Here’s a storyline I haven’t seen yet from the Combine, one that I think is fairly obvious but that no ‘legit’ guy is going to write.
I guess that’s what I’m for.
The Packers don’t want to be the bad guy when it comes to the departure of Aaron Kampman. Not again. Not after being perceived as villains by a large portion of the fan base during the Favre drama two summers ago.
Look, it’s all well and good that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy got up and blew verbal bouquets Kampman’s way on Friday at the Combine. All the right things have been said this entire offseason, from Thompson telling Greg Bedard that the team is planning on offering Kampman a contract to McCarthy talking glowingly about how much better Kampman would be the second year into the transition of Capers’s defensive makeover.
I’m sorry, but anyone who watches the game of football with any regularity and with even a modicum of honesty will tell you that Kampman was a complete fish out of water with his hand off the ground. He plays way too slow for the position, is incredibly stiff when asked to turn his hips and drop into coverage, and had trouble holding the point when defending the run without the benefit of exploding out of a three point stance.
And here’s whats scary to me – the Packers may be so scared of potentially looking the fool if yet another popular player ended up playing within the division (hello, Chicago) that they may be setting themselves up to bring Kampman back so as to ‘look good’ in the eyes of the fans and indeed, the rest of the league. I know – it sounds absurd. But how else do you explain the theory I heard from one source in Indianapolis – that the organization may have gone as far as feeding Mike Vandermause the meme for his column in the Green Bay Press Gazette last week.
It’s title? “Green Bay Packers Would Be Foolish To Let Kampman Go”
Now, I’m throwing a lot of smoke out there. But I tend to think there’s a very small fire underneath it all. My guess is that the Packers are truly conflicted about this and seriously don’t know what to do. More than one person I talked to this weekend made reference to the fact that, behind the scenes, Thompson is a lot more indecisive and prone to last minute decisions than his calm, bland demeanor would suggest. When I heard that initially, I pretty much dismissed it out of hand.
But then you look at things like the Ryan Grant signing, the way he basically caved at the last minute in face of the pressure he was getting during the Favre fiasco. Or you look at the cutting of Anthony Smith and then the attempt to claim him off waivers a few weeks later. There are plenty of other instances as well that hint at the depiction of Thompson as someone who is a little more reckless behind the scenes than the perception of Thompson as some emotionless automaton would suggest.
If Thompson is smart he’ll let Kampman walk, even if it means the Bears get the defensive end they so desperately need. Kampman may or may not hurt the Packers playing for the Bears. His being on the Packers roster certainly will.