They have talent. A lot of it. Maybe not as many elite players as a team would like, but the Packers have a lot of "pretty good" players. In the salary-cap era, that's not bad at all.
Now it's time for the release and replace stage.
Fans and media alike sometimes forget that a teams roster is a fluid thing. It's either getting better and moving forward or getting worse and sliding back. Players are getting older and starting to decline or they are improving and hitting their prime.
Cullen Jenkins could soon be the former and Johnny Jolly is pretty close to the latter.
No, I'm not saying Jenkins is declining, but it's only a matter of time and with the 2010 being the final year of both his and Jolly's contract, it makes sense to have a replacement on board for one if not both of them. Now, why Neal? Why there? I have no idea. But I trust that, as usual, Thompson was being true to his board and got the guy he thought would best help the Packers.
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