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Cory's Corner: It's time for Ted Thompson to make a splash

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Cory's Corner: It's time for Ted Thompson to make a splash

It’s time for Ted Thompson to be courageous.

He sidestepped numerous options that would’ve helped last year, despite the biggest problem the Packers faced all season long was depth.

The Packers have advanced to the playoffs for eight straight years and of those eight, they have won the NFC North five times. There was a Super Bowl title and two NFC Championship Game losses.

Not many teams can boast that much success in a short eight-year window, yet it still feels empty because of what could have been.

Now that we know that Thompson is coming back next year, it’s time for him to shake things up. Go against his instincts and add a big-ticket free agent or two. And don’t do it for the fans that have been very fickle in your time as the Packers’ general manager. Do it for the guys in the locker room. Do it for the coaching staff. Let them know that you still have their back and believe that this team has what it takes to win big.

The question is, who is it going to take? First and foremost, Thompson needs to bring in a veteran cornerback. With Sam Shields likely out of the league because of repeated concussions, the Packers will be without a needed veteran in the defensive backfield. Add in the underwhelming sophomore season of Damarious Randall and the rawness of Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter and you’ve got your answer. If you’re still not sold, Green Bay will face Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott next year. Two great options are Buffalo’s Stephen Gilmore and Dallas’ Morris Claiborne.

The next issue the Packers have to address is an edge rusher. The reason Matt Ryan carved up the Packers’ secondary is because he was barely bothered. Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Datone Jones are all free agents. Obviously, the 37-year-old Peppers must decide if he wants to play again. Perry had an outlier season with a career high 11 sacks and Jones was largely invisible.

The Packers could bring Peppers back for a year with incentives and let the other two explore their options. Guys like San Diego’s Melvin Ingram or New England’s Dont’a Hightower would fit nicely. Both have shown a burst on the outside and Hightower provides leadership that would come in handy for a defense that is still green.

Free agents cannot ink a new deal until March 9 and according to overthecap.com, the Packers are $31.4 million under the 2017 salary cap. Obviously that’s before the NFL Draft and the re-signing of potentially five or six of the Packers’ 12 total free agents.

The Packers are big on splash plays. I think it’s time for Thompson to make a splash play of his own, because the last splash play he made was in 2006 when he signed Charles Woodson — which turned out to be an excellent move. 

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (76) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

carusotrap's picture

Very logical. The problem is that it's quite possible that Ted has never once acceeded to another contrary viewpoint in his life. His unwavering confidence (or: arrogance, stubbornness) in himself may be the most important reason Ted is where he is, for better, and now it seems, for worse. He thinks he's right, and no amount of media and/or fan commentary will ever get him to change.

So, strap in people, Ladarius Gunter is the future because Ted has decided it is so.

dobber's picture

People want to call TT arrogant, but IMO you don't get to be where he is without having some degree of arrogance. You want to be the one calling the shots, you have to have a vision you believe in, and you have to feel that you're the one who can get it done. What's more, if you're the one hiring a person into that position, you want to see some of that cockiness and confidence. These power brokers have to have that kind of self-confidence...call it arrogance if you want, but I don't believe TT is any kind of outlier.

Now...would we view him differently if he had better camera presence or a willingness to play to the media? Sure. But the fact that he's mostly cold fish and virtually no playful puppy shouldn't lead us to believe that he's much different from most of the other GMs out there.

The TKstinator's picture

I don't think he's arrogant. I think he's just very committed to a certain unglamorous way of doing business.

Turophile's picture

So many people use the word arrogant in describing TT, it's a poor choice of word. He has never come off as arrogant, more a mild mannered, quiet and thoughtful man who seems able to communicate well with MM, but (almost) never reveals his inner thoughts to outsiders.

I have heard the cry that THIS year he must be more aggressive in veteran acquisition........and I hear it every year, without fail - it has never, ever, had any impact that I can see, on how he does his job.

Therefore I expect little change this year either, as Stroh said, he has his philosophy on how to do things, and in more than a decade as GM of the Packers he has been consistent in how he operates. If change were to happen, I'd expect there to be someone else at the GM position.

As for the last free agent of note being Woodson, well, Peppers surely counts as a significant signing, and even though Cook was not the splash Peppers was, he made a difference when he was on the field.

Do I hope the Packers get a good vet FA.....of course I do, like most fans. Maybe, if we Packer fans are lucky, we get one veteran guy this offseason, who can have an impact like Woodson/Peppers/Cook did.

JacFrost's picture

Arrogant? I say TAT is the best description: Tight Ass Ted

The TKstinator's picture

Should media and/or fan commentary EVER affect a GM's decisions?

JacFrost's picture

dead on my friend

Pack12's picture

I think you meant to say that the Packers have $31.4 million CAP SPACE available NOT that they are over $31.4 million. As far as Thompson and free agents, I agree with the article because it makes all the sense in the world. The problem is that TT seems to live in an alternative universe. He has an allergy when it comes to free agents. I agree with his draft and develop philosophy but would like to see a little more flexibility in adding key pieces to supplement the draft. I would like to be optimistic but I'm not holding my breath.

Cory Jennerjohn's picture

Thanks. Good catch. I was thinking about overthecap.com.

Lphill's picture

There were linebackers and corners that could have helped this past season even players who wanted to come to GB but Ted refused and said lets go with what we got so here we are , if not for ARods late season heroics the Packers would not have made the playoffs at all . Any other GM would be gone but not Ted. We deserve better.

dobber's picture

Virtually everyone here believed that the Packers were well-equipped and deep at CB last off-season. If TT dove into the FA pool and signed a CB last off-season, what would the response have been? Managing the roster in retrospect is easy...

Nick Perry's picture

I think most are upset because Thompson didn't do anything when his secondary was collapsing before everyone's eyes. When you have an injury in the secondary and the only source from which you draw from is the PS, you have a serious problem. Retrospect doesn't have a thing to do with that.

I'm not normally a huge fan of Bob McGinn but I thought he wrote an excellent piece on Thompson and the Packers. In the piece an NFL Executive made the most obvious statement which sums up Thompson's and the Packers success the last 25 years.

The Executive said something like "The Packers have has 25 years of QB play from 2 HOF QB's, try it without a QB".

Let's move past Thompson having the foresight to draft Rodgers, we've patted him on the back for 12 years for that one. The facts are Thompson has had a once in a generation QB and failed miserably to put enough around him. The Packer could have traded for Jamie Collins like the Browns did giving up a 4th round pick. The Packers could have traded for Eric Rowe like the Patriots did for another 4th round pick. Instead KNOWING his secondary is a disaster he does NOTHING, ZIP, NADDA, ZERO. All this was gone over in McGinn's article and I found myself for the 1st time agreeing with everything McGinn said.

I'm sorry dobber. Maybe I'm tired today. Maybe McGinn's article charged me up because it rang so true, every word of it. But I'm dreading the offseason this year because I have a feeling Rodgers pleas went unheard. Thompson will continue to do business as usual. Murphy will continue to bury is face in "Titletown" and not come out much before "Friday Night Family Night". Just like the ILB, Safety, and TE positions took for years to fix, I have a feeling the Edge and CB positions will too. I hope I'm wrong and would be the first to admit it. But I'm so tired of watching teams that are close do what's necessary or at least try to get to the SB, and the Packers doing nothing .

Tundraboy's picture

My sentiments exactly, NP. Hope I'm wrong as well, but I see a token attempt in signing a bargain basement free agent, or at best trading up in the draft for a "potential" impact player that few have heard of or one that most teams would draft in a late round.

StvHld's picture

I agree with you 1000%. Its frustrating watching teams make in season trades or signing a vet and all Teddy boy does is activate PS guys. McGinn points out that he could have signed Antonio Cromartie or Perish Cox during the season. Probably for reasonable $$$. Yet TT would rather play with PS players or UDFA to cover the leagues best players. As much as I am not a Dom Capers fan I really can't blame him for the defense's struggles. Having veterans like Cromartie or Cox added to the team would have helped a lot. Hopefully he realizes he only has a short time left in his career and TT decides to go for it. But I'm expecting business as usual!

marpag1's picture

I'm not really arguing with you, Nick. It's interesting though. I have a VERY different view of McGinn. I used to think McGinn was great, but somewhere along the line a few years ago he totally lost his bearings. He went off the deep end and hasn't come up for air since. Personally, I think he gained a little national acclaim back then, and ever since that time he thinks it's all about Bob McGinn.

It isn't.

I read the article that you refer to. Honestly, I thought it was pure crap. Worse, I thought McGinn was plainly being disingenuous, which is just a nicer way of saying he is a big, fat liar.

There was this: "The men in charge today, in effect caretakers of a franchise that was reborn before their arrival, should never forget how good they have it and the built-in advantages of working in Green Bay." What is that supposed to mean? It seems clear that McGinn wants us to believe TT had everything handed to him on a silver spoon, and that the Packers success is not because of him. What a load of shit. Does anybody want to name all of the players on the current roster that were NOT acquired by Ted Thompson? What exactly did he inherit from previous administrations?

Then he gave specific examples of players that "certainly could have helped the Packers." Let's take a look:

MATT FORTE was signed by the Jets in March for 9 million dollars guaranteed. In 14 games he gained only 800 yards at 3.7 per. McGinn also mentioned LAGARRETT BLOUNT, who was also signed prior to the season opener, and who gained 1100 yards at 3.9. Eddie Lacy ($800,000) was cheaper than either one, and prior to IR was gaining 5.1 per carry. Prior to the season, do you want Forte at 3 million a year, or Lacy at 800,000?

McGinn mentioned TAYLOR GABRIEL with his 579 yards of receiving (which would have made him FOURTH on the Packers WR core behind Nelson, Adams and Cobb). McGinn notes that ATL picked him up on waivers. So here's a serious question.... do you think Bob McGinn knows perfectly well that ATL had priority over GB on waiver pickups, since ATL didn't even make the playoffs last year? How does McGinn know that the Packers DIDN'T put in a claim for the guy who would have been their fourth receiver?

McGinn said the TT should have gotten Vernon Davis. Please. In the three previous seasons, Davis had gained 194, 201 and 245 yards. He had 2 TDs total during those three years. Does that sound good? Instead TT went and got Jared Cook. Lets compare those two. Their salaries are essentially the same. Davis produced 0.86 yards per snap. Cook produced 1.14 and he is four years younger. And Cook is NOT injury prone, even if he was injured this year. In the previous seven seasons he played an average of 15.3 games per year. Davis played in 13.1 per year. I'll take Cook. Did McGinn want Ted to get both of them?

McGinn says Ted should have gotten Jamie Collins. He's an outside linebacker who had three sacks. And the fact the Cleveland signed him for 26 million guaranteed is probably a strike against him, not in his favor.

These guys are the slam dunk improvements that TT should obviously have signed prior to the season?? That's a little pinch o' Bob McGinn bullshit right there.

That leaves us with Rowe. He worked out well for the Pats. Not arguing with that. But the trade to NE happened before the season and before a single Packer corner was injured. Rowe hardly lit the world on fire in PHI, and he's not a world beater even in New England.

About Rowe, you said, "The Packers could have traded for Eric Rowe like the Patriots did for another 4th round pick. Instead KNOWING his secondary is a disaster he does NOTHING, ZIP, NADDA, ZERO." But the trade happened before the season, and before the glut of injuries. So I'm not sure if your comment about "knowing his secondary is a disaster" is really true.

One more thing: You said, "The facts are Thompson has had a once in a generation QB and failed miserably to put enough around him." I get the frustration, Nick. But aren't you overselling it a teensy bit? In the past 10 years, the Packers advanced to the playoffs nine times - two wild cards, four divisional rounds, two conference championship games and one super bowl victory.

"Failed miserably?" Really?

The TKstinator's picture

Analytical.
Thoughtful.
Thought provoking.

This kind o' crap has no business around here.

marpag1's picture

I'll try to do better in the future. There must be some kind of support group for guys like me... ;)

marpag1's picture

Sensible comments, DT, but I'd add a point or two to each one.

Your first point is that McGinn was talking about a philosophy of player acquisition more than he was talking about specific free agents. Well... maybe. McGinn did provide a detailed list of six specific players, by name, and he said that each of them "certainly could have helped the Packers." That sounds a lot like specific players to me.

In my opinion, all six of his suggestions are dubious at best, and one of them (Taylor Gabriel) is utterly laughable. The Falcons claimed Gabriel the day after he was waived. This means that it was completely impossible for the Packers to have claimed him, no matter how much they might have wanted him.

For your second point, I agree that McGinn was saying this in the context of financial resources. And yet I think he gets it twisted, and his argument is very misleading. If you want to argue that TT has a financial advantage over RON WOLF in the early 90s, then I will agree wholeheartedly. But McGinn certainly seems to imply that TT has financial advantages over the REST OF THE NFL, today, and that is a completely different (and incorrect) thing. Compared to the rest of the league, I think it is very misleading to say that Green Bay has "incredible financial resources."

Something like 20 of the NFL's teams are owned by billionaires. Excluding any future earnings, Paul Allen's net worth is enough that he could pay the entire 2016 salary cap for 112 YEARS in a row without running out of money.

JacFrost's picture

Why would you compare a fat ass Lacy to anyone. The rest of the guys want to play football, Eddy wants to eat. Lets be honest, his ankle injury was due to being 264 pounds and his ankles couldnt handle that kind of weight. Not to mention if those five games, zero TD's.
I wouild cut the sob or ask for a spectacular discount and make plans for him being the number two guy or youll get burned again. Fool me once shame on you..............

JacFrost's picture

Personally I thought the pass D was the worst in the league last year and even worse than that this year.Ya youve got bodies but there is one guy with skill named Dix, the rest are not talented.

Nick Perry's picture

Claiborne makes me nervous. He's only played in 47 of a possible 80 regular season games including just 22 the last 3 seasons (4, 11, & 7 games). There will be some decent CB's who might be cut because of cap issues. Edge rushers is another story. Teams FIND a way to keep pass rushers.

Hightower, Ingram, Chandler Jones are all players that would definitely help but would be costly. It would be awesome to see Ted sign a guy like Ingram. Jones? Highly unlikely like my good buddy DPF pointed out once before.

What about a guy like Alex Okafor? I'll admit I don't know a lot about him. He had 8 sacks in 2014 then followed it up with 2 and 3.5 the following seasons. Maybe the 2014 season was a fluke?

At CB there's Gilmore...Pricey. But there's also Trumaine Johnson, Amukamara, Logan Ryan, to name a few. There's also a slew who won't be too pricey plus Ted Thompson's favorite..The players who are cut due to the salary cap. Here's some who could possibly be cut due to Cap issues at all positions.

http://www.spotrac.com/research/nfl/first-look-potential-2017-roster-bub...

Bearmeat's picture

Don't hold your breath NP. Just get ready to be frustrated until the first week of May. I'd bet TT signs Perry to a sizable deal and Hyde to somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years/9 million. Then crickets.

We've seen this show before.

RCPackerFan's picture

Thanks for the link.

I think that is probably where Thompson would look to sign someone if he did. How many true free agents has Thompson signed during his tenure as GM? I don't even know. Not many.
He likes going for guys that were cut or aren't true Free Agents.

I do wonder if the Packers would go after House if he became available.

Another name I heard mentioned is that Joe Hayden maybe traded.

It would be interesting to see if the Packers would go for one of these players.

dobber's picture

That link helps to point to potential help that will be in TTs desired group of players...those who have been cut and will cost the Packers nothing in terms of the compensatory pick equation.

House wasn't much in 2016, and while just about anything would be an upgrade to this CB group, you have to wonder if he would deliver the kind of veteran presence and stabilization that they would ask for in an outside signing at CB

RobinsonDavis's picture

I agree with all the comments thus far, and second the "Thanks!" for the link, NP! This was my point about a week or so ago about veteran CBs (and ILBs) becoming available. I just feel we need more veteran presence to aid our young players., stabilize the group, and bring an upgrade in play for a year or two. I second, Dobber's opinion on House, too. Was wondering about Revis for some time (thogh he tends to follow the money), and wonder what others think about Cromartie, and Ladarius Webb vs. Gilmore? TT may also have a second chance at Mychal Kendricks, too....but the one that drew my attention was Connor Barwin. Mind you, these are all speculative releases in the article but make sense.

I would remind everyone that TT HAS signed FAs and traded-up in drafts before. Although I too was very frustrated with his unwillingness to help the CBs and ILBs this past season (frankly his lack of attention to IlBs in general is well chronicled), he has ventured out of his "comfort zone" signing FAs and trading up in the draft previously. Some moves have worked, some have not. I strongly feel that he needs to sign someone prominent and early. This will send a message to other potential FAs (yes, like Wolf did), and more importantly to his own players, that he is serious about a championship year. Regardless of what does or does not happen though in free agency, expect the usual 10 or more player turnover to the roster that we have seen the last couple of years.

Tarynfor12's picture

" The Packers could bring Peppers back for a year with incentives and let the other two explore their options."

As much as I dislike Perry, in case no one heard, and also feel Jones a bust in regard to being a 1st rd selection, I cannot agree with bringing Peppers back even for 1 game much less a year, while letting the other two go. Come on Cory, even I see both of my favorite players are more deserving than Peppers of a return if had to choose.......gasp, gasp, choke, vomit...whew that was tough.

Bearmeat's picture

Jones can leave. He's a 43 DE - and a middling one at that. He was drafted to be a 34 DT by TT and it was a bad idea. I was very worried he'd not be able to put on the weight/strength to hold up to 5 Tech when we drafted him and he was indeed a complete bust at his drafted position. He's simply an average to below average miscast 34 OLB. No thanks.

Taryn, you have to admit that Perry had a pretty good year. He's worth a top 1/3 OLB contract at this point. Pep is done. :(

Tarynfor12's picture

I can say that Perry is a stat sheet winner which most read as Gospel.
Perry would be the caster oil given back in the day to cure you of almost anything because the label said so....it didn't. ..just made you grimace with awful taste to believe it must work.
With that, the choice between Peppers for even one game and Perry for, cough, years, cough, I'm compelled to take the caster oil and grimace still.
I'd rather not have that be the choice at all though.

Bearmeat's picture

He led the team in QB pressures and hits by a lot. And played stiff run D. And still was somewhat effective later in the season with a cast. What else do you want? Von Miller? We don't have one of them. We're not going to get one either.

Packmaniac's picture

If you use third round picks on guys like Kyler Fackrell you're always going to need to find an edge rusher.

If Ted's philosophy is draft and develop, why did he draft and develop Casey Hayward for the Chargers instead of the Packers?

As far as costly goes, it's the NFL. Of course it's costly. There are no guarantees other than the guarantee that you're going to fork out a bunch of cash one way or another, and for better or worse. Clay Matthews earning over 13 mil for 5 sacks and a 1.5 tackle per game average is costly. Lots in the NFL is costky.

dobber's picture

"f you use third round picks on guys like Kyler Fackrell you're always going to need to find an edge rusher."

An athletic guy with pass rush potential? When you're going into the season with what you perceive to be a full stable of pass rushers (which is what the Packers tried to do by moving CMIII back outside), I would argue that this is pretty good use of a 3rd round pick.

Not to plagiarize Taryn too much, but if Fackrell comes into camp after adding about 10 lbs of good weight--without losing much speed--he's likely going to play in 2017...a lot.

Tarynfor12's picture

Plagiarize...Plagiarize....by all means....Plagiarize
: )

MarkinMadison's picture

Stephon Gilmore has the size and speed you are looking for. He's also relatively young at 26. The Packers will have to pay if they want him, but I think he is worth it.

http://billswire.usatoday.com/2017/01/11/why-bills-cb-stephon-gilmore-wa...

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

We must be smart with the cap space:

Perry is a crucial re-sign--good pass rusher and excellent run syopper. He's a pretty elite talent. Sign him.

Peppers? Gone. Hyde? No way we can waste cap space for someone who can't cover TE's, especially at safety, where we're 4 deep with young quality. Lang? Depends on price tag.

Shields? Gone. Matthews and Cobb? Pay reduction or gone.

We need one quality CB in Free Agency, and another in first 2 rounds of the draft. Randall or Rollins should move to Hyde's role.

Bearmeat's picture

Perry is not elite. But he is effective. At this point, even a red chip player is an upgrade for a defense full of potential and cow chips.

Tarynfor12's picture

Has the word elite been erased from the dictionary that Perry is made a picture definition of it so easily.

dobber's picture

IMO if the Packers make a splash signing--or even trade: we haven't even considered that--it should be for a proven pass rusher. Having a productive, high-energy guy to rush the passer immediately takes the heat off your DBs and makes the job easier for your other rushers. You can have a really good secondary, but even really good corners can't cover for 5-9 seconds play after play (look at what ARod does by extending plays).

If the Packers add a quality DB through the draft or even just a solid guy through free agency, those two pieces will make a world of difference in this pass defense. People might say there's not time for a young CB to help this defense, but we would have killed for another 1st or 2nd round talent in 2016. An improved pass rush will help that guy out.

The issue is: these are the two most expensive defensive pieces you can add off the open market and everyone is looking for them. The Packers have two pricey guys coming off the books at those positions (Peppers and likely Shields). It should allow them to make a key acquisition and a solid one to go with.

If I had to guess what will happen, I would say that TT will sign a player or two of potential at one of those two positions, but not high-end players, and draft the pants off the other spot.

RCPackerFan's picture

If Thompson decided to go after a Free Agent IMO there are 2 positions in which are needed the most CB and pass rusher.

Both positions need upgraded especially considering Peppers likely will be done and Shields likely won't be in Green Bay anymore.
They need a veteran presence at CB so I would say that would be the top need.

Will Thompson make that splash? Doubtful. Probably about a 5% chance. Its only that high because he did bring Woodson in many years ago.

Thebearsstillsuck's picture

Keeping dom again just shows more of the same again for the green and gold. This same headline has been repeated for the last couple years now. It's really easy to figure out what is going to happen. There won't be a peep for the first week (often for the best). During the next wave of free agency a few of the mid level guys will visit green bay for leverage again other teams. After the draft, if the right guy happens to fall into his lap, tt might get serious about signing someone. After shields is gone,we should be around 40 million under the cap. It wouldn't matter if it was 4 dollars or 400 million, Ted is going to do the exact same thing he has always done. At least 4 undrafted free agents will make the team, tt will completely over pay one of his guys (like Starks, thinking Barclay this year). Another wasted year of Aaron, and I bet dom is back again for 2018

Handsback's picture

I don't think TT is that FA adverse, but just isn't going to overpay for a player. Going back to the two DBs, Gilmore and Claibourne there will be a bidding war for Gilmore and TT won't have any part in that unless nobody wants him. Forget about Claibourne, he couldn't cut it with the Cowboys who needs CBs almost as much as the Packers. He's also very injury prone (that would qualify him for Packer material) and probably would have issues picking up Caper's defense. Believe it or not House may be an option as one of those 2nd tier guys for depth. As far as another Shields replacement? I don't see a guy that TT pulls the trigger on.
Edge/pass rushers, there may be some options in Connor Barwin from the Eagles who didn't really want him last year, or Ahmad Brooks from the 49ers. Either would be upgrades and somewhat cheap to obtain. Everyone will want Campbell from the Cards, so doubt TT goes after him.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"because the last splash play he made was in 2006 when he signed Charles Woodson"

I've read many times that is was John Schneider who pushed to sign Woodson and Pickett and Thompson wouldn't have done it on his own.
Maybe Gutekunst and Wolf will put some pressure on Thompson.

However, the problem to me is that there are not good signings to be had every year. The fact that they wait until now (if they even do sign someone) and do it under duress increases the probability of a bad signing greatly over if Thompson had been doing his job (yes I said it, he's not) all along and cherry picking the best fits on a yearly basis.

I look at the FAs at OLB and CB this year and I don't get excited.

RCPackerFan's picture

If there was a time to address the CB position, now is the time.

Each of the last 4 playoff losses can be attributed to the CB's either not making a play or giving up a huge play.

2013 Season - Loss to 49ers. Micah Hyde fails to make an interception which would have won the game for them.
2014 Season - Loss to Seattle. A number of plays cost them, but they lost in OT when Williams got beat for a TD.
2015 Season - Loss to Arizona. In OT when Randall failed to cover Fitzgerald and allowed them to score.

2016 Season - CB's burned all game long.

The truth is we need better CB play. It has been costly each of the last 4 seasons.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

The time to address the CB position was a year there was a good value to be had on a free agent cornerback. Maybe this is one of those years but probably not. Now they are forced and the agents are going to know it. The chances for getting good value in FA at CB this off season are almost none.

slit's picture

I find it interesting that many don't want Ted to "overpay" in FA, but does everyone realize just how often TT overvalues & overpays his own guys - Hawk, B Jones, Matthews, Cobb, just to name a few. Go sign a #1 cb (Gilmore), resign Lang, & focus on pass rush in the draft; this draft is LOADED with pass rushers, running backs, & tight ends. Ted should focus on restructuring Clay & Cobb, and with Shields, Peppers, Perry, Starks, Datone coming off the books, this team has PLENTY of cap room.

DB_Swag's picture

There are things going on with Ted Thompson and his health that no one here knows about.

dobber's picture

What does that mean...and what sources can you cite?

DB_Swag's picture

Just mark this post and remember it for the future.

The TKstinator's picture

Ominous.

dobber's picture

...rather bovine, actually.

The TKstinator's picture

I was thinking that too!

Mark my words: it'll be dark tonight. Don't say I didn't warn you.

GBPack's picture

Pass on Claiborne. He's been an injury prone bust for almost his entire career. Gilmore will be too much. I like Logan Ryan if we go the CB route.

Sign Peppers to a 1 year and let Nick and Datone walk??? No, need to resign Perry at the least. Keep Datone on the cheap for depth, rotational purposes.

The projections for what Melvin Ingram will command in free agency will be too rich for Ted's blood. It would be nice to have him, but not getting my hopes up. New England will resign Hightower. The whole point of unloading Jones and Collins was so they could have money left to keep him and presumably Malcolm Butler.

Go after Calais Campbell. Front 7 is in as rough shape as the secondary, but at least an improved front can help a crappy back end. 30 years old and I don't think the Cards will try to resign him. Fits the profile of a Ted free agent. Veteran leadership + production. Give him a 3 year deal. JPP could be another, but more expensive option. I doubt the Giants can afford him after their spending spree last offseason.

packerbackerjim's picture

I agree on Calais Campbell. A 6'8" DE who is a good leader and teammate would be a welcome presence. The Cards won't sign him. Could be a Reggie 2.0

dobber's picture

Campbell will be too rich for TTs blood on the open market. He's already been linked to half a dozen teams and is likely to be off the board in the first couple days of FA. $$$$$

More than likely, look for a Jared Odrick, who's a potential cut by the Dolphins and won't cost TT compensatory pick position. He'll likely come significantly cheaper than Campbell. He's not the pass-rusher Campbell is, but he's a 4-6 sack/yr guy (which the Packers aren't currently getting from that 5-tech spot) and plays the run. Prototypical 5-tech.

croatpackfan's picture

So, Cory, you guarantee that Stephen Gilmore and Morris Claiborne, as well as Melvin Ingram or Dont’a Hightower will be free for signing, they will accept 20% less money if they come to Green Bay (I think there is some kind of tax they do not have to pay in many other US states and they will have willingness to play in Green Bay in cold weather... We saw how Giants receivers likes cold New York weather...
So, all this is if. If, if, if ... and what if not? You would like Packers to spent their cap space on Captain Munnerlyn or Terence Newman...
This is just wishfull article and nothing else...
Will you declare TT guilty for not signing mentioned FA even if they will sign with their original teams?
EDIT: Are you telling us that Stephen Gilmore and Morris Claiborne are at the same level as Charles Woodson?

Cory Jennerjohn's picture

That's a lot to say. Charles Woodson wasn't just a great player, he was the gold standard of leadership.

And free agency, like the draft, is a gamble. For every Charles Woodson there's a Cedric Benson and for every Aaron Rodgers there's a Tony Mandarich.

The key with free agency is getting a veteran -- someone that understands how to swallow the ups and downs of the NFL.

Point Packer's picture

Chances are better than not that Aaron Rodgers will retire with one ring. A bigger shame that Berts singular championship, as the dong slinger isn't even in the same league as Rodgers talent-wise. If that happens, who will you blame?

Me? In order:

1) Ted Thompson
2) Mike McCarthy
3) Brandon Bostick
4) Dom Capers

croatpackfan's picture

What is your point?

dobber's picture

The point is that he's not playing the game in this thread.

idgafkurt's picture

If I'm TT I'm doing something like this during the off-season:

Restructuring or forcing a pay-cut on Clay and Cobb. Coming to an injury settlement with Shields.

Re-sign:
Cook and Lang. They can let everyone else walk IMO.

Free Agency:
1) Sign AJ Bouye - CB - 26 and coming off a very good season for Houston; has #1 CB ability.
2) Sign Gerald Hodges - ILB - 26 and on verge of being legit ILB, would be huge improvement over Packers ILB mediocrity.
3) Sign Calis Campbell - DE - 30 and still a stud, maybe he is overlooked vet like Pep & C Wood we get a deal on

Draft:
- Tim Williams - 1st rd - Bama OLB and pass rush specialist.

The window is closing, time to stop worrying about future cap figures and go make a run with a defense that is of championship caliber.

Bert's picture

I'm hopeful but skeptical Ted will make much of a "splash" even though a couple impact players on defense are badly needed. To be honest I will be disappointed if he brings back either Peppers or D. Jones. That would be equal to waving the white flag and just hoping #12 and the offense can outscore the opponents again. Sorta like we've done in the past 5 years. Time to cut their losses with Jones. He just isn't very good.

lou's picture

If Thompson does not utilize free agency this year it will never happen, check out Bob McGinn's evaluation of Herb Waters,suggesting that a free agent practice squad promoted WR moved to CB may be the best the team has at the position going forward, if that is the case it doesn't get more
more dire.

At this point, his future might be as promising if not more so than any of the other CBs, said Bob McGinn.

I have read the negative comments from time to time on McGinn, in my mind many of those are because he does call out players and management at times and we are all Green Bay Packer fans and don't enjoy the negativity. However, he has been right several times, case in point is after multiple 49er loses he suggested the team overall was "soft" and he was right. The message apparently got through, in the Seattle debacle against a team even more physical than the 49er's the Packers kicked their butt on both sides of the ball (have you ever heard the "12th Man" that quiet). McGinn is in the Writers Wing of the HOF (2011) you don't get there by accident. Also, I hope that the 2nd year "jinx" with Randall was predominently injury related and he will rebound like Adams, but I have doubts. Unlike Adams who never complained and lined up week to week injured and gave 100% we have not seen those traits with Randall. Again, if Ted doesn't address the CB position with veteran help
this off season he never will.

croatpackfan's picture

"However, he (McGinn) has been right several times, ..." does not mean he is right always...

I was right several times. Does that makes me perfect evaluator and critic?
As many persons here that many opinions and evaluations.

TT might be "guilty" or wrong, but all of us forget that he has proffessional personnel who is taking care of evaluation. Not fans and readers.

Sometimes it looks like I'm always on the side of management and against main stream here. I'm not. I just accepted that I do not have enough information for quality conclusion!

Point Packer's picture

You know what Mo Claiborne got on his Wonderlic? 4. Yes, a 4. No chance he's coming to GB.

Lphill's picture

What's interesting is that whenever the Packers signed free agents they were successful ,Reggie, Sean Jones, Keith Jackson , Andre Rison. Ahman Green, Ryan Grant, Pickett, Jenkins, Woodson and Cook now to name a few. So I don't see what Teds problem is.

dobber's picture

...not to mention the "rules" of roster management/salary cap/etc. were all very different when they brought in White, Jones, and others in the 90s.

Electric Packerland's picture

"The reason Matt Ryan carved up the Packers’ secondary is because he was barely bothered"

While I agree our pass rush needs strengthening, even the best pass rushers in the NFL can't get there when the ball comes out in about 1.5 seconds like many of Ryan's passes were in the NFCCG. It highlights the need for tall, long-armed guys, however, to bat down balls out of the air.

Tarynfor12's picture

Thompson is a strong believer in the Chef motto..You can always add spice but you can't take it out.
Problem is Thompson is leery of adding spice at all too often....or he is unable to tell the measurements of his measure spoons....hence a more bland outcome that need not be.
Perhaps he'll gave a talk with Mario Legasse...bam!!!

lou's picture

Difference makers ? Check out my post in reference to an undrafted free agent WR assigned to the practice squad then moved to corner back and the acrtive roster possibly having the most upside. My God, just 2 serviceable low pay scale veterans at CB would be a huge help based the current status of the position. If they don't work out and the young CB's all D or D- graded by McGinn step up you let them go. I wouldn't roll the dice that they would perform as solid staring corners next year, nothing indicates that at this time.

Since '61's picture

Time for Thompson to make a splash, really? Hasn't it been time to make a splash since the 2010 SB? Let's face it, waiting for Thompson to make a splash in FA is like waiting for Godot. Unless you want to count Guion as a big splash which I'm sure he is around the pool. At this point I'd rather be pleasantly surprised and get soaked by the splash then waiting or expecting it to happen. Anyone seen Godot lately? Thanks, Since '61

Free agent's picture

Agree '61, been waiting for a few key veteran players to win another Super Bowl for too many off-seasons to count. Been fired up when free agency signing period begins every year, only to be disappointed by TT reluctance to improve glaring weaknesses in the starting lineup. Not to mention, these young draftees would benefit from having some seasoned veterans helping them learn the Pro game. Come On Ted, Just Do It!

Icebowler's picture

What bugs me about TT is the hypocrisy when he says that his philosophy is to always take the "Best Player Available", regardless of the position, in the draft. Yet if you don't use free agency to plug a few of the glaring holes before the draft, you always end up drafting for need in the first few rounds. In my opinion, the Packers have "reached" too many times lately on the first two days of the draft.

Bert's picture

I believe you are right on the money. We have been a hamster on a treadmill the last 4-5 years with the draft. Mainly for the reason you indicated. No moves to plug holes, even temporarily, with a few vet FAs.

tm_inter's picture

Cory Jennerjohn seems to insinuate that TT has not been courageous. I disagree on that point. I think TT is thorough, meticulous, and very smart person. TT also makes courageous decisions that he thinks are best for the Packers.

If CJ equates courage with recklessness, TT will never agree to that. TT will never make decisions before having all facts and data before him.

I don't see anything wrong with TT picking up free agents like Julius Peppers, Letroy Guion, or Jared Cooke without losing any draft pick.

Lphill's picture

Desert , I did not state my case clearly what I meant to suggest was that when players were brought in via , free agent , trade etc , it seemed to always work out for those players so Ted needs to do what it takes to add some veteran play makers to take the pressure off all the young players we are waiting to develop ,had TT brought in some defensive back help the Packers would be playing this Sunday .too many 3 rd and longs given up, to many open receivers in the middle of the field. It does not seem that difficult to fix.

Dzehren's picture

Ted Thompson will live & die with draft, develop philosophy- he says it every year since 2006.

GM's who take vacation day's the first 2 days of Fres agency the last several years & call call free agency murky, untested waters and fools gold are being transparent and truthful. Not happening unless it's a value signing ala peppers Woodson- Pickett - grant - and no compensatory pick awarded

Ryan Graham's picture

Being consistently good has been defined by the Green Bay Packers, thanks to Ted and the gang...Greatness, on the other hand has been defined by the Patriots, thanks to the greatest football coach of all time. Not to mention the fact that he's taken the healm on team personnel as well... so, in 25 years/2 generations of football using one of the top 3 quarterbacks in each respective Era, the packers have brought home 2 superbowls and some nfc championships. Bill and the patriots have accomplished that in 15 years twice over with one generation of football.

"It's not fair to compare the two organizations" well my question to that is why? What's the difference? Personnel management perhaps..? Could there maybe be a gray area between draft and develop and utilizing free agency, while maintaining control of the salary cap??

By no means do I want to sound fickle or resentful toward Ted, or Bob, or Mike or any other Packer. They all have made leaps and bounds bringing the organization backnowledge from where it was in the 70s and 80s. But year after year we've 'estblished' the superbowl as the goal. In 25 years we've accomplished that twice using that gray area. Just maybe that's the difference between being good and being great..

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