For some reason, when I saw this news last night, I just wasn’t that worked up about it…even though this means he is free to sign with anyone. I thought “he’ll play this media game for a few months and then he may in fact try to latch on with some team mid-summer, or he may not”. Then, I did get a little worked up as I thought about it a bit more and realized “crap, he could join the Vikings or Tampa or Cleveland or a few other teams that might end up playing us next year.” Then, I got worked down, as it were, as I thought about it even more and thought “I simply don’t have the energy to deal with more Favre drama”. Then I stopped thinking.
Archive for the ‘2009 Free Agency’ Category
Just read here at PFT that the Steelers have cut starting LB Larry Foote in what some see as a surprising move. Apparently their roster is so loaded with LB talent that they felt they could part with a starter (actually it also had to do with cap issues). Larry Foote is a pretty good player, would probably not be too expensive, has very solid 3-4 experience, is only 28 years old and could if nothing else, add quality depth to our LB group. Given the uncertainties facing Barnett and his recovery, the uneven play from Hawk, the rookieness of Matthews and the questions re whether Kampman can play OLB, I’d feel more secure knowing we had a proven veteran LB on the team .
Both reader DaveK and the guys over at Packerupdate have talked about how interestingly, the Packers now may have ideal personnel for a 4-3 (or at least to shift over to a 4-3 occasionally). (Though DaveK, if I’m not mistaken, you were the first to point this out right after the draft.) While I still favor what a 3-4 line-up brings, I could see how shifting to an occasional 4-3 look could be smart. Consider this line-up: Kampman, Raji, Pickett and Jenkins on the line with Matthews, Barnett and Hawk (or Bishop or Chillar) as LBs. Raji and Pickett could function similarly to the Williams’ duo in Minnesota. We’d suddenly have a viable front 7.
One reason why I’m pleased with the draft overall though, is (as DaveK and others have pointed out) because we now have flexibility that we didn’t have before. We have several different linebackers with different strengths, and a bit more depth on our D-Line. Couple this with a coach many of us feel will be good at using multiple combinations and there may be reason for optimism for our defense. In fact, as much as I talk about the importance of an offense creating mismatches (a philosophy I know McCarthy embraces as well), I think it’s similarly important for a defense to create different looks. When an astute QB or O-coordinator can anticipate what a defense is going to bring, playing offense becomes much easier. But when a QB/offense is unsure of what may happen, the defense can control the game. With greater flexibility because of a better selection of defensive personnel, I wouldn’t be surprised if Capers is able to add more of a surprise element than we’ve had the past few years.
Read here from Bedard as jsonline re free agent signees. I like the Tyrell Sutton signing. I do wonder why he wasn’t drafted if he has the kind of potential people think he has. I do remember him giving the Badgers a difficult time a game or two and he’s had some nice highlight moves. My hope, as I mentioned before, was to draft or sign a shifty RB who could give the team a different look from Grant’s downhill style. Sutton should bring this and compete with Jackson and Wynn for a roster spot and maybe good playing time.
If there is truth to the following rumor from ESPN, I suggest TT make a move for Anquan Boldin before it’s too late. I know WR is a present position of strength for the Pack, but adding someone as talented at Boldin for a 2nd round pick and a throw-in type player would very much be worth it. And, our WR group would then be brutally difficult to line-up against.
|ESPN News passes on a report from Sal Paolantonio that the Cardinals have lowered their asking price for Anquan Boldin.|
|According to Sal Pal, the Cardinals are now seeking just a second-rounder and an additional player. One team is reportedly “all over” Boldin now. The Eagles and Giants may have entered the race along with the Ravens, Jets, and Titans now that a first-rounder isn’t required.|
Ok – so what that nobody has ever heard of this undrafted guy who hasn’t actually played a down in the NFL’s regular season. And so what that the Dolphins and Giants both determined he wasn’t good enough to keep. He’s young, he’s huge (6’3″, 334) and he can’t be much worse than the now super-rich, Colin Cole. While I’d rather have someone of more repute than Brian Soi, I need to remind myself to just appreciate that Ted Thompson might, just might, be starting to consider what our need positions are. For a guy who seems to enjoy NOT adding players in need positions through the draft or free agency, I see this as positive – we need more depth on our D-Line.
I’m not sure how else to explain the Packers’ decision to have former Duke point guard Greg Paulus come in for a tryout. He was a nationally recognized QB coming out of high school in 2004, but he’s only 6’1″ and 180 pounds and hasn’t played football in 5 years, so I don’t think he’s trying out as a QB. I’m not sure what they’re doing here. (Actually, I must say, I don’t really mind the Pack giving a tryout to a great athlete – my concern lies in the fact that we have time to have Greg Paulus tryout but apparently little time to give a tryout to a legit veteran defensive player like Vonnie Holliday. Sometimes I worry that TT does things unconventionally just so that a story can be written about how unconventional he is.)
I’m starting to read articles (here and here) that tie the Bears and Vikes to possible interest in the newest free agent Plaxico Burress. Yes, he’s a headache off the field and a total moron – but he’s a major headache on the field too…just ask Al Harris. Both Chicago and Minnesota could use a quality WR. And even though he’ll likely have to head to jail for a bit, I’m pretty confident Plax will come back and be very good once again. I would rate both the Vikes and Bears as having WR groups at or near the bottom of the NFL. Both teams could seriously improve their offenses by signing Plax and if one of them makes this move, I would be concerned as a Packer fan.
But the team I haven’t seen mentioned in any of this Plax talk that could perhaps benefit the most would be Detroit. In a league where creating match-up problems for defenses has become the name of the offensive game, imagine a secondary having to line up across from Calvin Johnson and Plaxico Burress. I don’t care if Duante Culpepper’s mom were QB, that would make for a long day.
In the previous post, I essentially argued that the Bears probably gave up too much for someone I don’t think is that great. I still don’t think he’s as good as most make him out to be, but as I’ve thought more about this, suddenly, I am worried that the mere presence of a not-totally-crappy QB may bring a new confidence to a team that was surely headed for mediocrity this year. This trade could be a big psychological boost for a team with a history of QB self-esteem issues. It could have an invigorating effect on a mediocre team that somehow managed to be in the playoff hunt last year. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that from a Packer fan’s perspective, I’m a bit jealous that Jerry Angelo (usually a horrible GM) actually did something in the off-season to energize the team.
This morning, in what can only be described as a torturous exercise, I listened to Chicago’s 670 the Score (nice station name by the way). (I will need several beers tonight to forget that I did this.) I just wanted to confirm that everyone in Chicagoland was going ape…crap about this acquisition. Ape crap doesn’t do it justice. They were out of control. Here are a few quotes from the hosts of the Score this morning on the Cutler trade:
- it’s like the gift that will keep on giving
- between now and the season there are plenty of mental fantasies we can think about with him here now (um…OK)
- so, can we finally say the Bears have the best QB in the NFC Central (he did say Central)? Other guy: No question, no question.
- God has blessed us all
The only dissenting voice I heard (maybe indirectly responding to the host’s claim that “God has blessed us all”) claimed that Jesus Christ wouldn’t even help this Bears’ team much because there is nobody to throw to (had to be a Packer fan…nice).
As I sit here now, I am seething with annoyance, if one can seethe with annoyance, at the excitement this is generating in Chicago. Just think of all those loser Bear fans who are pumping fists, wearing black (everyone in Chicago always wears black all the time – visiting Chicago is like being at a giant funeral), drinking beers stolen from Milwaukee (Schiltz, Miller, Pabst), celebrating stolen celebrities while they’re at it (Oprah, PGA golfer Mark Wilson) and generally just being giddy and lame in their festivaciousness, as it were. I once said to myself (and then later quoted myself) that there is almost nothing more annoying than fans of an opposing team being giddy. Today Bear fans are giddy.
Again, while I hope this ends up being a huge mistake, I must say, in this era of suffocating GM/Coach conservatism, I’ll tip my hat to taking a chance.
Sometimes, when I whine about the Packers not doing enough in free agency and not adding needed pieces to the team, I want to stop myself so I don’t just seem like a chronic complainer. But I do it mostly because I really believe more could be done. Well, now I can add Nick Barnett to my side of this argument (according to jsonline)- along with Charles Woodson and LeRoy Butler. All of these guys have talked about bringing in other guys and the need for additional pieces. As Bedard says, the team under TT has been remarkably quiet w/re to speaking out of turn, so Barnett’s refreshingly honest comments are welcome.
“We have Jenkins on the outside, Pickett on the inside; we’ll have Jolly with whatever happens with his situation. But the years that we’ve been very good on defense, we’ve had good depth on the defensive line with some good quality. We have some young guys coming up, but it’s always good to have that very good depth at d-line….but everybody knows we need more guys. Obviously we lost some guys in free agency. It’s not a knock against the guys we have. We can all get better.”
If the Pack struggles or goes even 8-8 or 9-7 this year and TT survives, I would imagine we might start hearing even more of these kinds of comments from players heading into next year. Lots of players and fans are willing to be quiet out of respect for someone else’s job (i.e. TT), but not if that someone is given plenty of time and fails to produce a winner.