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Leaving Green Bay?

Leaving Green Bay?

Free agency kicks off in one month and while people are already looking at who we are going to bring in, I’m going to look at current players who might be leaving the Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay is a team that grows from within, and a big part of that is keeping your younger players around and re-signing players who are marked for free agency. The list of potential free agents isn’t large but there are some key players on it.


We've re-signed some key players the last couple years.  Driver, Kampman, and Nick Barnett all got contract extensions and they were good moves to make.  This group of players is a tad different compared to that one.  Let's take a look at this year's group.


ATARI BIGBY, who I gave the nickname “spider monkey” two years ago, is the only defensive back that is headed to free agency. He’s going to be a RESTRICTED free agent, so Green Bay has the advantage.

Atari is easily our most consistent and most talented safety so losing Atari would be bad. He only played in 7 games in 2008 and that WILL hurt his stock a bit during negotiations. Teams don’t like to give injured players tons of money. This could work out in the Packers’ favor when we talk with Atari about staying in the green and gold for a couple more years.



COLIN COLE reportedly declined a 3-year offer from the Green Bay Packers in December. While I like Cole, this is just crazy. I’m sure it’s a business tactic, but he’s playing his cards wrong. His 0.5 sacks and 30 tackles isn’t very impressive. Odds are Cole is going to be one of those guys who overvalues himself and opts to see what the free agent market has for him. I’m sure some team will overpay for Cole and his0.5 sacks.



MARK TAUSCHER is the only offensive linemen we have headed to free agency. Ted Thompson has a history of valuing offensive linemen very much as far as money goes. Thinking about a Tauscher-less Packers team is interesting. I think we can do very well without him, maybe even better. Maybe not. Keeping Tauscher around will be difficult as Mark seems to be in the top 5 of free agent offensive tackles. There is money to be had out there, but will Mark want to test the market or stay loyal to Green Bay where he’s a big fish in a little pond?



MICHAEL MONTGOMERY had a tough year. I expected more from him but the 2008 season is over. What could we expect from him in 2009? He learned a lot last year and would hopefully bring that to 2009. The bigger question is how well does he fit in the Capers 3-4? This is something that’ll be looked in to of course but I wouldn’t be surprised if we seen the last of Mike.



GREG JENNINGS is not a free agent this year but like most NFL players, he wants a new contract. Greg is one of the top five wide receivers in the league and wants to be paid like one, current contract be damned. People are freaking out about this because they think Green Bay won’t get the deal done and Greg walks soon. I guess they forgot that Ted Thompson has a history of re-signing players like Greg. He brought back Nick Barnett and gave Donald Driver an extension as well. That Driver contract could be a key proponent in this as they’ll discuss “how much better do you think you are than Donald Driver?” At least that’s what I would ask. Don’t worry though, Aaron Rodgers will have Donald and Greg for 2009 and beyond.


It’ll be interesting to see how things play out with these players. Most of this will happen before February 27th, the day free agency begins. Make sure to check out the lounge for the latest news on these roster situations.

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Alex Tallitsch's picture

I don't know if Cole will come back. He is not the greatest fit anymore.

Terry's picture

I can pretty much agree with your thoughts on these players. If Cole already turned down a contract offer then he's looking to leave. That could be tough because I think his body type (more "athletic" instead of just big) would fit in a two-gap responsibility for a tackle in the 3-4. We're already short of d-linemen so it would be a subtraction from an already thin area. Now, about Tauscher, I'm sure I'll have many who would disagree but I do not think you bring him back unless he is willing to sign at the Packers price. You don't give big contracts to o-linemen who have 10 years of wear and tear AND are coming off a major (knee) injury. You just can't take the chance of hitting your cap that way. Maybe a one year deal with attainable incentives...if he comes back healthy & plays, then a longer term after next season. Otherwise, tough as it is, you have to let him walk. Another thought about Al Harris. I think there may be a good chance the Packers will trade him during the off season. Why? From what I've read, in a 3-4 alignment, you play mostly zone behind it. Pressure is brought on the QB through the various blitzes and the DB's need to be "read and react" type of corners, not "lock down" type of corners. In Sanders defense, the DB's needed to lock down on the receivers to allow the d-line time to get pressure on the QB. That is Al Harris' strength. He is not (at least as he has shown so far in his career) a sit back, "read and react" kind of DB. Woodson, on the other had, has shown he can play both man and zone and has the "read and react" ball skills Harris hasn't shown. Tramon Williams has also shown that kind of ability. The evidence is in the number of interceptions, Woodson - 7, Williams - 5, Al Harris - 0. Harris is still a very good, borderline great, player and he will have some trade value but I don't think, at this time, that he will be very effective in the new 3-4 allignment. If he's not playing, he won't be happy and that would be bad for the locker room.

Greg C.'s picture

Nice summary, Dale, and I enjoyed Terry's comments as well. (Are you the Terry from Packerchatters?)

Bigby is a definite yes, and because he's restricted, he will almost certainly be back. The question is whether he should be signed to a longer term contract before he becomes unrestricted. I think they will let him play half a season or so before deciding whether to make him an offer. That would make sense.

I like Colin Cole, but he's a minor part of the defense, so I don't have a strong opinion one way or another on whether he should be resigned. I think that he probably will not be the best fit for the new defense.

I think Tauscher should be let go, and I'm expecting that to happen. His play declined this season even before the injury, and I don't think Ted is one to hang onto a player who is in decline.

Montgomery is mediocre at best, and not a good fit for the 3-4. Too small for DE, not agile enough for OLB, where there will be a logjam anyway. Let him go.

Greg Jennings YES!

Terry makes a good case against Al Harris staying in GB, but I wonder if he could be a good player in zone if he did it more often. Zone is generally considered to be easier than man-to-man. But I don't know, if Harris is more valuable to a team that plays mostly man-to-man (maybe Jim Bates' new defense in Tampa) maybe they could get good trade value for him. I'd hate to see him leave, though. CB's like him do not grow on trees.

Asshalo's picture

very relevant stuff. Someone said Cole turned down a deal. Maybe they're lowballing to begin or maybe they don't think they need him

Tufu McMoney's picture

Should not re-sign Tauscher. Do not want to overpay someone who is aging and gets more injury prone. You didn't mention Tauscher's late season injury. His coming off surgery hurts his value. If Tauscher wants more than he has been getting, I say let him go, however, if he settles for roughly the same it might be a worthy re-sign. I agree with letting Cole go, he will be crap in a 3-4, he is undisplined and can't take on multiple blockers, he'll want too much.

Elmo's picture

Yeah..let's not resign him and put more crappy crap lineman that TT drafted on an already weak O-Line..yeah..that makes sense...NOT!

Tightwad Ted's doin' a great job of making the Packers suck and bringing us back to the 1970' isn't he?


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