There has been a lot of talk lately, about all the departed Green Bay Packers in NFL free agency and of course, some have taken to the sky-is-falling mentality.
In truth, there should be no surprise with what Ted Thompson and the Packers have done thus far. There was no way Ted was going to key his long list of free agents and frankly, with some, he shouldn’t have wanted to.
Datone Jones showed potential and he could have played well in Green Bay next season, but he needed a fresh start. Essentially, he is a first-round bust.
Micah Hyde is a solid player, but he’s not a starter. And if he’s your nickel corner, you have problems, simple as that.
Hyde is a very good third safety, I’ll give you that. He also forces turnovers, which is obviously important. But match him up against just about anyone one-on-one and it’s trouble. Again, nice player, but not worth anything near five years $30 million.
Eddie Lacy is one the Packers might regret, but being paid like a top-10 running back, as Lacy will next season with the Seahawks, is also a lot to ask for a guy that played just five games a year ago and looked like the pillsbury doughboy back in 2015.
But, looking back, Green Bay did pretty well with Ty Montgomery down the stretch at running back and with an absolutely loaded draft class, there will be a good chance for an addition or two.
J.C. Tretter would have been nice to keep, but in all honesty, the only move Ted probably regrets next season is allowing T.J. Lang to leave.
That’s one the Packers should have ponied up for, even though it would have moved him past Bryan Bulaga on the team’s offensive-line payscale, it should have been done.
Without Lang, Green Bay will either have a rookie or a second-year player starting, because the free-agent options are worthless and Don Barclay is just terrible.
Finding a guard isn’t the hardest thing in the world. Just look at Lane Taylor. And Jason Spriggs probably has a shot, even if he looks like more of a tackle. But as long as Barclay isn’t starting Week 1, then it will be hard to fault Thompson. More than $8 million a year is a lot for a guard.
So while it seems like the Packers have lost a lot, they also added two talented tight ends (replacing Jared Cook) and a veteran corner that has a legit chance to start and play well (Davon House). Plus, the compensatory haul in 2018, will be a good one.
It might be hard to see Green Bay players signing elsewhere everyday, but it’s bound to happen and outside of Lang and an aging Julius Peppers, I don’t see anyone the Packers will miss tremendously.
It’s nice to think that big-name free agents can help get you over the hump, but most of the time, it’s just not true. There is no arguing that the Packers need more help, especially on defense if they are going to contend again for the Super Bowl. But at this point, whatever help they get, is most likely coming from the NFL’s annual selection meeting.
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