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Packers Could Add Value on Defense, Electricty on Offense in Free Agency

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Packers Could Add Value on Defense, Electricty on Offense in Free Agency

The NFL Combine is complete and the legal tampering period ahead of the official opening of free agency on Thursday has begun. Much has been written and many have speculated as to how the Packers will approach free agency. Will they follow their usual modus operandi and focus on re-signing their own top free agents? Or will they let the high-priced guys walk and use that money to bring in new blood? Even if Green Bay doesn’t sign anyone in the early stages of free agency, we’ll likely start to get some answers over the next few days as players are signed and markets at specific positions are solidified.

The Packers’ chief needs reside on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at cornerback, where they struggled to field a consistently competent group all of 2016. Because of that, it stands to reason that if Ted Thompson and the rest of the brain trust at 1265 Lombardi Avenue dip into the free agent well, it’s a good bet a corner is what they’ll be looking for.  Luckily for them, a familiar, cheap(ish) option is now on the table.

Davon House didn’t put up gaudy numbers during his tenure with the Packers, though it could be argued that competing for playing time with two established starters (Tramon Williams and Sam Shields) and a future Hall of Famer (Charles Woodson) made it hard for him to do so. When House did see the field, he played well enough to earn a four-year, $24.5 million dollar deal from Jacksonville after becoming a free agent prior to the 2015 season.

House would go on to have the best year of his career that season, posting 60 tackles to go along with four interceptions and 23 pass breakups. What seemed to be blossoming potential took a turn in the opposite direction in 2016, and House saw his playing time dwindle due to what were assumed to be performance-related issues. Of course, that led to the Jaguars releasing House on Monday.

As I said before, it’s not exactly like House set the world on fire over his rookie contract with the Packers, which is probably why the team was willing to let him go in free agency the first time around. And while a team certainly shouldn’t take one standout season as gospel for how a player will perform, it’s hard not to view House’s 2015 campaign as at least a slight validation of what the Packers saw in him when they selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

It’s also worth considering House would help the Packers in two areas they desperately missed in 2016: speed and experience. If there has been a theme among players in their first year under Dom Capers recently, it’s that it takes them too long to adjust and find their comfort level within the scheme. House would be working under the same staff he played four years for, and that familiarity can only benefit a secondary starving for stability.

Oh, and about that money thing – his services likely will come at a significantly lower price than the big name corners on the free agent market. It’s reasonable to think the Packers can add House for less than the $6 million per year he was making in Jacksonville, and Green Bay can certainly afford that. Multiple outlets have reported mutual interest between the two parties, but it could be a few days into the free agency madness until we see a deal done.

And now for a scenario most Packer fans couldn’t envision in even their wildest dreams. What if, by some miracle, Green Bay makes a play for a free agent that doesn’t fill a perceived need? And even if they did, who would that player be? I think the move that would most benefit the Packers would be to sign a speedy wide receiver, namely the newly released Torrey Smith.

As on defense, the Packers could stand to add more speed and big play ability on the offensive side of the ball. Smith, who will be leaving San Francisco just two years into a five-year, $40 million deal, could be just what the doctor ordered.

A proven top-buster, Smith is just a year removed from posting the largest yards per catch number (20.1) of his career, and could allow the Packers to utilize other players in positions they are most dangerous. Imagine Smith as the deep threat on one boundary, Davante Adams opposite him, and Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb working from the slot. Oh, and throw Jared Cook in there if you’re inclined to go five-wide. No matter the personnel grouping, Smith would add a multitude of new options for Mike McCarthy & Company to work with.

It would be an out of character move for Ted Thompson, and the Packers would have decisions to make with an already crowded wide receiver group, but the benefit to giving Aaron Rodgers a legitimate deep threat could be enormous. Like Davon House, it doesn’t seem likely Smith stands to get the same amount of money he got from his previous employer. If that turns out to be true, he could be another value option that pays off big for Green Bay.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RCPackerFan's picture

Not going to lie.
Adding Smith would be enticing.

Its a move that I honestly never really gave much thought to, because the odds of it happening are probably smaller then me winning the Powerball...

But it is enticing.

The Packers offense is ran through Rodgers. Having a strong set of WR's is crucial to the offenses Succes. One of the weak links the last 2 years has been a lack of a deep threat. Smith would definitely provide that.

Bearmeat's picture

Won't happen. They're counting on Trevor Davis to make the 2nd year "Jump." We both know it's true.

RCPackerFan's picture

I know it won't happen. And if it were to happen, I'm going and buying a power ball ticket for the record.

I do think Davis will take a step, as will Allison. I wouldn't be surprised if they drafted another WR also.

Tundraboy's picture

"Packers Could Add Value on Defense, Electricty on Offense in Free Agency"

I'm all ears.

Just want us to use any available means to put this team over the top. The opportunity is THERE! I don't think that that is so unreasonable to want and expect for any team. Especially the PACKERS.

"Will they follow their usual modus operandi and focus on re-signing their own top free agents? Or will they let the high-priced guys walk and use that money to bring in new blood? "

Why not both?

dobber's picture

Philly supposedly has significant interest in Smith. I think he's a luxury guy, but I agree that he brings an element to the offense that the Packers don't currently have.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Yeah, heard that too, after NO wanted the moon to trade Brandin Cooks.

StvHld's picture

Sorry guys I just don't think TT will add any FA's. To many of their own FA's to sign.

I hope I'm wrong, Smith would be a welcome deep threat addition. And any help at CB would be great. Just have a feeling it will be another year of draft & develop & signing undrafted FA's to fill out the roster.

Ryan Graham's picture

It's hard to disagree. If you are right and the packers don't play better on defense and make the big game it's fair to say it will probably be his last year of control in Green Bay. I've been waiting for Murphy to call up Eliot Wolf for GM for some fresh blood with the highest influence for a couple years now, and if he isn't following this season then the organization will be wiffing on that opportunity and be looking at a Ted re-up. More time repping the slogan, "good is good enough"

pooch's picture

yeah sign out f.a. and get blown out of playoffs again .. whatever

Lphill's picture

Wishful thinking if anyone here actually thinks TT will sign multiple free agents. Too bad he doesn't read these posts. We can only dream.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Taking advantage of other teams mistakes in overvaluing players who are above replacement is exactly how I would like TT to use free agency.

Nick Perry's picture

As soon as Smith was released I thought about him in GB. He wouldn't cost the Packers a pick which is a must when it comes to anyone the Packers might add to their roster. Plus he fills a specific need on the team which they don't presently have (Speed at WR), at least who's proven it.

Problem with this is he'll still cost too much for the Packers. With so many other areas of need on the Defense, it's hard to justify the cost of adding Smith to an already pricey WR Corps. With Adams coming up for FA next season I'm afraid this is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Handsback's picture

I don't think its unreasonable to see TT add another offensive weapon. All skilled WR, TE, or RB positions could be improved. Cobb's slot position has some weakness as well as another seem busting TE. RB is a weak position unless Lacy is resigned. So if I had to guess....I would go with another small speedy slot receiver. A guy who could be cut if his replacement is drafted and looking at the available WR it adds up to one of two guys- Deshaun Jackson or Kenny Stills. Jackson will take too much money so come on down Kenny! That's my guess.

Samson's picture

It's the "D".
It's the "D".
AR will carry the offense. Even w/out a real RB, the offense is SB worthy.
It's the "D".

Point Packer's picture

True, but the D so far from being serviceable the only chance, and I mean the only chance, may be the O becoming unstoppable.

Our defense is a shit show.

fthisJack's picture

i was kinda hoping the Packers would select John Ross at 29....until he ran 4.22. that is probably off the table now. but i do like the idea of Smith in GB and let Janis go...finally.

then concentrate on OLB,CB, DL.

mrtundra's picture

Eddie Lacy to meet with the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and The Packers over the next 4 days per Matt Barbato of ALL 22.

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