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Cory's Corner: The Packers need a starter in free agency

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Cory's Corner: The Packers need a starter in free agency

Ted Thompson has a fork in the road this offseason.

With the available $19.63 million the Packers have under the cap, Thompson must make a decision.

Does he add a starter, depth or just stand pat in free agency?

The answer is to add a starter because you can fill in the gaps through the draft.

This team is very good and very close to winning the NFC. That’s why guys like inside linebacker Danny Trevathan and Matt Forte would be the best additions. They address two of the biggest question marks heading into the season.

Adding guys like linebackers Stephen Tulloch and James Laurinaitis might bring that needed leadership role ever since A.J. Hawk left. However, both guys have trouble tackling and won’t be able to play consistently anymore — which is why both are available.

The last high-impact free agent that Thompson went out and got was Charles Woodson. He came to Green Bay at age 29 after signing a seven-year $52-million deal back in 2006. Yes, Thompson also went out and got Julius Peppers but he was 34 and wasn’t expected to do much.

Granted, Peppers surprised many last year with 10½ sacks. But his playing time has gone down exponentially and it’s only a matter of time before the 36-year-old suffers a season-ending injury. 

It’s time again Ted. The Packers need that spark — that boost. And no, it’s not because they need to win free agency.

The Packers will always have a fighting chance to get to the Super Bowl with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Now it’s time to add some complementary help. But I give one caution. Since it’s generally harder for an offensive player to understand and execute a scheme, a defender would make more sense to come in and contribute right away.

The Broncos have proven that defenses can in fact win a Super Bowl because Peyton Manning was reduced to a game manage for much of this season before claiming Super Bowl 50.

If Thompson doesn’t want to dip into the free agency pool because of Aaron Rodgers, he should do it for the Packers’ cornerback position. Last year it was Tramon Williams and Davon House and this year it appears like it’s going to be Casey Hayward that will hang up his Packers jersey.

The best way to give some confidence to sophomores-to-be in Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins is to provide some more pressure up front.

Sure, the offensive line needs depth. The defensive line could use another warm body. But, when it comes to free agency, anything other than an impact starter is a waste.

Obviously, Thompson’s biggest flaw is that he’s thrifty. And when he isn’t thrifty, he doesn’t spend at all.

Mike McCarthy leaning on Thompson to get something done in the offseason is the best thing that could happen to this team. McCarthy sees it. He knows how good this team could potentially be.

Thompson just has to see that. He must understand how important this free agency period is. If he passes up a starter to round out this team, it will be felt for the next three years.

Outside linebacker Clay Matthews needs more freedom to do what he wants to do. And he can only do that with an inside linebacker that gets respect from opposing offensive coordinators.

Currently, the Packers have none. 


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.

Razer's picture

Take a pill Cory. Don't expect Ted to wade in until the crop has been picked over and the shiny ones have been taken. Nor should he. I only have to see 'James Laurinaitis' to smell desperation. Why would we want to load up with AJ Hawk clones?

While we have $19.6 million in cap space, we don't have much wiggle room considering we have several of our own to resign, a rookie crop to fund and some reserve, just in case we need help during the season.

As the playoffs showed, this team is not far off. We need some talent and depth at a couple of positions, otherwise we are poised for a good run. Buying a 10 million dollar plug will thin us on numerous fronts and make next year's resignings a nightmare.

Tarynfor12's picture

" As the playoffs showed, this team is not far off. We need some talent and depth at a couple of positions, otherwise we are poised for a good run."

A mile can appear as an inch and an inch could be a mile as it depends on the glasses one is looking through.
As for a good run, that's what ' settlers' accept and I don't want the Packers in a cable TV commercial as examples of settlers.
Division wins is equal to a participation trophy....put in the attic and forget about it If you're not in the final game your no better the team behind you.

4EVER's picture

The number of dislike's, to this so accurate of posts, highlights and settles the argument on the number of settlers, mediocrity, and participating homers that visit this site.

It's unsettling...

Samson's picture

" number of settlers, mediocrity, and participating homers that visit this site."

This site has always been famous for their "extreme homerism". --- No matter what, everything the Packer org is doing, we are all better off because of it. --- The goal is not really winning the SB, it's just existing. --- But, watch the homers start to squirm when AR retires (or demands a trade) & GB still hasn't whiffed a SB since 2010.

PaulRosik's picture

Once again this idiocy. Somehow the feeling is that if the team you root for didn't win it all well then they must not have been trying. If you think ANYONE who roots for the Packers is settling or happy they lost to Arizona, you are insane. If you also think EVERYONE who roots for the Packers is happy they got to the second round of the playoffs that is absolutely correct.

If the team does not make every move you think is appropriate well guess what they are doing what they think is best for the team. Free agency is usually the surest path to taking your team back down to the level of awful that is perpetuated in places like Cleveland and Washington. Washington made one brief foray into the playoffs a few years ago when they drafted well but usually they are too busy buying high price failures to do anything.

Maybe Green Bay has gone to the far extreme of rarely ever dipping their toe into free agency but that is a far better place to be than always going after overpriced anchors that sink the team. But the idea that fans are happy with losing in the playoffs is so insulting it makes anything you post afterwards tainted with what appears to be your consistently anti Packer bias.

Samson's picture

Are you aware that the Packer's GM (TT) does not use free agency?---- Please, signing John Kuhn and a few riff-raff players is not using free agency. Even Peppers was a no risk move.

Michael Grunewald's picture

I agree Thompson won't be diving in. I agree that current CAP situation won't allow it. Here is my longstanding problem with Teddy T. Assuming Jordy returns at full strength, this team is about two and maybe three defensive impact players away from a legit shot at a championship. Rather than wasting bucks on a mediocre character riak like Guion, those dollars would have been better served elsewhere.

We need at least one more impact player on the line to go with Daniels. Will Datone Jones step it up? Lets give him the benefit of the doubt and say he turns the corner in year three. That still leaves a glaring hole at inside linebacker. You just paid Guion to eat blockers, so you need productivity inside. Do you resign Neal, Perry, both? You also must make a decision on Hayward or a replacement.

It is my opinion that you must fill glaring needs with proven commodities while you develop the young talent...or you will find yourself exiting the playoffs prematurely. Peppers first season in Green Bay showecased the importance. If not for the forced fumble on Demarco Murray, there is a real good chance the Packers don't move on to the NFC Championship Game. This is especially true on the defensive side of the ball. Look at the last three Super Bowl winners. Seattle snatched two front line difference makers in Avril and Bennett. The Patriots went all in on Revis. The Broncos traded for Ware and signed Talib.

Yes, draft and develop....but when you are close you plug your holes with veteran playmakers to get over the top.

Tarynfor12's picture

" Granted, Peppers surprised many last year with 10½ sacks. But his playing time has gone down exponentially and it’s only a matter of time before the 36-year-old suffers a season-ending injury."

Overall Peppers is an injury to the team via his decreasing snaps that will likely fall more so this season and no one to take his place since we are apparently relying on a false aged wonder to be 10 years younger.

Those 10.5 sacks are deceiving unless you consider clearly when and against who he obtained them and toss in a little why also. If one did so then many more would no that even with a FA inside linebacker as Trevathan, Matthews will be hard pressed to have the success needed as a pass rusher when his opposite side is nearly dead regardless if they retain Neal or Perry or more scary both. Without a multi faced guy opposite Matthews will be losing more than winning. Please draft Kyler Fackrell...he's what will make the Trevathan deal work at inside and Matthews back where he belongs.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree about Neal and Perry and the need to pick up someone to compliment Matthew. Wouldn't mind keeping Perry, because at least he has some upside, but overall need an injection of talent everywhere. OLB, ILB, and DL. Good thing draft is deeper this year.

Samson's picture

No matter who the Pack draft, they are all rookies. -- Their chances of having an impact in season 2016 are slim.

dobber's picture

That's untrue. More and more, early draft picks are called on to play regular roles, and not just on the Packers. If you go back just three drafts, each of the Packers's first and second round picks ended up role players and the first rounders started a significant portion of the season. The economics of football thins your roster and these players have to see the field.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Mike McCarthy leaning on Thompson to get something done in the offseason is the best thing that could happen to this team."

I wish this had happened a while ago. The truth is that there may only be one or zero guys in a given season that you can bring in who are both a good fit and not overbid. Unless Martelus Bennett gets cut I don't think there are many this offseason, Travatheon is a Super Bowl Champion and is going to get over paid.

Nick Perry's picture

Good point about Trevathon, his price is going to get driven up by several teams with TONS of Cap Space, like the Bears.

Nick Perry's picture

ERRR..Sorry double post...

RCPackerFan's picture

The other thing you have to determine when looking into free agency is if the player is good and will be good on any team. If he is good because of the system he plays in fits him the best. If the player is good because of the players around him. And if that player would fit into your teams system.

Using Travatheon as an example, is he a great player because he is a great player, or is he great because of the team he plays on and the system that he plays in knows how to use him to the best of his ability's? Will he be as good as he was in Denver in Green Bays defense for example?

I agree that Travatheon will be overpaid since he was on a super bowl winning team, and was on arguably the best defense in the league.

Evan's picture

Not just the system, but the players around him.

It's the Seattle Seahawks syndrome. Average players can be made to look like studs when they're surrounded by so much talent. Travatheon won't be playing alongside two potential Hall of Fame linebackers, a stud group of DBs and a solid D-line on his new team.

RCPackerFan's picture


Also with Travatheon, Denver knew exactly how to use him. If he goes to another team it may take time for that D coordinator to figure out how to use him in the right way.

An example of that is Demarco Murray. He was the rushing champ the year before. He goes to the Eagles and they never figured out how to use him.

dobber's picture

Dallas's OL played out of this world the year he won the rushing title...

RCPackerFan's picture


You could say the same thing with Trevathan this year. He is coming from a world beater defense, so how is he going to fit on other teams with lesser talent around him?

Samson's picture

So you're saying that there is a 4th or 5th round draft pick who will do better? --- Come on, some things are obvious. Some players play at a high level, -- no matter what. --- It has to do with ability.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree with your arguments regarding Trevathan. But those arguments can, really, be applied to any FA. I know that it always looking like Packers need to get one player (fill name by your wish!), but there is no warranty that the player signed in FA will be starter or leader or what so ever...
I would like to remind you how most of the Packers fans was delighted with Jeff Saturday signing. But, he was "starter" and he was not that good fans were expecting he would be.
I say, we should wait and see what is left after FA first week madness, then we can talk about potential additions.
And, I will tell you that the only player I think has some sense is Martellus Bennett, if he will be released from Bears. Vernon Davis is no factor any more... All others FA TE does not looks like score... But that is how I see the situation. And I admit I do not know much. So, I will wait and see what Packers will do (or Ted Thompson)...

RCPackerFan's picture

'I agree with your arguments regarding Trevathan. But those arguments can, really, be applied to any FA.'

Completely agree. Travatheon was just an example I was using. It applies to all free agents.
I'm not saying that all free agents won't work out and that some aren't worth the money that they will cost. Just saying that there is more that goes into going after free agents then simply going and signing a guy.

I agree with Bennett. He would give us a really good 1-2 TE set. I think there are other guys that could come in and fit in really well with the team and could provide a boost to the team, if the price is right. Forte would fit into our offense, Travatheon I think would fit into our defense, if the price was right. The biggest problem is most of these guys are going to cost more then what they really are worth.

What the Packers really need is to go an find the Letroy Guion type of players in Free agency. An under the radar type of player, signs for good money but plays well.

Michael Grunewald's picture

The Satrurday example highlights the problem here. Saturday was not an impact player...certainly wasn't on anybody's radar, plus he was on the downside of his career. That, and free agents on the offensive side of the ball have not put anybody over the top. Look at the defensive acquisitions that put the last three Supet Bowl winners over the top.

RCPackerFan's picture

Positions in need of a starter.

QB - no
RB - no
TE - no
WR - no
OL - no

DE - no
NT - maybe? If Raji leaves this is a higher need. If he stays, then no.
OLB - maybe? If Neal and Perry leave. If Mathews is moved back to OLB, then they don't need a starting OLB.
ILB - yes. They need an ILB that can play sideline to sideline and all 3 downs.
CB - no
S - no

The only true position that they need a starter at right now is ILB. They have needs and need to upgrade other things, but ILB is the top need going into this offseason.

Horse's picture

Mild disagreement. The way Dom's deploying safeties when they aren't in base, which is most of the time, lessens the need for ILB and Ryan actually started to look pretty good late last season.

dobber's picture

I'm with you, Horse. You only really use two ILBs in base or in short yardage situations...which is only about 35% of all defensive snaps (someone posted that number about a year ago...feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). Otherwise, you're in sub packages and one of your ILBs is usually coming off the field. I don't disagree in that having a good, fast, assignment-sure ILB would make a significant difference in the performance of this defense, but you can say that about any defense where you make a meaningful upgrade at any of its positions. I would argue that good DL play will cover up some deficiencies at ILB, and this devalues ILB to the point that spending large sums of money and high draft picks at that position may be counterproductive.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah. In all honestly the Packers can get by with what they have. But do you want to get by or do you want to upgrade?

They could use an upgrade at the position. With Mathews likely to do more at OLB this next year though they could really use a sideline to sideline LB.

I like Ryan, and we will be getting Barrington back. Also I like Joe Thomas who I think was a bit underrated as their Dime ILB. With another year in the defense both Ryan and Thomas should be better.

The part I disagree with you is on the use of the ILB's. The way Capers runs his defense, he uses probably 30-40% base, 40-50% nickel, and the rest in Dime. They have 2 ILB's on the field for everything except for the DIme. Where they take 1 ILB off the field. Probably 80-90% of the time there are 2 ILB's being used on the defense.

dobber's picture

...but how often is it truly an LB? I would argue that they used Joe Thomas more like a safety on passing downs than an ILB.

Tundraboy's picture

See you your point but is it a good thing using Thomas as a safety?

holmesmd's picture

Ryan began to look explosive like CMIII on a few plays at the end of the season against the run. My concern is that he and Barrington probably aren't faster than I am in pass coverage. You guys are tripping if you think Trevathan would not flourish on the Packers! The defense was the STRENGTH of this team in 2015, don't forget that. We need a chase inside backer, period. I like Joe Thomas but he needs to get 10-15 pounds bigger while maintaining his speed. Trevathan has been an underdog his whole life. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and would immediately upgrade our ILB coverage ability. The guy can play. Don't believe the hype that his success was solely the product of the unit as a whole. GB's DL & secondary aren't far off from the Broncos. He would be a welcome addition for the right price. I also think if Forte' & Bennet would take a contender discount, the offense would be immediately upgraded. Go Pack!

PaulRosik's picture

I am all in agreement with the need at ILB. But you really think they are ready to go at TE?

RCPackerFan's picture

For a starter yes. The list I have is for starters. Rodgers is fine as a starter. They just need to upgrade behind him.

L's picture

I agree and disagree. While I like Rodgers as a possession-type and someone who I think has shown improvement in blocking which makes him an okay "starter" under two TE sets or when in-line blocking is needed more for those option run/pass plays, but what I think the Packers really could use is a "starter" who can really stretch the field on the inside seams, command safety attention, and prove a complete mismatch for any linebacker; unfortunately, that's not Rodgers. This is why of all the non-released Free Agents that Ted may give consideration to I hope Ladarius Green is someone that gets serious consideration. He would fill that role I mentioned and likely be a much better "starter" at TE than Rodgers which is why I wouldn't really list TE as a NO for a "starter" need.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, I understand what your saying, and agree for the most part. I just view Rodgers as a starter with the need for a complimentary TE that can sub in for him or work with him.

Basically what we are saying is the same thing. They need a field stretching TE that can create mismatches. We essentially are saying the same thing, just whether they are labeled a starter or not.

I am not sure if Green is a true starter or not. Perhaps he is. Maybe he will follow a similar path as Martellus Bennett. I think he would be a great fit in Green Bays offense.

If they decide to go to the draft for a TE, the 2 guys that I think would be really good fits for Green Bays offense in what they like to do is Jerell Adams and Nick Vannett.

holmesmd's picture

I don't get this? WR's are much better athletes than TE. If you want to stretch the seam with size and speed, you need a big fast WR, not necessarily a TE. In general WR are faster and quicker. If you want to create mismatches in the passing game you run 4 WR sets with a single RB, not double TE sets. Sure defenses can play dime but that forces safety and ILB to have to account for 4 WR's & a RB. There usually is a mismatch in there somewhere.

RCPackerFan's picture

How many big fast WR's are available? The mismatch is created because in general most teams either play a LB or S on a TE because of their size.

Take a guy that I like in the draft. Jerell Adams. He is 6'5 245 lbs, and runs a 4.6 40. Due to his size he is able to out muscle CB's. So teams have to put a LB on him. But he is to fast for most LB's. That is where the mismatches occur.

In the Packers offense the TE position is a very important position. McCarthy loves using his TE's. They need to upgrade the position.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes upgrade but let's really upgrade. Rodgers as a no 2 is OK, need someone much better. It is more important this coming year than ever.

RCPackerFan's picture

I agree. They have to upgrade the position. The problem is if you draft a TE, they likely are not going to come in and be better then Rodgers right away. Most TE's take 1-2 years to really play well. And the TE's available currently on the FA market really are not better starting options then Rodgers. Plus the amount of $ that it would cost to bring in a Ladarius Green, is it going to really pay off?

That's why IMO, they need to find a TE to compliment Rodgers. Rodgers is fine as a starter. They can get by with him for now. But they have to get another TE that can rotate in with him, and/or play with him.
They need an athletic pass catching TE that can stretch the field. That player doesn't have to be a starter. He just has to be able to play a lot.

I think the best option overall is to draft a TE in the 2nd-4th round. Then he can play this year but then develop and hopefully replace Rodgers as the starter 1-2 years from now.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree Rodgers should not be the starter. It's a classic approach to consider him a starter when you really have no one else. Maybe in another season or period of time, but I think it's time for a major upgrade at TE. The more I think about it, it's really a necessity from my viewpoint while so many of the WRs are either regaining their form or still developing. This offense deserves a game breaking TE, can't always be on the receivers.

RVAborn's picture

Richard Rodgers is a number 2 TE. Great hands and red zone target, but blocking is extremely suspect and we all know about his speed. Maybe that play to him out in the flat that incessantly failed makes me slightly bias.

Tundraboy's picture

Man I hate that play. It's so bad it's embarrassing.

RCPackerFan's picture

That play alone shows why they need another TE. One that can run that play and actually gain yards.

I call that the Finley play. Finley made that play work because more times then not he was able to either make a defender miss or break a tackle and turn a 3 yard gain into an 8+ yard gain.

Tundraboy's picture

True. Problem is of course they keep running it. Drives me crazy because when they run a play that actually works they tend to stop running it for the rest of the game. Oh well I better stop before I get aggravated again thinking about last year. Got to remember it's a new day.

RCPackerFan's picture

yup. drives me nuts too... Like the old Kuhn Dive. It finally worked once they got Lacy and teams couldn't key on Kuhn. But they kept running it over and over when it never worked.

Michael Grunewald's picture

Agreed, with dissenting opinions noted. Ryan showed potential as a two down linebacker, but was an absolute liability in coverage. As you say RCPackerfan, we need an inside linebacker that can make plays all over the field. Forget the sub packages with the safeties unless its am obvious passing down. Outside of Dix, I am not a huge fan of the talent at that position anyway.

Nick Perry's picture

Nicely said Cory, "The Packers need a starter in Free Agency", and they do. I read a piece not long ago where the Author stated "It was time to move on from Mediocrity". He mentioned players like Mike Neal, BJ Raji, and James Starks, players who have done "Okay" but nothing the Packers really couldn't replace in the draft.

The Packers NEED a quality ILB, the D-Line can be rebuilt through the draft and be better than last year with the players available in the draft this year. But ILB is a position the Packers have ignored for too long. The last time the Packers had a quality 3 down ILB they won a SB, and had Nick Collins not been injured and Cullen Jenkins resigned in 2011 they'd have won two.

If Thompson would sign either Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman, or make an offer to a RFA Brandon Marshall, the Packers would have a SB Defense. One other player I like who can cover and might come a bit cheaper is Zack Brown of Tennessee. Brown isn't a "Household Name' but the kid can play.

They've basically stuck to Teds Draft and Develop approach with the exception of 2014 when they signed Peppers and Guion. Both were huge reasons the Packers were 5:07 away from the SB. The biggest reason they didn't make it was Teds specialty, "The UDFA". Freeman, Trevathon, Brown, they'll all be gone by the draft. You just paid a Kicker $16 Million, go get a ILB that will help get us back to the SB!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree, Nick. It doesn't have to be an all-pro starter, but it does need to be a legitimate starter, a red minus type at least.

Nick Perry's picture

That's why I like Brown, I think he could be signed for a lot less than Trevathon for sure and he can cover.

dobber's picture

"Since it’s generally harder for an offensive player to understand and execute a scheme, a defender would make more sense to come in and contribute right away."

What? If you're looking for immediate help at a position that takes time to learn, why would you draft for that? There are some positions where--historicially--rookies can jump in right away and contribute. Most of those are on defense (especially in the front 7) where instinct, effort and reaction can win out over scheme. Draft defensive players (DL or LB) and if you're looking for immediate help on the offensive side of the ball (e.g. TE), you can sign FAs for that.

Tundraboy's picture

That's my take on it as well.

dobber's picture

"Granted, Peppers surprised many last year with 10½ sacks. But his playing time has gone down exponentially and it’s only a matter of time before the 36-year-old suffers a season-ending injury. "

First off, Peppers's snaps need to go down based on where he is in his career. If you've brought him in to be a pass-rusher, why are you going to burn his energy on obvious run-downs and wear him out? He's still effective at what he does, and their use of Peppers makes sense when you have Perry and others who are good at setting the edge and playing the run.

Nothing personal, but the scientist in me says you have no concept of what "exponentially" means. The teacher in me says don't use words when you don't know how to use them. Try "significantly" or "meaningfully".

"’s only a matter of time before the 36-year-old suffers a season-ending injury."

When drafting for FFL, this is a phrase I like to throw out from time to time when I want a player to slide. The paranoid owners will bite on it. Projecting injuries, especially for players who have been remarkably durable in their careers--and note that Peppers has had one season aside from his rookie year where he hasn't played in 16 games--doesn't work. To talk about season-ending injury in this context is the same as applying it to a draft pick, a FA acquisition, or a regular already on the roster. It's true for everyone and it's meaningless hyperbole.

marpag1's picture

LOL. Yeah, I pretty much "gagged exponentially" on most of these same things. But the most egregious, in my opinion, was the sentence: "When it comes to free agency, anything other than an impact starter is a waste."

Huh?!? Since when did acquiring a "mere" solid starter or quality depth become a waste?? And what difference does it make if you acquire them via free agency or in any other way? Why is free agency a waste unless it nets an "impact starter?" This is exactly what people do WRONG in free agency... because everybody knows that the vast majority of "impact starters" in free agency are going to be crazy-money cap-killers.

Honestly, I'm just not sure how anyone can take this seriously.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

First, Peppers snaps declined from 808 to 700 per Football outsiders. I'd call that a modest decline, though I had hoped we would have cut him back considerably more. 2nd: Not so sure our defense isn't more complicated than our offense. [Re RC's comment, RR is probably is the worst starting TE in the NFL. We could use a starter, but perhaps don't need one.] I do think we could use another veteran receiving threat, but if limited to one position, ILB seems like a sound choice, both in terms of availability and need.

dobber's picture

"Re RC's comment, RR is probably is the worst starting TE in the NFL. We could use a starter, but perhaps don't need one."

I think you hit a good point here in that what we want isn't always what we need. Sure, a seam-busting TE would be great, but if you can fill those roles with players already on the roster (we've invested a lot of $$ and draft picks at WR), throwing more money in that direction when you have other glaring needs (or wants) seems counterproductive.

RCPackerFan's picture

Are you saying that I said that Rodgers was the worst starting TE in the league? If so I don't remember ever saying he was the worst one in the league.

We need another TE no doubt. Rodgers is fine as a starter but they need to use him in ways that he is best at.

What they need is another TE to compliment Rodgers. They need to find a big fast pass catching option to compliment him. Someone that can put more stress on a defense.
From FA Ladarius Green would compliment him and from the draft Jerell Adams would be a great compliment to Rodgers.

Samson's picture

In other words, RR really isn't all that good so GB needs to find another option at TE. -- The reality is simple. --- RR is a liability at TE. He won't see season 5 as a Packer.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Sorry RC, I should have been more clear. It is my opinion that RR is the worst starting TE in the NFL. I don't know what your opinion is. I was just disagreeing with your list that suggests GB doesn't need a starting TE. I do not think RR is ever going to be a #1 starting TE, and TT should look to address the position at some point. I don't like the TEs in this draft, so I think while GB doesn't absolutely have to dip into FA for a TE, TT might want to do so if price matches value. Maybe draft Adams in the 3rd or 4th round as a guy who with coaching and a weight room could develop into a #1.

To be more clear (I hope!), with the return of Nelson and Monty (and hopefully some improvement from Adams, Janis, and Abby), I think our offense as a whole would be fine with RR as the starting TE. Awfully hard to be good everywhere. That is not the same as thinking RR is fine. RR has an outstanding trait - his hands - so if he can become an average blocker he can be a really good #2 TE for GB. I think RR if he learns to block can be the complement to a good TE, rather than getting someone to complement RR.

RCPackerFan's picture

No problem... I was confused by it.

The way I look at it. Unless they are able to get Martellus Bennett, how many TE's that are going to be available are going to be better starting options then Rodgers? Yes Rodgers has limitations, but so do all the TE's that are available. I honestly don't see any clear cut #1 TE's that are available. Rodgers can be an effective TE, but they have to use him in the right ways. Rodgers is NOT FInley. Either they go out and get their next Finley or they have to find other ways to use their TE's.
Rodgers is 'ok' as a starter for now. But they do need to upgrade the position. If they draft a TE it will likely take 1-2 years for him to develop into a starting caliber player.
So basically what I'm saying is Rodgers will be the starter for this year. Draft a TE like Adams or Vannett in the 2nd-4th round area, let him play but also develop. Then next year or the year after you will have your replacement for Rodgers as a starter.

Regardless if Rodgers is the 'starter' or whatever they have to find a 2nd TE option that can come in and make plays. The 2 TE set may not be their primary formation, but if you can put 2 TE's out on the field it really creates a lot more flexibility in the offense.

holmesmd's picture

I would argue that a 4 WR set with a lone RB provides more flexibility than 2 TE set IMO. Unless of course you have a TE like Gronkowski or Graham. Tony Gonzalez seemed like he couldn't be covered. My point is that your WR's are the best athletes and pass catchers on the field. The modern NFL favors the WR position, not TE. If you can get a difference maker, great! There aren't many on the tree. That's the problem. I would rather have a big fast WR who could play the slot than a lumbering TE who is rarely asked to block in our offense anyway. What do you think we have Kuhn for?;) Lol

dobber's picture

"I would rather have a big fast WR who could play the slot than a lumbering TE who is rarely asked to block in our offense anyway. "

I'll do the unthinkable and paraphrase Vic Ketchman here: if your TE is not playing in-line (meaning he's split out wide) he's not a TE. He's a WR.

Tundraboy's picture

Exactly. At best RR is a complementary TE.

Still think we need a number one because it's going to take time for Jordy, Monty, and Cobb as well to regain their form. They all will need some games, and not preseason, to get back to a level where we could live with RR alone. I don't see why we should settle for that. Shit happens as last year proved.

lou's picture

Even though it appears that the team has "starters" at most every position the key word is the number of "ascending" players in those starting positions. The draft and development process has been consistently successful but too many times when there is a real need to have a better player at a particular position the team will continue to stay with that player when it is apparent to all that they need to be benched for a certain period or replaced, like Adams and Masthay last season. The team needs to look at who is "ascending" and what positions need to be "upgraded".

Evan's picture

@RapSheet 2m2 minutes ago
The #Packers signed G Lane Taylor to a 2-year deal worth $4.15M, source said. He gets $600K guaranteed.


$2 mil a year for the #7 offensive linemen?

Oppy's picture

You're looking completely past the $600k guaranteed.

Just a guess, but I'd wager that 4 M number only gets approached if he ends up meeting a long list of qualifiers in a bonus structure. Perhaps if he starts 10 games a season, or whatever.

Devil is in the details

marpag1's picture

Ding! Ding!

RobinsonDavis's picture

Right-on...Insurance and incentive based. 4 current guards are FAs next year pending contract extensions.

Evan's picture

No, of course the guaranteed is tiny. And that's great.

I was just looking at the overall value - but, yea, we need to know if they're tied to bonuses or whatnot.

RCPackerFan's picture

I admit I was surprised by the 2 year 4.15 m part. 600k is minimal, but to the 4.15 part tells me they are either expecting him to become a starter or really think he is going to take a step.
Maybe they are going to try and groom him to replace Sitton or Lang?

WinUSA's picture

I have an observation...many people (including myself) are sometimes disappointed that TT isn't more active in FA signings...But one thing that is evident...when he DOES do it...the FA he has brought in have been spectacular... I am interested in seeing exactly who and when and if...TT will be active this year..

RobinsonDavis's picture

1st, I appreciate the conversation regarding what moves should or even need to be made by TT that are posted thus far...nice job folks! As I write this, a previous guess has come to fruition, and another of our own FAs (Lane Taylor) just resigned. I ride with RC on many of his points and agree that we need to be eyeing 2017 as well, and thus, need to preserve negotiating room for our own players, and/or looking for replacements now. Although we have enough "starters" to contend, the real issue is IMPACT players and the fact that we need at least one solid back-up at all positions that can step in. If we get the two 4th round compensatory picks, a potential of 6 strong candidates to aid the team can be assumed. It also provides TT with opportunity to move up in the draft (yes, I know you cannot trade compensatory picks). I see 7 positions of impact possible on this squad that could be improved, but if you hold me to 3 musts, the LB positions have got to be one, if not two. (I feel OT, and D-Line are others - both supposedly deep in this draft). That leaves Free Agency & later round draft picks to solve the roles needed for the remainder of this year and next. TE, RB, & LB make sense for FA. Note: I like Forte too, but has anybody looked at the tape of Starks TD from the Charger game? He ACCELERATES away from the LBs...check out YouTube. Also, can Backman or Henry be counted on this year to block or stretch the field? WRs - Will MM give Janis and Abbrederis more opportunities this year or will Adams produce? What if Ted has the opportunity for a "can't miss" WR? Is anybody going to complain? The WR situation is so intriguing, we all see the potential, but recognize issues as well.

PaulRosik's picture

Her'es a link to a n article on CBS this morning telling owners not to spend on free agency because as Admiral Ackbar said "It's a trap!"

it sure is tempting when you think your team is that close and maybe that one position away. But there are way more instances of teams going downhill by spending on free agents than going up. I know Packer fans yearn to have the Packers even mentioned during this time of the year since they are usually so quiet but the key is to spend wisely. I am not against the Pack spending some money but the idea that they HAVE to go get someone leads to mistakes and poor decisions.

Rossonero's picture

The teams that are making the sexy free agent signings are also the ones that can't draft (Dolphins, Browns, Bears, etc.).

Then a year later they're trying to restructure contracts (i.e. Ndmakon Suh) or dumping the players altogether (i.e. DeMarco Murray).

I agree with the "Seattle snydrome" notion. Byron Maxwell is a perfect example. He looked superb for the Seahawks, then got paid by the Eagles to be a no. 1 corner and he simply is not. I like Trevathon a lot too, but Ted won't break the bank for him.

Samson's picture

Denver is the reigning SB champion. --- I'll leave it to you to analyze their 2015 roster and determine if free agency had anything to do with their success.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Wow, so it looks like the Packers really are showing interest in Forte. Interesting.

RVAborn's picture

Reminiscent of the Steven Jackson interest a few years ago. It will all come down to the money-hopefully peppers throws him a few bones.

al bundy's picture

Jusr veiwed an espn diatribe against ted t. The point, you've got a phenom in rogers and your letting chances at titles go by by not surrounding him with talent whenyou have the money and opportunites to so. This is a once in lifetime op and ted keeps passing on guys who could turn it around. Another bid fast receiver to complement jordy, a top back, a real tght end with speed an agility. Not getting that via draft and development and rogers cant wait fr draft and development.

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