Ted Thompson has mostly shied away from free agency since taking over as Green Bay Packers general manager in 2005, but he certainly looks determined this offseason to fix problem areas on his roster by any means necessary. That process includes dipping into the NFL’s scrap heap for another body on the defensive line.
According to ESPN’s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert, the Packers have agreed to terms with former New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove.
Filed to ESPN: #Packers agree to terms with DL Anthony Hargrove. Can play DE in base or DT in nickel. Adds speed to pass rush. Post upcoming
— Kevin Seifert (@espn_nfcnblog) March 29, 2012
Hargrove’s signing marks the second time in as many weeks that Thompson has brought in a free agent on the defensive line. The Packers agreed to terms with street free agent Daniel Muir last Friday.
Hargrove, 28, made a visit to Green Bay last week.
A rotational player in 2011, Hargrove registered 18 tackles and three sacks for the Seahawks over 15 games and zero starts. Before brief stints in Seattle and Philadelphia, he was a disruptive member of the Saints’ defensive line from 2009-10, including the team’s Super Bowl winning season of ’09 in which Hargrove tallied five sacks in 16 games and six starts.
Drafted in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, Hargrove has weathered through an up-and-down NFL career.
After serving as mostly a reserve in his rookie season, Hargrove broke out for 6.5 sacks during 2005 as the Rams’ starting defensive end. Things came crashing down the next season when Hargrove strangely missed several practices, which led the Rams to deal Hargrove to the Buffalo Bills mid-way through 2006.
A four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy then put a dent in Hargrove’s 2007 season, and a year later, he was banned from football for 12 months after becoming a multiple offender.
Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams gave him a chance at defensive tackle after he was reinstated in 2009, and he flourished as a pentrating inside pass-rusher. Listed currently at just 272 pounds, Hargrove played at closer to 300 while in New Orleans.
Given the Packers’ need to address a defensive line that struggled to replace Cullen Jenkins last season, Hargrove will likely be asked to play the five-technique in Green Bay. He could fit in well along the Packers’ defensive line if he can get his weight up near 300 pounds while avoiding any off-the-field incidents.