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Point of Veau: If Ted Thompson Breaks Mold, Jairus Byrd Makes Sense (Not Cents)

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Point of Veau: If Ted Thompson Breaks Mold, Jairus Byrd Makes Sense (Not Cents)

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson at the NFL Combine. Photo by Brian Carriveau of CheeseheadTV.com.

It's a shame I don't get to eat good, fresh crab very often. It's not like Wisconsin is on the ocean, and even if it were, crab isn't exactly cheap.

Just because I don't eat it very often, however, doesn't mean I don't like crab. I love it actually. I wish I had the opportunity and the cash to splurge on it more often.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson is in much the same boat in free agency. I constantly see and hear how he rarely went after big-name, highly-priced free agents in years past, ergo he won't in 2014.

I don't necessarily buy that theory. Maybe it's a cosmic aligning of the stars, but you know what? Jairus Byrd just makes sense for the Packers to pursue in free agency.

Of course Byrd isn't going to come cheap, but more on the financial angle a little bit later.

In simplest terms, Byrd is the right player at the right time. Perhaps only in 2014 would a confluence of factors converge to make such a deal a bonafide, legitimate possibility.

For one, the Packers have a need at safety, and "need" is putting it mildly. Green Bay has a Grand Canyon sized void to fill at safety, and maybe Black Hole would be more apropos after getting zero interceptions from the position in 2013.

Morgan Burnett didn't play up to expectations last season, but he's not the biggest problem. At worst, he's the lesser of two evils. At best, he's a factor on a defense when paired next to good safety next to him. And most likely, he probably falls somewhere in between, a nice complementary player.

The burden is on the Packers to replace M.D. Jennings, a Canadian Football League talent masquerading as an NFL safety.

Byrd could be that guy. Is he Hall of Fame caliber? The jury is still out on that, but in five seasons, he's proved himself to be a perennial Pro Bowler, forcing an average of 6.6 turnovers per year. He's a rangy safety whose calling card is his coverage in an increasingly pass-happy NFL but also the type that doesn't embarrass himself as a tackler and run defender.

On top of his ample talents, Byrd has stayed largely healthy and hasn't hinted that he could be a character question mark. If the Packers are going to make such a gigantic investment, they can at least rest easy knowing Byrd isn't likely to get arrested or be suspended.

And whereas several free agents might dismiss Green Bay as a free-agent destination because of its small-market location and cold climate, Byrd is more likely to embrace the Frozen Tundra than the average Joe.

In a piece of trivia that's practically become common knowledge in these parts, Byrd played his high school football in nearby Pulaski when his father, Gill, was the Packers' director of player programs in the late nineties and early part of the new century.

Now we get to the tricky part: the price tag.

It's no secret Byrd wants to become the highest-paid safety in the league, and any team that wants to sign him is going to have to meet his demands.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is currently the highest-paid safety, in terms of average annual salary, earning $8.34 million per season. Logic would say a deal averaging $8.5 million per season would make Byrd the new highest-paid player, but it's not that easy.

When the NFL announced a 7.5 percent raise in the salary cap from $123 million to $133 million in 2014, players entering free agency will want to see that 7.5 percent raise in their earnings as well.

Byrd has reportedly declined an offer of three years and $30 million dollars from the Buffalo Bills, but that hardly comes as a surprise as three years just isn't going to cut it.

Whether it takes a four-year, five-year, maybe even a six-year deal to secure Byrd remains to be seen, but the amount of guaranteed money will also factor into Byrd's decision. For example, Byrd might be willing to sacrifice one less year on his deal or a slightly lower annual salary in exchange for a higher amount of guaranteed money.

With the sixth-most salary cap space in the NFL and roughly $35 million available, the Packers have the funds available to be active in free agency, if they so choose. And maybe, just maybe they could get Byrd for something south of $10 million a year.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to signing Byrd is the "it only takes one" mantra. Theoretically, the Packers could out-bid 30 other NFL teams for the safety's services only to see the Oakland Raiders and their $64 million in available cap space offer Byrd ridiculous, can't-refuse type of money.

Granted, there are drawbacks to signing a player like Byrd. Re-signing Sam Shields flies out the window, as does any chance of re-upping players like James Jones, Mike Neal and James Starks. But on the flip side of the coin, an elite safety helps to cover up other deficiencies like cornerback and pass rush.

And by addressing safety in free agency, the Packers can instead focus on other positions of need in the first two days of the NFL Draft like tight end and linebacker.

It's also generally accepted that the Packers will look to offer contract extensions to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb before the 2014 season is over, locking them up before they reach free agency.

And by signing Byrd, the task of extending both Nelson and Cobb becomes increasingly more difficult, although maybe not impossible. The tradeoff, however, is that the Packers would be adding another impact player, albeit at a different position.

Signing Byrd doesn't fix every problem area on the Packers roster, but for once the Packers can afford a high-priced free agent, and he'd instantly help a team whose Super Bowl window is currently open as long as Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews are in the prime of their careers.

Other holes would have to be patched by an incoming rookie class, but that's not much different than not signing Byrd and hoping a rookie safety pans out.

Anyway, here's to wishful thinking. I think I'll go make reservations at a seafood restaurant. Ted, if you're reading this, you're invited. I fancy Ted as a crab type of guy too.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (92) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

@VJ_Ostrowski's picture

Maybe I'm freakin' nuts, but I can see this happening.

In fact, I expect TT to make a very serious inquiry. Whether he'll bring it home or not is another story, but I don't think he can ignore the chance for serendipity of having a big need meeting available talent.

bryce's picture

I hope he does, he's more like to go after a mid-level guy though. Or just draft a safety.

RC Packer Fan's picture

If there was a year in which Thompson broke his mold, this should be the year. Its almost as if the stars are aligning perfectly for him to do it.

Byrd is a dynamic playmaking player, who fits a huge need. With the increased cap space and being well under the cap this would be the ideal year to go after the big name free agent.

It won't happen, but if there was a year in which it made the most sense this would be it.

Arlo's picture

You are correct.

ATS's picture

"It won’t happen"

This part of your post is spot on.

Arlo's picture

TT needs to do something bold. If season 2014 is a continuation of season 2013, TT will be retired at this time next year.

Signing Byrd is a start. However, it won't be enough. Too many JAGs on the 53.

gbslapshot's picture

You might as well become a Seahawks fan hey?

Arlo's picture

8-8-1 is a reality. No one knows what 2014 will bring.

The ups & downs of an NFL team are pretty much guaranteed. It's the nature of the 'parity issue'. Disagree all you wish, GB is not immune to this fact.

Arlo's picture

Besides, I never mentioned the Seahawks. Don't see any connection to my post.

gbslapshot's picture

My comment reflects your attitude towards the Packers and their players every post you make. I assumed you would be much happier being a fan of the team that just won the SB than such a poor excuse for a football team...

Arlo's picture

I doubt you've read all my posts. Besides, an objective view guarantees that I don't have to invent or cherry pick to express my opinion. Just the facts.

Don't you just detest the gushing, exaggerated, inaccurate bull$hit the homers continue to peddle? ---- I do.

gbslapshot's picture

If you honestly looked objectively you would see that every team has poor players and good players.

Arlo's picture

Sorry gbslapshot, but your straw man responses are a waste of my time. I've got better things to do.

gbslapshot's picture

I would argue that the Packers have been immune to parity. 18 seasons of winning records over the past 22 years.

4thand1's picture

A Anti
L Lambeau
R Rejected
O Ogre
Or artroll as I like to call him . POS anti Packer fan. No one likes him.

Buster's picture

I don't have a problem with most here but you, 4thandnone, need to go. This is a football blog.

Arlo's picture

Makes little difference. Even if 4thand1 leaves, he's always here with one of his many IDs.

He's a 'super-troll'. (isn't that right, rayray?)

4thand1's picture

LMFAO, you clowns are the toast of CHTV.
B Butt
U Ugly
S Stupid
T Troll
E Eagerly
R Responding with shit

ray nichkee's picture

Go shove that 8-8-1 shit up your ass crow. Everybody knows what the record was and everybody knows the defense will look way different in personel next year. You make it obvious your reality sucks. Go back to bobbing for testicles with your boyfriend cow/clown in the bathtub.

4thand1's picture

Buster, I don't have a beef with you, its artroll the asshole and his negative BS that rubs everyone the wrong way. I love to talk football and have probably been a Packer fan longer than you've been alive. I could play artroll and go on a Viking or Bear site and piss people off all day, but I'm not that kind of prick.

Evan's picture

"In simplest terms, Byrd is the right player at the right time. Perhaps only in 2014 would a confluence of factors converge to make such a deal a bonafide, legitimate possibility."

That's been my thinking lately as well...it just seems like the perfect storm of need and player and cap room.

Cpheph1's picture

+1

Stroh's picture

Agreed... Its kind of a perfect storm of factors making this a real possibility. Cap goes up quite a bit and is expected to continue a couple years. Packers got Rodgers and Matthews out of the way last year, so they're locked up. Packers have a bunch of FA but only one is a real priority (Shields) so they had a sizeable amt of cap space even before the cap increase. Woodson and Pickett's contract expiring (his last meaningful foray into FA).

Just makes all the sense in the world.

Everything is in alignment

THEMichaelRose's picture

There has ALWAYS been cap room. Fans and local media always look at the cap numbers and say "ooh they'll use the last few million on signing this guy or extending this guy" but they don't really. When they do on occasion, like with Burnett last year, they still go into the season with plenty of cap space.
Sure, the money you don't spend can roll over. But overall, this team is too careful with its money for my taste. There's a difference between being a smart shopper (which I appreciate) and just trying to book a few million more in profit.
I don't get it, there is no owner, and we're sure as hell not going to be receiving a dividend.

Nopainnogain's picture

Comparing the $5-10 mil of space in other years to the $35 mil of space this year is a little ridiculous.

4thand1's picture

Maybe, just maybe, the Packers realized what would happen this year. All the FA hitting the market at once. Not offering any long term deals to see how the FA's preformed. They got lucky Raji rejected the 1st offer and he shot himself in the foot. They know what they got, and what they need. By rolling over a few mil, now they can use it. TT is a shrude operator. Call him cheap, but this team is in good shape. This team will be better, book it.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Brian, putting our dire need at Safety aside, do "you" feel that Byrd and his skill set are worth the cash? In "your" opinion, is he that good?

The quotations are just to illustrate I'm not interested in Jim-Bob's take on Byrd. Just want your thoughts.

Evan's picture

I also don't necessarially agree that signing Byrd means they can't also re-sign Shields. With Tramon's $8.25 mil off the books next season and another $7-9 million salary cap jump expected, they can afford both (plus Nelson and Cobb).

Tundraboy's picture

Have to say I have agreed with every one of your posts. Seems like you are the one of the very few here that have made any sense. Call TT please.

I wouldn't mind seeing us keep Shields, give Raji another shot, have Jolly healthy all year and get Bird. In draft I would love to see Ebron, and some mean. fast athletic LBs Then we wouldnt be so dam weak up the entire middleTake Like my chances with that. Jordy and Cobb can wait for another day.

4thand1's picture

Why are so many people fixated on Nelson and Cobb. I'm sure it will be explained to both of them that a deal can be worked out in time. Sign Jordy now & Cobb later. Cobb has a contract.

Kt's picture

Rather bring Byrd in and let Shields walk if, in fact, that is the choice TT is faced with. One has his bona fides on tHe resume, the other is good with potential.

TedTheSledge's picture

I know Shefter sometimes seems to go off the rails but one of his recent tweets caught my eye: "Salary cap projected to rise to about $133 million this year, expected to break $140 million next year and $150 million by 2016, per source". If he is close to correct that 2014 is just the first year of large cap growth then spending big on a UFA this year like Byrd seems more possible. I'm not sure where this projected cap explosion comes from as it seems to be to much to simply attribute to TV deal money, but if he is correct the Packers front office has to be licking their chops.

Evan's picture

Exactly what I'm saying.

So they invest, I dunno, $18 million into Byrd and Shields, leaving around $15 mil in room for Nelson/other holes/draft.

Next season they'll automatically have around $15 mil in space with the projected cap increase plus Tramon's contract expiring - that's more than enough for Cobb.

THEMichaelRose's picture

It's nowhere near that simple. There are so many other guys you need to be concerned with. Not just FAs coming up for new contracts, but other guys you'll want to extend.
Plus, with the salary cap inflating possibly 20% in the next 2 years, while roster sizes won't change, that increases every player's expectation of his worth - and as guys are signed by teams in FA, that expectation becomes crystallized. So the exact same expenditures you forecast having this season will still be proportionally present in the future.

Evan's picture

"It’s nowhere near that simple."

I'm sure it's not - I was just doing a quick and dirty breakdown off the top of my head.

My only point is it hardly seems impossible to sign Byrd and Shields while keeping the cap healthy enough to re-sign Cobb and Nelson down the line.

Derek in CO's picture

Based on our safety play the last two years, I think Byrd is worth just about anything. I'll throw in a wheel of swiss to get this done.

Patric's picture

When we had Nick Collins center field, we had a great defense.

I think Burnett can't call the defense, his personality as most pointed out is a quiet guy. AJ Hawk can call the line and linebackers, he's very smart, but he can't call coverages in the backfield.

Collins and Woodson would call coverages, Burnett i'm not so convinced he does effectively. Byrd is someone who has shown he can.

Nopainnogain's picture

Completely agree, the narrative some fans have about TT is ridiculous. He does not blindly ignore free agency. He just has different price evaluations on what he deems certain players are worth. Plus, some years you have more $ to spend than others. ppl treat it like all years are the same and that each year is in a vacuum, whereas the reality is that what you spend or don't spend in one year impacts what you can spend in another year. ppl will cherrypick the free agents that made a difference while ignoring the vast amount that end up being a huge waste of money for their new teams. That said, I wouldn't say no to Byrd. I won't be upset if they don't get him either. People tend to get too fixated on the top FA's and 1st-rounders and forget that it's not unheard of for less-heralded guys to end up making just as big a difference.

KennyPayne's picture

There is a better chance of 2012 4th round pick Jerron McMillian being resigned than there is of TT signing Byrd.

Never, ever, ever, going to happen.

Bobby D's picture

If TT was in the process of breaking the mold, the BJ Raji debacle wouldn't be all over the gossip wires. All these stupid ass articles accomplish is to get Packer fans thinking maybe, just maybe this year. Been thinking that every year and nothing ever changes. Would Byrd fit perfectly if cap $ was spent wisely? Of course it would, as long as Nelson and Cobb are accounted for. Will it happen? Check the skies for those flying pigs....alas, no fu*king way.

Evan's picture

"If TT was in the process of breaking the mold, the BJ Raji debacle wouldn’t be all over the gossip wires."

I don't follow the connection.

Bobby D's picture

His MO has always been, keep
my guys, avoid free agency like the plague. If he was about to change philosophies, he wouldn't be trying to lure this large guy back into the fold... That $5 million or whatever that supposed one year offer is could be the hammer that breaks that mold

casual fan's picture

I think all the talk on Raji and Quarless going on right now is a result of final offers being made before free agency signing starts. If they don't take these offers, the Packers have done due diligence to resign "their guys" and will be looking to fill these areas of need in free agency.

Derek in CO's picture

Byrd turns 28 in October. He's still young. 4-5 years is feasible.

Derek in CO's picture

Check that. He's only 5'10" so TT won't sign him.

THEMichaelRose's picture

Both good points. Byrd has a lot of good years left, safeties can play into low 30s. But height is a big deal to Thompson. That's why guys like Verrett are not even on our board in the first round, if even the second.

Evan's picture

I have to think/hope that a track record of NFL success trumps measurables at this point.

Stroh's picture

Almost certainly have to be 5 yrs to get a deal done, maybe 6. Byrd makes all the sense in the world this year. Need an elite centerfielder. Would allow Burnett to play his best position at SS but they would be pretty interchangeable. With the cap expected to rise significantly the cap space is avail. Rodgers and Matthews were locked in last year. And we can absorb both Byrd and Shields for a year.

I would say the stars are aligned for this to happen.

MarkinMadison's picture

I've been on the FA bandwagon this year more than ever, and at S more than any other position because you just can't draft a guy and plug him in at the position. It is too mentally challenging for that IMHO.

Wilde had pretty much the same take as Bryan on this topic yesterday. It makes a ton of sense. A $4M deal with Raji is not a significant obstacle. If Sheilds signs someplace else I could even see this happening.

And even if Shields does not immediately sign somewhere else on the 11th, it makes sense to let Shields go if that is what it takes to get Byrd. The Packers have far more potential starters at cornerback than safety. Byrd is much more of a proven playmaker than Shields. The money will be a bit higher for Byrd, but not so much so that the Packers can't afford it.

The easy thing right now is to sit back and say, "it will never happen." Most deals don't happen, so you can always appear to be smart by saying "no way." But Bryan's right, this does make a lot of sense, and it could happen.

Buster's picture

You're probably right. Losing Shields would not be good but they at least have some depth at CB. The Safety position is a mess and needs major improvement.

White92's picture

I agree with this well thought out post. People always like to point out how Ted has done nothing in FA or making a deal for someone like Marshawn Lynch. Those folks appear smart when nothing happens.

I hope Ted makes a serious run at this young guy. He can then draft what he is good at drafting, receivers, to replace Jones, and either Nelson or Cobb when their contracts are up.

ATS's picture

"Those folks appear smart when nothing happens."

Those folks sure do appear smart quite often, then.

Stroh's picture

Appearances are deceiving... VERY deceiving in this case!

ATS's picture

Um, no - there's no deception involved, whatsoever.
TT does not (and will not) do the FA thing.

Everyone who posts a justification as to why THIS may be the year that Thompson actually signs an impact - type player is really just trying to talk themselves into thinking that it COULD happen.

It can't.
It won't.

All of you should stop looking at FA names and start brushing up on the draft.

4thand1's picture

You sound pretty sure of yourself. You make it sound like the Packers never signed a FA. Cya next week, I'll prepare the crow.

Brian's picture

1) What was Nick Collins making per year when he was forced to retire?

Evan's picture

Made $2.9 mil his last year ($4.2 mil cap hit). He had a 4 year, $26,750,000 contract.

Interesting. He had nearly an $11 mil cap hit in 2010 - wonder how the Packers didn't get penalized for that.

Brian's picture

Now that was value Evan. 6.5 million a year. Do you see Byrd taking a deal like this?

Evan's picture

No way. Byrd will be $9-10 mil a year.

Buster's picture

Easily.

Stroh's picture

Byrd won't take a Collins deal. First he is probably a little better player. Plus the value of Safeties has risen exponentially since Collins signed his deal. Collins got what was about Franchise money. Weren't many Safeties making more than 6.5M at the time IIRC. Byrd will be trend setter for safeties. Even when the cap wasn't going up the cost for the elite at their positions continued to rise. That's why Shields will get Tramon type money even if he isn't at the same level of production.

4thand1's picture

Read the whole arcticle, Ted has crabs?

@VJ_Ostrowski's picture

You'd never know it from his stoic press conferences. The man really IS impossible to read.

Brian's picture

Lets look at it.

35 Million in Cap Room

5 Million for rookie
4 Million for BJ Raji
8 - 10 Million for Cobb
8 - 10 Millon for Nelson

That is 25-26 Million spent
Plus Ted likes to keep his guys. Were do are other free agents fall into this EDS, Jones, Shields?

With this Draft being deep and still being in good Cap Standing for the Future. I don't see Ted Thompson pulling the trigger.

Don't get me wrong I like the Byrd Idea but this draft has plenty of S options and it presents more value.

I do see Ted brining in a Vet at league min to compete.

What Vets do you see Ted Brining in?

Stroh's picture

No reason you have to sign both Nelson and Cobb out of this money. They can sign one of them this year and the other next or during the season.

Personally would get Nelson done asap and try to get Cobb done before the end of the season.

THEMichaelRose's picture

If it were all under the Packers control (as the agents and players need to consent), I think Cobb would be the priority to get done sooner.
Cobb is younger, more dynamic, and capable of producing much much more than he already has, especially given his injury history. He will increase his value from here. (And don't think that his people don't know that).
Meanwhile, Jordy is what Jordy is. We all know what he can do. Between today and one year from now, the average contract value he would sign for should stay flat, if anything it could dip due to him being one year older.

Evan's picture

My thinking exactly. Get Cobb done asap, especially coming off a season mostly lost to injury. His value is only going to go up.

Greenville's picture

Cobb and Nelson will definitely not cost that much especially if there deals get done sooner then later.

THEMichaelRose's picture

You're allocating Cobb's and Nelson's contracts incorrectly here. If those deals happen this year, they would be extensions to the contracts they're currently under. The only increase in cap hit would be the prorated amount allocated from the new signing bonuses.
When Rodgers was extended, even though was paid a $35m bonus, his cap number for 2013 was still only $12m (his old base salary + 1/5 of his signing bonus).

William's picture

I say TT should sign shields and a productive DL , byrf will be to expensive and who know if he will be a big contract and bust type of guy. Sign some depth in FA and draft a S or DT in the first round but i say go after jimmie ward in the second.

TommyG's picture

While it may not be with this particular player, I do foresee TT making a huge offer towards someone. I believe that he might be seeing the championship window closing a little bit wih each passing year.

LAS VEGAS - TOM's picture

TommyG, I tend to agree.

mark's picture

Here's another point that nobody has brought up: MOJO, SWAG, whatever you want to call it.

This defense has been a dud for 3 years now. You can keep bringing back the same guys, keep drafting and keep hoping for the "develop" to happen, but I think sometimes you need to create a little buzz, and maybe give the perception a nudge in new direction. We certainly saw this with Reggie White, and we also saw it with Chuck Woodson. I think Byrd would bring a slightly similar buzz. Now obviously "buzz" has never once tackled a player in the history of the NFL. But I think it can make a difference, especially for a unit that has been stagnant.

Morgan Mundane's picture

Ted will wait long enough for most of these top guys to sign and say aw shucks. He is not doing anything in free agency

Icebowler's picture

I think Ted is more likely to go after FS's Malcolm Jenkins (Saints) or Stevie Brown (Giants) than Byrd. Both are capable FS's and the price tag is much less. Ted will also save some of the cap space to see who is released by other teams on June 1st. Players like DeMarcus Ware may be cut then by teams that are in cap hell.

Horse's picture

1. There has been 0 cap growth since 2007.
2. Ted's plan must be to trade the first 4 rounds down to get 15 picks and fill in for the other 2 FAs who leave with the comp picks.
3. If Ted signs a FA who wasn't a Packer you probably won't be familiar with his name.

4thand1's picture

Husain Bolt

Ruppert's picture

I like Byrd's game a lot. I watch a lot of Bills games, too, as my wife's family lives in Buffalo. I really do hope they land him.

ray nichkee's picture

For all the talk about byrd I don't hear very many opinions about tj ward and malcolm jenkins. They will come cheaper though not as good. I can't see why they wouldn't be an upgrade for a couple years while someone else is waiting to step up. Maybe there will be money left for a few more free agents on the D

Evan's picture

Don't know much about Jenkins besides being somewhat of a disappointment and the safety needy Saints letting him go is a red flag. But Ward is more of a inside the box strong safety. Not terrible in coverage, but it's not his strong suit. I think the Packers need more of a center fielder type.

ray nichkee's picture

Isn't jenkins a cap casualty? Wouldn't either one be an upgrade, bring experience, and make burnett look better? Help ease the transition to a new guy?

Evan's picture

An upgrade, sure. But that's a pretty low bar to set.

I don't think Jenkins was a cap casualty. I know Harper was.

4thand1's picture

Let the 1st few days of FA play out. There are always some teams that overpay, you know the ones that usually are watching the playoffs.

ray nichkee's picture

Yep, you can't get your undies in a bunch. The best decisions are usually thought out and not made out of desperation. It will all unfold soon. Where is that GM in miami who spent all that $ last year. How about dan snyder. What happened to fat albert (haynesworth) hey, hey, hey!

BrianD's picture

Collins was the 2nd highest paid safety behind Adrian Wilson when he signed his contract extension. TT may make this move.

However, as Bill Polian pointed out in today's Journal Sentinel, free agents must make a transition from one defense to another, one team culture to another, one geographic region to another, and may have an adjustment period. Byrd, while a great player, may take a year or two to have a HUGE impact on the Packers' team, equivalent to what they would be paying him. It always helps to resign your own players (Jordy, Cobb) to avoid the adjustment period rather than pry players from another team. It's one of the hidden elements as to why we see very few player trades in the NFL.

gbslapshot's picture

You may be correct. On the other hand Byrd started high school 20 minutes from Lambeau so the geographic region argument may not be as bad as it would be for others as Brian pointed out. He also may play even better if he was able to play for a contender instead of the lowly Bills.

Timmy G's picture

Anybody else think Whitner would be a good idea? Above average, not too old, probably wouldn't command Byrd/Ward levels of $, would be a physical veteran presence?

Evan's picture

Ugh...I can't stand "Hitner." He's great at dropping his shoulder into a ball carriers head after the carrier is down and wrapped up. 49er fans call him "Whiffner" for a reason.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I'm not a huge fan of Whitner, but he would be a big time upgrade from the Doctor.

So while I'm not on the band wagon of signing him, if they did sign him the safety position would improve with him.

Timmy G's picture

I don't think Byrd is the greatest of tacklers, and Ward definetly whifs on a few. Whitner just played on a team where the fans are more critical. His play this past year was pretty solid compared to previous years. Clemons wouldn't be the worst stop gate if they went that route though.

Evan's picture

If they can't get Byrd, I'd rather they move to the 2nd or 3rd tier - guys with good coverage skills like Clemons or Bethea.

I feel like the Wards and Whitners aren't going to be worth what they get paid.

ATS's picture

Clemons
Bethea
Byrd
Ward
Whitner

Are you guys serious?
What team do you all follow?

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