16

January

Quick Thoughts on the Packers 2012 Free Agents

The Packers should use the franchise tag on TE Jermichael Finley.

I tried writing a post about the Packers loss to the Giants, but the tears in my eyes prevented me from finishing it.

Once I stopped crying, I decided to look ahead and give my two cents on what the Packers should do with their 2012 free agents. These are off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts so I reserve the right to change my mind later.

Please join me in discussing the future, anything to forget about what happened Sunday.

Jermichael Finley
Franchise him. Very few Packers fans like Finley at the moment, but it’s too soon to give up on a 24 year old with his physical skills. A one-year franchise tag allows the Packers to cut ties after 2012 if Finley fades.

Matt Flynn
Let him walk. It sounds so simple to demand the Packers franchise Flynn and trade him, but it’s not that easy. Do you really want to waste the tag on Flynn and possibly not get what you want in return while Finley (who is only 24 years old!) walks? Ted Thompson will only tag Flynn if he knows he has a Packers-friendly trade lined up.

Scott Wells
Resign. I don’t like making a multi-year commitment to a 31 year old, but you can’t always have a rebuilding mindset. Locking up Wells keeps Aaron Rodgers upright and allows Thompson to focus more on defense in the draft.

Ryan Grant
Let him walk. I suppose the market could be soft for Grant, but I’m guessing someone will want to pay him more than he’s worth. Grant had a nice run toward the end of the season, but the Packers will be better off using their resources elsewhere.

Jarrett Bush
Resign. Unless someone offers him a chance to start (and starter money), why not bring him back for a year? Thompson likes versatile players and maybe someone could teach him to play backup safety.

Howard Green
Let him walk. Green was a non-factor all season.

Erik Walden
Let him walk. Hopefully the Packers find an OLB in the draft so they can cut ties with Walden, both for his lackluster play and off-field issues.

Pat Lee
Let him walk. No explanation needed.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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51 Responses to “Quick Thoughts on the Packers 2012 Free Agents”

  1. Scott says:

    Agree with everything. The thing about Wells is that there is no viable replacement for him right now on the roster and you cannot assume a rookie can step in and develop that chemistry with the o-line and Rodgers. I think this is similar to the Cullen Jenkins argument from last year. The Packers put all their eggs in the Mike Neal basket and it killed us. No way the Packers do that with their center. Bring back Wells with a 3-year deal and draft a center to groom.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  2. Chad Lundberg says:

    I would only keep Jarret Bush if he can keep him for real cheap. This guy’s improved in coverage, but on his best day, he’ll give up a 100 yards and a few TD’s.

    He is great on special teams, so either cheap contract or let him walk period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Oppy says:

      He had his best day during the second half of last year’s super bowl.

      I don’t think he gave up a reception.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • steve c says:

        Finley needs to go, his inconsistancy is a major problem. Even at the 24 years old – his handeling of the ball shows the age of a 48 year old! Plus his skills at breaking tackles is average. Along with Grant – let him go – and get Forte!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. Chad Lundberg says:

    JERMICHAEL FINLEY: Keep Finley for one more year, make it clear that this is his last chance to get a long-term contract. He can fix the dropsies, but will he bring the same attitude towards that as James Jones? I think only the franchise tag can answer that.

    If Finly plays up to his potential, he’s right up with Graham and Gronkowski again. I think he’s worth the risk.

    AARON RODGERS: Look, I understand that the great quarterbacks win in the postseason, because that’s really what matters. But what exactly more was Rodgers supposed to do? 5-8 dropped passes would have given him above 60% completion, and that’s what they’re asked to do. It’s not like it’s impossible for the rest of the offense to be out of sync. Honestly, I can’t put any blame on Rodgers for this.

    CULLEN JENKINS: I know I’m in the minority here, but letting Jenkins walk isn’t all bad as it seems. The guy had 4 sacks in the first 3 games this year. He had 1.5 for the rest of the season. To me, that says the guy is OLD and ran out of gas, and that was while working with Jason Babin and Trent Cole.

    Still, I guess he was an upgrade over Neal, Wynn or Wilson. I’m just saying that I don’t think he would have “solved our problems up front”. Put it this way-Keeping Jenkins would have improved our sack total of 27 to around 30-31.

    A.J. HAWK: Am I the only person who’s thinking of possibly trading Hawk? Seriously, we’ve been overpaying Hawk ever since we drafted him. He’s not as productive as Bishop, and Bishop is paid less. Seriously, now here’s a gamble worth taking, unlike the one on Jenkins.

    Also, we deserve to see more out of this draft class than just Randall Cobb’s amazing return game. I wanted the Packers to trade up for Von Miller, and I’m more confident in saying than ever before. Get smith out there!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. Ron LC says:

    Thanks for helping me get right into the recovery and thinking of next year. If a moderate number of things happen in the off-season, the outlook for next year is going to be GREAT.

    Finley – Franchise him at TE pay, not WR like he and his agent want. One more year of trial might be what finally gets his head out of his butt. If not, trade him for what you can get.

    Matt Flynn – Gone – can’t franchise him no matter what. He cannot have a salary higher than AR even if it’s temporary. That would be stupid.

    Wells – keep him if you can. It may require incentives and an appeal to his loyalty. Peter Konz from Wisconsin is in the draft. Maybe available in the second round.

    Grant – he wants to stay in GB and is willing to negotiate. He’d be worth keeping at 2 to 3 mil.

    Bush – keep him – for ST’s if nothing else.

    Howard Green – disappeared this year. Is he still on the roster?

    Lee – he was so valuable as a KO returner this year – NOT! He had his shot it’s time to say goodbye.

    PRIORITY #1 – Fix the Dline (FA?)
    PRIORITY #2 – Get a Top Rated ROLB
    PRIORITY #3 – Get a very good Olineman (see Peter Konz UW Center/Guard)
    PRIORITY #4 – Dbackfield (FA and Draft) An improved rush will go a long way in helping coverage issues. Spend the off-season hitting the tackling dummies until they drop.
    PRIORITY #5 – Keep DD! His enthusiasm is irreplaceable and his loyalty is unmatched and deserving of reward.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  5. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    I was in a foul mood last night (shocking I know) and I went to dailynorseman.com just to see what that complete tool Christopher Gates had cooked up to celebrate the Packers loss. The title of the article was “Something happened on the way to the coronation”. You can just guess how many haters were out.

    Well, I engaged them respectfully (stupidly you may say – and you’d be right). And I made the statement:

    “GB will compete at this level for years. We only have three free agents of note and the 2nd youngest roster in the league, as well as a great GM, great HC and the best player in the league at QB. We’ll be fine.”

    To which they responded:

    “That’s what we thought after 2009. Things change quickly in the NFL. You’re in for a major rebuild”.

    I mean WHAT THE F###???? Everyone that’s not a hater knows GB will be fine long term. TT ensures that. Everyone that’s also not a Vikings homer knew that their window was all but closed in 09.

    How dumb can people be????????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

      Oh, and I agree with the article Adam. Franchise Finley. Sign Wells. Sign Bush if possible, but let Flynn/Lee and everyone else walk…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Adam Czech says:

        Bear,

        You should know better than to interact w/ drooling Vikings rubes.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

          I know…. I knew it wouldn’t make me feel any better, and I was in the mood to fight…

          But about 5 mins in, I decided that I was fighting fair and they were being themselves (idiots), and it wasn’t fun anymore.

          But it did make me feel better because while we did just lay a “giant” egg yesterday, at least we have a SB winning roster that is young, a good GM/HC and a franchise QB. Oh… and a stadium too.

          It’s tools like that that make me WISH the Vikes moved to LAlaland.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Pete Kliman says:

    Thanks, feels good to talk about the future, which is bright. Wells must come back. A center with durability ,experience and at the peak of his career is not easy to find.Remember, we have a young line which will improve ,but only with his leadership & calls. Only way we let him walk is if someone drastically over pays for him. WE NEED ANOTHER PASS RUSHER. So does everyone else, but some creativity might help us here. Move up the draft to get someone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Lundberg says:

      OLB, DE doesn’t matter. Just SOMEBODY who can get to the quarterback!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

        What about a left footed punter in the third round? Or a 1st Rd CB who needs boxing gloves on too keep him from PI? Or how about a “sure fire” LT drafted ahead of Barry Sanders? ;)

        Let’s keep it in perspective folks. Good players can come from anywhere, and TT is really good at finding value.

        We’re going to be better next year.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Steve Cheez says:

          Don’t forget Wolf’s first pick ever, the eminently forgettable T-Buck.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. chris says:

    go pack go

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Adam Czech says:

      I know we are depressed, but show a little more spirit:

      GO PACK GO!!!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Jim - Kbk says:

    A little off topic, sorry, but here’s a novel idea.

    Saturday was the 1st time I was able to watch the Niners. Was the most impressive display of defense I have seen in a long time. I don’t think there was a missed tackle all game. When they hit somebody, they wrapped him up, and the NO guy went down. Was refreshing to watch after enduring the past couple years of the Pack’s approach to tackling.(Newsflash Charlie, receivers these days are as big as you. You can’t just hit them and expect them to fall).

    I have to think this is carryover from the Singletary years. I don’t see Harbaugh as the root of these fundamentals. Go steal Mike from the Queens. Pay him whatever he asks. Not saying replace DC, just offer MS an influential position where he can teach / force fundamental defense on this team.

    Yes we need more talent on the line and ROLB, but we also need someone who can coach them up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • homerunsimpson says:

      i couldnt agree with you more on the 9ers D. packers defense was painful to watch all year. I wish we could have a defense that had some fire (and ability). or maybe a pass rush. or, possibly, dbs who didnt fall down every few steps. or maybe stopping a team on 3rd and long. or, not consistently giving up huge plays. or be able to make a tackle. anything like that would be nice

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Oppy says:

      You know,
      If Reggie McKenzie ends up offering Winston Moss the HC job over in Oakland, there’d be this huge, gaping void at ILB coach here in Green Bay…

      Only question- is Mike Singletary’s contract up? If not, the Packers would have to attempt to offer him the ol’ “Asst. Head Coach/ILB” title that Moss had just to slide him through the cracks, don’t know if the league would allow those types of shenanigans.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

        That job would go to Kevin Greene. Besides, very few teams have an ILB and OLB coach. It’s usually just LB coach.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Adam Czech says:

          Have you watched the Vikings tackling this season? Singletary didn’t help much. Also, there’s a lot of grumbling behind the scenes that Singletary is a kind of a nutjob.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Steve Cheez says:

            Being out here in Niner-land, I can certainly attest to the “nutjob” angle.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. cow42 says:

    “Do you really want to waste the tag on Flynn and possibly not get what you want in return while Finley (who is only 24 years old!) walks?” YES!!!!!

    “…a 24 year old with his physical skills.” EXCEPT FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT SKILLS OF CATCHING THE BALL AND BREAKING TACKLES!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Adam Czech says:

      24 years old. Plenty of time to improve.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • JimR_in_DC says:

        I sure hope he does improve. What I’ve seen this season made me yell a lot at my TV.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • steve c says:

          JimR_in_DC
          I sure hope he does improve. What I’ve seen this season made me yell a lot at my TV.
          Like or Dislike: 1  0

          – Finley needs to go, his inconsistancy is a major problem. Even at the 24 years old – his handeling of the ball shows the age of a 48 year old! Plus his skills at breaking tackles is average. Along with Grant – and get Forte!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Art Rosen says:

    Tough day for me today. Living in New Jersey with all the gloating Giant fans is too much. When I heard one ass say that Rodgers couldn’t hold Manning’s jock, I wanted to jump on the prick. Reading FB friends with their GGGGGMen! bullshit is tough to read. Oh,the humanity!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Lundberg says:

      All I can say is that they won’t be talking crap next year dude. Packers are scheduled to face the Giants again next season, and I’m sure the Pack are looking for a little payback. When they win the Super Bowl, NOBODY will be talking then!

      Just hang in there!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I’ll see you at next years’ packers – Giants tailgate!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jim - Kbk says:

      Living in New England isn’t much more fun. Patsies have a cakewalk to the SB this year, but that doesn’t stop the crowing.
      (1996 was the best year of my life)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Oppy says:

    Kinda off topic, but just got done watching a quick locker room snippet with Desmond Bishop.

    Listen to what Des says in this clip, between 30 and 40 seconds or so…

    http://www.packers.com/media-center/videos/Bishop-No-excuses-for-the-caliber-of-team/81cfa4c9-e0a4-4c01-b755-606be2925ccb

    Almost sounds like he may have blurted out something he shouldn’t have, and tried to cover his tracks.

    Is it possible that MM shakes up the staff that hard-core in the aftermath of this very poor season of defensive play??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Lundberg says:

      Interesting. Thanks for posting that, you caught something I wouldn’t have on my own time.

      Although I wouldn’t agree with McCarthy on firing Dom Capers (I’m assuming that’s who we’re talking about here) because still has has a lot of success with that defense.

      There’s a saying that no one player can make a team, but there’s a possibility that one LESS player can break it. If this is true, we had TWO players that cracked this team apart (Collins Jenkins).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Most likely, he’s thinking about all the rumored departures and expecting a different-looking coaching staff next year.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. [...] All Green Bay Packers with some Quick Thoughts on the Packers 2012 Free Agents. [...]

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  13. Big O says:

    About the same thing Rodgers said Sunday nite, if it happens get some coaches and players that are drooling hungry to WIN!!!!!!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Shavager says:

    Have to disagree with Chad, this defense was the weak link this year because of NO Jenkins–HE MADE the rest of the D-line better. He forced offenses to focus on him opening spots for Raji and Matthews to penetrate. Thompson should resign Finley now with his poor showing in last half of season still fresh in Finley’s mind. Didn’t see any reason to retain Green,Walden or Lee-Lee has great speed that could’ve been used in deep coverage but must lack ability since Packers rarely use him. Resign Wells, Grant–yep, Grant WAS the guy most of season, Starks has not played a full year yet while Grant has been rarely injured and avg. 1200 yards per season as starter. Packers have capable talent to replace Green and Walden, draft gives opportunity for better prospects. Too bad Flynn can’t be signed, letting him walk could be BIGGER mistake than losing Jenkins when GB could’ve resigned him cheap-”hometown discount” was what he was willing to give team.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. JimR_in_DC says:

    Cullen Jenkins 2011 stats:
    TACK SOLO AST SACK
    40 32 8 5.5

    I guess he would’ve helped, but he really didn’t tear things up this season. Plus, he’s already 30 so we would be stuck with a multi-year contract on a player that may be on the decline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. packdADDY says:

    DROP FINLEY. NO HANDS, NO HEART. PERIOD

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0