Archive for the ‘2009 Free Agency’ Category

Free agents still out there

March 30, 2009

I liked this article by GBPG’s Tom Pelissero because it does a good job of reminding us that while the free agency chaos has mostly died, there are still some quality free agents available. These are the names that caught my eye:

  • Vonnie Holliday – we’ve already written about him and I still feel he’d be a good addition. I’m still bothered by the Packers’ apparent disinterest.
  • Jason Taylor – already written about him and if he’d truly come in at a bargain price, not sure why we wouldn’t consider it.
  • Kevin Carter – Carter has recently been good, despite his age. Like Taylor and Holliday, I would be comforted knowing we had at least one of these 3 historically reliable veterans on the roster vs feeling uncomforted by having question marks all over the place (Pickett’s health, Jolly’s crimes, Harrell’s everything, Jenkin’s injury, Montgomery’s averageness, Kampmann’s switch, Hawk’s badness, etc etc).
  • Dre Bly – not sure exactly how much his talent level dropped off last year, but he’s been a pretty good corner for years and he would at the very least, add some nice depth to our secondary.
  • Chris McCallister – similar to Bly, at one time he was really good and probably still at least has quality instincts. I also wonder about whether he would be a decent safety-conversion candidate.
  • Samari Rolle – similar to McCallister and Bly, though more intriguing to me than either of the other two. Again, if he’s not going to break the bank, may be a good depth move.
  • Mike Brown – I know this guy gets injured blowing his nose, but I have always been impressed by his play when out there. Trouble is that TT’s preference for young/injury-free players make Brown very unlikely.

Thompson thinks Packers fine as they are

March 25, 2009

Many of you may have read Tom Silverstein’s article this morning over at jsonline. I think Silverstein wrote it to highlight one major point: that it’s interesting that TT would be so confident in a team that just finished 6-10. I think it’s interesting too. I badly want to believe TT is right about this, that it was a combination of just a few factors that led us to 7 losses by 4 points or less, that he’s right about draft first/free agency second and that he knows what he’s doing. But I’m not so sure. In the article, TT goes on to express confidence in his starting group (whoever they may be now). I disagree here. Right now, I am not necessarily scared by our starting group.  Off the top of my head, I can think of 9 starting positions (give or take) that are at least questionable : RT, LT b/c Clifton sucks, at least one guard spot, 2 of 3 D-Line positions, 3-4 of the LB positions due to Hawk’s poor play, Barnett’s injury and unknowns at the other OLB spots, and one of the safety spots.

I know he wouldn’t publicly point out positional weaknesses in an article like this and he wants his team to believe he believes in them. And I hope we can fill some holes through the draft. But a part of me does worry that he actually believes we are set with most of our starters and it’s more a matter of just playing better. I will continue to be suspect of TT’s over-reliance on the draft until we have 2-3 winning seasons in a row.

Response to post re picking up Gonzalez

March 24, 2009

Yes – I definitely think we should pick up Tony Gonzalez. Steve’s right, the timing is very good because we know Pioli is aggressive and wants to rebuild the Chiefs. Even if it’s for 1-2 years, the guy could help us significantly. Having another player the defense would HAVE to account for would make defending our passing game even more difficult. It might also seriously open up opportunities for Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley in 2 TE sets (which most Packer fans remember, can be a lethal offensive set). Importantly, having yet another passing game worry for defenses might also help open up our sluggish running game as defenses would come into games more concerned about being beaten by the pass.

I say give up a 3rd, or I suppose, I wouldn’t even mind giving up a 2nd round pick like Steve says. TT has so much future orientation in everything he does that I think to balance himself out (and for the good of the team), he could stand to occasionally adopt a “now” orientation.

Another thought: instead of giving up draft picks (which we know TT doesn’t like to do), perhaps he could also get creative and offer a trade of some kind. Offer a 4th rounder and Poppinga – just tell them we think Poppinga is one of the best young LBs in the NFL, pointing out that he’s been starting for a few years now. (But then burn all available video of him so they can’t see how bad he is.)

(By the way, this isn’t the first time Packergeeks has lobbied for Gonzalez. Read here and here. There are other posts too. It’s pretty safe to say that if Steve and I were co-GMs, Gonzalez would be a Packer by now.)

Montgomery and Hunter re-signed

March 18, 2009

Not much to report here except that these two guys re-signed. While Montgomery may add depth to either the D-Line or OLB positions (and he may not be as bad as a fill-in vs being the starter), I’m just not that excited about these signings. I don’t think these 2 guys are terrible (and I do think Hunter has some possibly untapped potential), but I just can’t get excited about this or really, any 2009 off-season signing.

Tremendously boring off-season when this is all I can think of to post. I think the lack of action this off-season is actually hurting my brain.

Random off-season thoughts

March 5, 2009
  • What do folks think about Percy Harvin? Though injury prone and smallish, I swear, every time I’ve watched that guy play, he’s done something electric. He is a gifted athlete. And, he was a marked man by lots of defenses. I’ll say it now, he may be one of those players who NFL teams shy away from due to size/durability, but he will be a very good NFL player.
  • I want Travis Beckhum on this team. Not in the first round or anything, but maybe with one of the extra picks TT trades down for. I’ve written this before I know and I am a clearly biased Wisconsinite. Anyway, some have doubted his ability to block etc, but his recent bench performance at the combine indicates to me that he’s at least strong enough to learn how to block (benched more than any other TE there) and we’ve all seen how good he is at the receiving piece of TE work.
  • Why is everyone (including me to some extent) leaving Desmond Bishop off the list of possible starting LBs? He seems like the aggressive kind of playmaker who might thrive as an OLB. I have a sneaking suspicion Kevin Greene will take to Bishop and help him take off.
  • I also wonder if Chillar might not be bad as an ILB (he’s being talked about mostly as an OLB) due to solid coverage skills.
  • Interesting that last year nobody (except Packergeeks and a number of PG readers) thought Poppinga should be locked in as a starter and now, whenever starting line-ups are discussed for 2009, nobody is including Poppinga as a possible starter. Perhaps Packergeek pressure simply became too much.
  • I really hope AJ Hawk blossoms with some quality coaching because I would doubt MM would have the stones to bench him in 2009 (despite playing like a scrub in 2008).
  • A few years ago, when Mike Sherman insisted on starting KGB only to have offenses run over him ever play, I remember having the fleeting thought that as bad as he was playing in the 4-3, he may have been more effective as an OLB in a 3-4 because he wouldn’t be swept in the wrong direction immediately by a huge O-Lineman. I’m not saying bring him back, because I think he’s been past his prime for a few years now – but I do think he may be one person wishing the Pack went to a 3-4 a few years earlier.
  • What is going to happen with Jeremy Thompson? Considering he’s one of TT’s draft picks, my guess is TT pushes MM to give JT a solid shot at starting OLB.
  • I was just imagining an interesting possible scenario for the Oakland Raiders considering they are rumored to have interest in both T.O. and Michael Vick. If they have the cap space (which they likely don’t after signing both Lechler and Asomouga) think about this for a moment: the Raiders could possibly field a starting offense next year with JaMarcus Russell as QB, Michael Vick as QB/RB/WR, Darren McFadden as RB and Percy Harvin and T.O. as WRs. Imagine trying to defend that crew?

Vonnie Holliday, Jason Taylor, Dom Capers reunion?

March 2, 2009

OK, I have no evidence for this – haven’t even read any rumors anywhere. Once again, I’m starting rumors. But Vonnie Holliday was just released by the Dolphins in a cap room move. Jason Taylor was also just released by the Skins. Let’s just pick them both up. Let’s not make sort-of offers and come up just short again. Let’s just call them up, sign them and have them both in GB tomorrow. A Capers-Taylor-Holliday reunion.

Just did some rather geekish reading to learn that a couple years ago, when Holliday was facing unrestricted free agency in Miami, it was Capers who was instrumental in bringing him back (not sure if he enticed with piano or guitar). Capers likes him, many a Packer fan still feels badly re how Holliday departed Green Bay and importantly, he is exactly the kind of character/football guy MM and TT like so much. To me, he’d be a great addition because he has valuable experience in Capers’ 3-4, would line up as a DE, and because he has been a captain recently – he is a defensive and locker room leader.

Throw Taylor in there for the hell of it and see what happens. Why not? Despite their age, I can say with certainty, having both would improve our defense instantly (and at least Holliday would come cheap).

Peter King nugget re Pack operations

March 2, 2009

Took this from Peter King’s MMQB over at cnnsi.com:

Weirdest thing I heard over the weekend: Pack gave their coaches the weekend off. They’ll be in today, and this week, to work on the free agents. I’m told that has meaning — that the Packers want to send the message that free agency spending these days is profligate, and they’ll get in when the Dan Snyders get out.

Interesting, but not shocking. While I too think the initial wave of free agent pick-ups is often characterized by ridiculous contracts players don’t really deserve, giving the coaches the weekend off is going one step too far in the other direction. In fact, Peter King notes that the Pack had scheduled a meeting with Canty for today – but I read somewhere else that it wasn’t scheduled sooner because TT wanted Canty to meet the Packers’ coaching staff (which we now know was not at work over the weekend). Perhaps if TT hadn’t given the coaches the weekend off, the Pack might have Chris Canty on board.

Packergeeks back – some FA thoughts

March 2, 2009

Sorry for the brief hiatus. I was on vacation the past week in Florida. Here is a round-up of my thoughts on free agency thus far:

  • Chiefs/Pioli being aggressive so far. Managed to acquire two quality players (Cassell, Vrabel) without giving up much because he knew that the Pats had little leverage with nearly $30 million in QB contracts tied up heading into next year.
  • Brian Dawkins might have been a nice player to add to our roster.
  • Colin Cole was not that great and I’m not crying for his loss. However, I remain concerned re our overall D-Line depth.
  • Too bad Chris Canty was snagged by the Giants. Sounds like we were serious about picking him up but once again, fell just short. Bigger concern for me here is the pattern of the Packers falling short when trying to pick up bigger-time free agents (Randy Moss, Tony Gonzalez, Chris Canty, others I’m sure). One quiet possible consequence of Favre’s departure may be a diminished interest among free agents in coming to Green Bay.
  • Too bad Bart Scott went to the NYJ.
  • Ray Lewis is still available – would he be worth pursuing to at least help us get this defense implemented for the next 2-3 years (and also, because he’s a veteran leader)?
  • Why isn’t Ted Thompson looking at Jim Leonhard? Leonhard won’t command a huge contract and he knows the 3-4 well – and he just seems like the kind of under-the-radar football guy TT seems to crave.

TT – keep an eye on the Ravens

February 18, 2009

I was just reading up on the recent release of Chris McAllister, the former Pro Bowl cornerback from Balt who has been mediocre to bad apparently his last couple seasons there after 8 mostly stellar seasons. Anyway, part of the reason for his release was cap space because Balt needs to figure out a way to re-sign the following unrestricted free agents:

  • Jason Brown, Center
  • Ray Lewis, ILB
  • Bart Scott, ILB
  • Terrell Suggs, OLB
  • Jim Leonhard, Safety

Not sure exactly what their cap situation looks like etc, but my guess is that at least one of these defensive players may not get re-signed (and I believe they only have until tomorrow to work something out…no?). Anyway, Lewis, Scott, Suggs and Leonhard would all be potentially valuable additions to the Packers.

Tony Gonzalez still wants out?

February 4, 2009

Read here from Yahoo Sports. Tony Gonzalez is still talking about leaving KC. While he isn’t getting younger, all he did this year since Packergeeks lobbied hard for a mid-season trade, is dominate the TE position and end up in the Pro Bowl. His stats this past year were like WR stats. Unreal. He can still play and while he may have lost some speed etc, I think he’ll always have that ability to create space for himself to catch the ball. He uses his body so well and has such good hands. At the very least for the next year or two, he would remain a guy defenses have to account for – pay special attention to.

I’m not sure, however, that the Packers would qualify for Gonzalez as a team with possible Super Bowl chances – which is what he’s apparently looking for. We could trade Poppinga and then tell KC that as hard as it would be for us, because we view him as the next Urlacher, we’d throw in Spencer Havner. See if they buy it…


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