27

February

Thomas Hobbes’ Green Bay Packers Offseason Blueprint

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson
  1. Release LT Chad Clifton: The writing is on the wall.  Even Chad Clifton knew that it was unlikely that he would ever finish his 3 year and had most of the money guaranteed up front (which was helped by the cap-less season before the lockout).  Clifton has had issues staying healthy in the twilight of his career and this year was no different with Clifton being out for the majority of the season.  Added to that a $5.5 million salary in 2012, ascending player in Bryan Bulaga, 1st round draft choice Derek Sherrod and up and at least a serviceable backup in Marshall Newhouse and the Packers have set themselves well for life after Clifton.
  2. Renegotiate Charles Woodson and Donald Driver contracts:
    1. Charles Woodson: Woodson has undeniably lost a step and his high-risk high-reward style of play backfired a couple times last season.  Woodson currently leads the Packers roster with a salary of $11.5 million, some of which was a bonus for a NFL defensive player of the year award in 2009.  But what Woodson is still capable of is shutting down the new breed of tight end, like Jermichael Finley.  For instance, Woodson is still quick enough and physical enough to handle a Jimmy Graham, and I’m not sure who else on the defense could.  Unfortunately Woodson will turn 36 next season and at some point he’s going to have to realize that aging veterans start getting marginalized.  Hopefully Woodson doesn’t let his fiery attitude get in the way of business.
    2. Donald Driver: At 37, Driver has exceeded even the greatest expectations by still being in the NFL at all.  However, his production dropped drastically with the emergence of Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson and has Randall Cobb and James Jones breathing down his neck for more playing time.  What Driver has to his benefit is experience, he’s well versed in the offense and isn’t likely to miss an assignment or a read.  What hurts him is that he’s not player he used to be and he wouldn’t survive playing on special teams.  In my opinion Driver should be retained since consistency at wide receiver (even as the 5th wide receiver) outweighs any benefits a player has on special teams.  Furthermore, I’m not convinced that any free agent/undrafted rookie would be better than Driver.  Are Cobb and Jones better than Driver?  Probably.  Are Tori Gurely or Diondre Biorel better?  I doubt it.
  3. Let QB Matt Flynn, RB Ryan Grant and CB Pat Lee walk
    1. Matt Flynn: No chance of anything happening with Matt Flynn, for those who are hoping that Thompson franchises Flynn and then trades him away, the current franchise tag numbers for quarterbacks is looking to be somewhere in the ball park of $14-15 million and the Packers have around $7 million to play with right now, but keep in mind that some of that is going to have to go to resigning players and signing free agents.  Keep in mind other teams know that the Packers wouldn’t be able to keep Flynn for the year and unless there is a bidding war, the Packers might not get all that much more for him in a trade.
    2. Ryan Grant: of all players, running backs fare the worst as they age and Grant is about to hit the dreaded 30.  He’s a consistent player and still probably has some tread left on the tires, but teams find good running backs literally everywhere
    3. Pat Lee: For a 2nd round draft pick, Pat Lee has basically been a shadow; he’s not so bad that he’s been kicked off the team (though chances he’s near the bottom of every 53 man roster) and he’s never really been all that good to get noticed, save maybe filling in for Sam Shields during the Super Bowl.  At this point, Lee is a pretty good special teams player, but is injury prone and maybe more importantly mistake prone (such as his kickoff return for a safety or getting ejected both against the Lions).   He’s had time to develop and hasn’t really done anything either way, so time to give someone else a shot.
  4. Resign C Scott Wells, CB Jarrett Bush
    1. Scott Wells: Wells is probably the Packers priority resigning this offseason (now that Finley is out of the way); there really isn’t anyone on the roster capable of taking over at center and strangely the Packers don’t have anyone waiting in the wings to replace Wells either.  Wells is a little bit on the older side but was one of the more consistent linemen this year and seeing a 2-3 year deal somewhere in the upper-mid range for centers would be appropriate.  Wells on the other hand seems to think that he’s a top 5-10 center and I’m pretty sure the Packers think otherwise; will the Packers use the franchise tag?  My feeling is no, but Wells has a better chance to get tagged than any other player in my mind.
    2. Jarrett Bush: Oh Jarrett Bush, how did you get fans to finally love you?  Once maybe the most hated player on the roster, Bush has finally shown his true worth; yes, he’s a liability at cornerback and everyone cringes when he’s on the field, but he’s an ace special teamer and the Packers need everyone of those guys they can get their hands on with the current state of the squad.  I’m not really sure what sort of contract would be good for a pure special teams player, typically not much money is put in, but then again Bush did attract attention last time he hit free agency so the Packers might have to pay more to keep him.
  5. Resign NT Howard Green, OLB Erik Walden, if possible at the right price
    1. Howard Green: I still think Green has something left in the tank; don’t expect him to blow by blockers or sack the quarterback, but if he can still take on double teams and hold point, then he’s a serviceable backup nose tackle.  Especially with BJ Raji and Ryan Pickett moving between NT and DE, a good backup NT would help if the Packers decide to go with Raji and Pickett at DE on base packages.  Green however is getting up there in age (though DTs tend to have fairly long shelf lives) and he isn’t a playmaker, but it’s unlikely that the Packers would draft another NT high in the draft and no one on the team has the body type to be the backup NT.
    2. Erik Walden: I still think Walden is at least a decent backup, and should be paid as such.  Keep in mind that the Packers always need more players capable of playing special teams (especially with Donald Driver being a 4-5th wide receiver and not playing special teams) and having special teams players who can also step in when needed is useful.  Obviously the Packers shouldn’t overspend for him, but a 2-3 year deal around 2-3 million yearly isn’t a huge risk.
  6. Sign free agent Tommie Harris: Let’s be realistic here, Thompson isn’t going to go out and sign a Calais Campbell or a Mario Williams (not that I know where Williams would play anyways), but what about Tommie Harris?  Harris was one of the up and coming DTs playing for the Bears before falling off, so the Packers know all about him.  He obviously has the speed and skills to rush the passer, but also has enough strength to hold up against the run.  Aaron Rodgers has publically said that Harris is a great guy so I’m sure he’d fit in well in the locker room.  Best of all Harris has a year of experience as 3-4 DE at San Diego and probably could be signed for a relatively cheap price.
  7. Draft with the usual BPA approach: Come on, it’s Ted Thompson, were you expecting him to start emulating the Washington Redskins all of a sudden?
  8. Move Bryan Bulaga to LT: My feeling is that Bulaga is the safest bet at LT right now, and safe is what you want when it comes to LT.  Is Newhouse really that good to warrant Bulaga staying at RT?  It almost seems a little paradoxical that the Packers would be willing to move Daryn Colledge, a decent guard to left tackle (and we all know how that turned out) and then have a the entire line shift to compensate, but aren’t willing to move a tackle from one side to the other.
  9. Open competition for ILB and nickel corner:  My feeling is that DJ Smith has earned a legitimate chance to compete for one of the starting ILB positions; I don’t think he’ll win over Desmond Bishop or AJ Hawk, but Hawk had a pretty terrible season and needs to be pushed one way or the other and Smith gets more experience which will help him down the road.  As for nickel corner, Sam Shield also needs to be pushed, while he wasn’t any worse than any other player on the defense, he needs to prove to the Packers that 2010 wasn’t a fluke.

10. Start working on new contracts for OLB Clay Matthews III and QB Aaron Rodgers: You got to start somewhere and no team can afford to lose their franchise/Super Bowl champion/NFL MVP/discount double check quarterback or your star player on defense.  The quicker the Packers extend both Rodgers and Matthews III the better because they aren’t getting any cheaper.

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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57 Responses to “Thomas Hobbes’ Green Bay Packers Offseason Blueprint”

  1. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    1. Completely agreed.

    2a. Agreed. Woody costs too much for what he gives right now.

    2b. Sorry, but IMO it’s time to release Driver. I love him, but we have 2 young players waiting in the wings that very well could blow up. Cobb and Jones need more playing time too.

    3. You’re probably right – but I can dream about Flynn, right? ;)

    4a. I want Wells back too – but he’s stubborn, and this is his last chance at a payday. At 31, TT’s not going to break the bank for him. TT will either draft a C in rds 1-3 OR he’ll get an adequate FA. (gasp)

    4b. Agreed – pay Bush as a ST ace. Then move him to backup safety. Please?

    5. Agreed on Walden. Only resign Green after the draft if DT’s didn’t fall the way GB wanted. IMO 3 DL will be drafted by TT this year. It’s a good DL year (esp 3/4 DL). I’d bet 2 in the first 4 rounds.

    6. Sorry Mr. Hobbes, but Harris in an injury nightmare. His knees are shot, and I don’t want another old/injury prone DL or OLB on the team. Stay away. What about that guy from Seattle? Or a BAL/PIT backup in a trade? They’ve got them to spare…

    7. Agreed

    8. IMO Newhouse deserves another shot at LT. He’s young and improved throughout the year. He faced a murderer’s row of pass rushers last year. He’ll improve. He has the desire and all the measurables. Then you’ve got Sherrod, who’ll start the year on PUP – but he was a 1st rd pick for a reason. Leave Bulaga at RT. He’s a beast there.

    9. Amen brother. Amen.

    10. Didn’t I just restate Amen? Well, amen again.

    Great post thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Another possible player you could look at is Jason Jones, a DT with a DE body type with the Titans. I actually like him a lot better than Harris, but Jones rejected whatever offer the Titans gave in favor of testing free agency, so my guess is that he’s expecting a lot, and therefore won’t be signed by Thompson. When it comes to free agents and Ted Thompson, you can’t go with anyone who is even slightly a popular commodity, Red Bryant (I’m assuming that is the Seahawk you are referring to) probably is out of Thompson’s price range. As for Newhouse, the Packers are going to have to face Julius Pepper, Jared Allen, and the entire Lions D-line twice a year anyways, so get used to going through murder’s row yearly. I see no reason why Bulaga can’t be a beast at LT either and as Rodgers is right handed and concussions are an issue I think protecting the blind side is way more important.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

        Yeah – agreed. I don’t ‘expect’ any FA to sign even a medium sized contract with the team as long as TT is GM.

        I mean – most FA’s are busts and it does throw your salary cap out of whack. Plus, then your own players wonder why they’re not getting paid like other teams’ players… so jealousy sets in.

        BUT, on the relatively rare occasions when TT misses in the draft, we’re screwed. That’s why I’d like to see a mid level FA come in at ROLB and DL…. but I’m probably dreaming.

        Just not Tommie Harris… ;)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. PackersRS says:

    #teamBulagaatRT

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Haha, well if we’re arguing about where Bulaga should play, it probably means we have a good offense.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

      • PackersRS says:

        We have an excellent offense and an overall very good team. Flawed, but they all are.

        This sudden notion that this is a deeply flawed team and that bold decisions need to be made in order to be able to compete in 2012 is ludicrous, in my opinion, and it’s nice to see that well-thought authors like yourself agree with me.

        The Packers need to grow better every single offseason in order to stay competitive, don’t get me wrong, and I believe you’ve laid a good blueprint for it, but a contender isn’t built in one offseason.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Zack says:

    Mostly good… I agree with bearmeat on DD. Wells won’t get tagged because I think it would cost 9mil right? they’d give him a contract for what he’s asking before they’d do that so I’m 95% sure on that.

    Why do you think Walden will be back? Not only did he not play well he had character issues off the field which I think the packers have a strict tendency to not resign people with that sort of issue. That stuff coupled together with his poor play = he’s not coming back. special teams and back up role don’t outweigh the negative from him. Plus walden has the type of ability you can get from undrafted free agents, not much more.

    Agree with bulaga move under the circumstances of my last posts… He is a beast at RT so move him to LT if he can play near the level he has at RT, if not then don’t do it. Let him shine where he shines.

    Open competition is a great idea at ILB AND nickel corner. I don’t think it’s just been a bad year for Hawk, I think it’s been somewhere between a below average and mediocre CAREER for Hawk with this terrible season as a cherry on top of that pie. I hope DJ Smith takes his job.

    FA along with creative drafting are the answer to our issues on the DL but the way that those would would have to happen in order to have a big affect NEXT season don’t necessarily fit TT’s MO. It’s going to be fun to see how he reacts this off season.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I’m pretty sure they’d let Wells walk before giving him anything close to a franchise tag like contract, personally I think Wells is a good player the same way I think AJ Hawk is a good player, he’s never going to be a star, but you could do a lot worse that him. Now is AJ Hawk a top 5-10 ILB, hell no.
      As for Walden, I wouldn’t call it a character issue unless he’s guilty (that’s the American way after all), people do stupid shit and that doesn’t accurately reflect them, and as far as I can tell the Thanksgiving day thing was his only incident so far. But I agree that he might not be able to beat out a street free agent, but then if does get beat, cut him as his contract is going to be cheap anyways, at least this way the Packers have options.
      As for Bulaga, I’m not convinced that he would be a worse player at LT, he played LT in college so its not like he’s never played it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Zack says:

        Agreed on Wells. Here’s the order I would put it in from most likely to least likely from the organization’s perspective.

        1. A solid above average number
        2. Let him walk
        3. Top 5 center contract
        4. Franchise tag

        I can see your point on walden and when you offer the reasoning from that angle I’m on board with you.

        I responded to Bulaga under Ron’s post so I won’t repeat here.

        The only big issue I have with what you say is how did you come to the conclusion that AJ Hawk is a good player? I think that this issue has been beat into the ground so I’ll leave it alone and just say that we agree to disagree on this one… based on his career thus far you won’t convince me that he is anything more than below average at his norm and average at his best.

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        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          I’d probably swap 3 and 4, keep in mind franchising Wells give the Packers 1 more year to find a decent replacement, but if Wells got a top 5 center-type contract it’d probably be at least 4 years and I seriously doubt the Packers want to keep Wells at a increased price for that long.

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          • Zack says:

            The reason I put top 5 center contract before franchise tag on that list is because, and correct me if I’m wrong, don’t they do O-line tags as one category not a break down by position? I think that number is 10mil where as centers don’t make as much. I think the top 5 centers make an average of like 7.5mil. Again those numbers could be wrong so feel free to reem me on that but that was my logic when I wrote this. Either way both are a far away possibility and interchangeable as you can make a strong argument for either.

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            • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

              You are correct that all offensive line players are treated the same when it comes to franchise tags. My sentiment is that they could either pay Wells 10+ mil for one year under the tag while they find a replacement for him or they could pay him 7×4=28 million for a top 5 center contract, with probably more than 10 mil guaranteed.

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  4. Oppy says:

    Howard Green isn’t even stop gap at this point.. Let him go. We can sign an undrafted fat ass for league minimum and get as much production, with at least a hint of upside. Walden’s nose dive worries me. I don’t see any real reason to keep him over any other guy at the position. He’s a two trick pony, like the rest of the OLB’s outside of Matthews. We need to find that 3 trick pony- Rush, Run, Cover. Not saying we should ditch Walden, just saying I don’t see him as any type of priority. At all.

    There should always be open competition at nickleback. Always. Arguably, there should be open competition for every job on the roster, to a reasonable extent. For the record, during the season I said the Packers should have benched Shields and played Bush when Shields was clearly avoiding contact and not tackling. It would get Shields tackling in a hurry, I guarantee.

    Jarret Bush is the closest thing we have to replacing Charles Woodson on the roster. Yeah, I said that. No, he’s not a guy you want running down the field with a WR, but let’s be honest, neither is Woodson anymore. But Bush plays all Charles’ other responsibilities pretty darn well.. I’d love to see Bush playing around the LOS, attacking the ball carrier, working the short zones and flats, and blitzing. BTW, Bearmeat, he’s technically already been cross-trained at safety, it’s part of why he’s so valuable.

    I love Driver. But.. I don’t necessarily think that Gurley or Biorel are better than Driver right now. But that’s not the point. The point is, they need to play to develop, and there is enough talent there that they more than likely WILL be better than Driver if not already, within a year or two. Gurley isn’t going to wait another year. But if we sign him, he’ll be here for the next 10, god willing. Driver won’t be here for another 2. Let Driver go- or, at least, if you’re keeping Driver, cut a TE and get one of these young kids on the 53 as a 6th WR.

    All in all, I agree with what you’ve got here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Zack says:

      “Jarret Bush is the closest thing we have to replacing Charles Woodson on the roster.” – Oppy

      why would you imply that Bush could even come close to what Woodson can do? even now on the tail end of Woodson’s career, he’s still good. He’s lost step yeah, but he’s still clutch and came through in big ways this season (yeah he didn’t come through in the giants game but I’m talking about the whole season). Bush is a good back up and excellent on special teams but comparing him to woodson is very generous… Agree with everything else you said but you got a little carried away there.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Oppy says:

        The huge part of Wood’s game is his physicality, he’s almost a LB out there. That’s what Bush brings to the CB position. He’s a very good blitzer, he is a great tackler, extremely physical. He plays well enough in zones. He just can’t find the ball with his back turned. Not suggesting Bush is a INT hawk like Woodson at all.

        That’s what I mean. Charles makes a huge impact around the LOS, tackling, blitzing, stripping the ball, etc. and that’s what Bush can do.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      There aren’t that many “fat asses” in the world, just look at how high the Packers spent draft BJ Raji, or how Terrance Cody, who was like a millon pounds overweight at the senior bowl still managed to be drafted in the 2nd round by the Ravens, a team presumably that knows something about defense. Green is never going to have numbers that you see, he’ll never have sacks, tackles or qb hurries, his job is to eat up space, every time you see two linemen on him, he’s done his job. It’s like asking a cornerback to tackle, it’s great when they can do it but the majority of the time you’d rather have a corner that can cover than a corner that can sack the quarterback.

      As for Shields, I would say you would have had to bench Bush and let Shields back on for letting another receiver get behind him, because lets face it, as awesome of a special teams player Bush is, tracking the ball is not his forte.

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      • Oppy says:

        Plenty of fat asses, Thomas. Bj Raji isn’t just a fat Ass, neither is Cody. They are actually athletic for their build. Green isn’t much of talent, in my honest opinion, and certainly isn’t athletic. He’s a big body, but not much else. He had a pretty poor season, and there’s a reason he didn’t see too much PT this last year. I guess I’m just saying I’d rather see a young guy with upside take the roster spot, as opposed to Green who’s definitely on the decline. Not a huge contributer. Just huge.

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        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          I wasn’t arguing that Raji or Cody were fat asses, the same way I don’t think Green is one. Just because he’s a “big body” doesn’t mean he isn’t an athlete, if you check out profootball reference, he actually has a higher value in 2011 than he did in 2010.

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          • Oppy says:

            I will respectfully disagree with pfr in this case, then. I found Howard to be a drop off from 2010 based on what my eyes saw.

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  5. Ron LC says:

    Clifton will not play a full year again. Needs to drop salary or cut him.

    I DD and he’s the only Wr that played worth a shit in the playoff game. That said $5 million is a lot of “Cap” and they need it.

    Woodson – good luck getting his agent to agree. Cut him? Who do you have in mind to replace him? There were so many outstanding DB’s last season. On the other hand, Woodson is a team guy he he might just restructure if he is asked. Worth a try.

    Flynn, Grant, and Lee. Absolutely and thanks for not saying franchise Flynn.

    Resign Wells and Bush. Wells because the center position at GB is the QB of the line. EDS can’t do it and a rookie, even Konz would need to learn it. * A lot of Bear talk saying they will use their 18th pick on Konoz. Shit!

    Resiign Green and Walden? That is a joke correct?

    Harris couldn’t beat my Grandma, and I could be your Grandpa.

    BPA on hold. Need trumps BPA this year. Must reverse the 32 defense with the 2-4.

    Mathews and AR you bet.

    Good work Thomas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Ron LC says:

      And stop that Bulaga at LT stuff. He has settled in at RT and is playing at All-Pro level.

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      • Oppy says:

        Ron, I agree whole-hearedly.

        Thomas, when you mention the fact the Packers were willing to shuffle the line to try Colledge at LT, that’s because Colledge wasn’t that great at LG and there wasn’t any other option.

        Well, now, we have some options, and Bulaga is GREAT at RT. I don’t want to disturb the right side of the line for the next 12 years if we don’t have to..

        SITTON/BULAGA will become a part of Packers legend, and there will be more than once in an NFL Film where they will focus on this tandem.

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        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          What about BULAGA/LANG???? :D My point was that the last couple of years, the Packers had been playing musical chairs with the O-line, guards were playing tackle and tackles were playing guard and guards were even playing red zone D-line! Basically, there were so many line combinations that no one on the O-line was comfortable with the guys next to him, which defeats the whole purpose. Bulaga was drafted to be the left tackle of the future and I still think he could be. I’d rather have Bulaga play worse at left tackle and see Rodgers not get another concussion than have a fantastic right side.

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      • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

        What’s your reasoning that Bulaga wouldn’t play at an all pro level at LT?

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        • Zack says:

          I don’t know what Ron’s reasoning is and I already posted a similar post to what I’m about to post but I’ll say again because it’s an exact response to what you asked, the move from RT to LT is a big move. The foot work is very different, the way you proportion your weight, the direction you are blocking and the direction the defender is coming at you, the way you plant your feet and the muscle memory. I think those things are enough that they could potentially bring an all pro down to mediocrity. but again it’s very possible, especially considering he’s got experience at LT, that they don’t affect him negatively and he adjusts smoothly to LT. The reason I don’t think that’s the case is because if it were that easy for him I think they would have already moved him to LT when cliffy went down. They obviously experimented with ppl at LT, I think that they probably tried Bulaga there durring workouts and practices and he didn’t perform as well as he was at RT so they kept him where he was good… really think about it, these guys are professionals, do you think that you or me or anyone else on this board has come up with something that they didn’t consider already?

          If Rodgers would just switch from being right handed to left handed this wouldn’t be an issue at all… =P

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

          • Ron LC says:

            Couldn’t have said it better Zack.

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          • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

            Which would you pick, decent LT and lower risk of concussions for Rodgers vs. great run blocking right side and higher risk of concussions for Rodgers?

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            • Zack says:

              obviously I would protect Rodgers at any cost… It all banks on how much of an actual improvement he is at LT. Again I’m not saying that the move shouldn’t be made… I’m just saying that when people say keep him where he’s good they have a legitimate point. When people say to that argument, all a blocker has to do is block who’s in front of him they have a terrible misconception of the actual techiques and process and discipline involved in blocking. It should be recognized as a risky move and measured in regards to risk and reward and after a decision is made it should be closely monitored and not comitted to blindly if they do make the move. Don’t ruin a possible legendary player for a marginal improvement. If it’s a significant improvement then that’s worth it.

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            • Zack says:

              Plus another thing to consider is would you rather have a sure thing at RT and a weak LT or would you prefer for both positions to be a liability? I’m not saying that it would come to that but it most certainly could. In order to make a decision I would have to be hands on but my opinion as that’s not a possibility is that Sherrod is a decent LT and Bulaga is a great RT. Sherrod would be a decent RT but would Bulaga be a great LT? The answer is up in the air. A big part of Rodgers strength is his escapability and that is strongly influenced by not having his entire line collapse. He can make up for his LT failing way better than he can by both his LT and RT failing at the same time so keep your strengths where you get them. If you get too creative and try to fix it too much it becomes more like a patch work line as opposed to a solid structure. All things considered at this point I’m on the fence but I guess I lean slightly toward keeping Bulaga where he is.

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              • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

                In all honesty, stick your best guy at LT, simple as that. Could Newhouse/Sherrod be a better LT in the future? Possibly, but Newhouse needs a lot more experience and Sherrod is essentially a rookie again after breaking his leg. Is Bulaga the best LT right now? I would argue yes, Clifton isn’t going to be on the team and the Sherrod/Newhouse need more time. Until then stick your best guy at LT, worst to worst you can move Bulaga back to RT when Sherrod/Newhouse get better.

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              • Zack says:

                The final thing that I have to say about this subject is why do you think that they didn’t make the move when cliffy went down? There’s definitely a reason. I garauntee you it crossed their minds, I think he was drafted with LT in mind eventually. For that matter, why didn’t they make the move when Sherrod went down? What’s your reasoning? My thought is that he probably performed at a level that wasn’t too much of an improvement at LT. Not necessarily disagreeing with you, just curious at why you think they didn’t make the move already.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Well I guess we’ll see how much of a team player Woodson is at this point. Basically he was painted as a complete A-hole by the Raiders but managed to redeem himself as a Packer, but let’s see what happens when money is the issue.
      As for Green and Walden, yes resign them for low contracts, if the Packers find something better in the draft or free agency, then cut them loose, the contracts will be cheap anyways. This way you have options, and options are always good in the offseason.

      As for Harris, I’m pretty sure Harris would destroy me, you and your grandma without much trouble. Again, its another cheap free agent signing that if the Packers find something better later they can easily jettison without much of a hit.

      As for BPA, I hope you aren’t holding your breath on that one. Thompson was hired based on his ability to evaluate players and his ability to draft them, he isn’t going to change that mentality ever probably.

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      • Oppy says:

        OKay, sure, sign Howard and Walden on the cheap and let them fight it out with whatever talent we bring into camp, yeah, I’ll go along with that- you’re right, we can always cut bait. I just am not comfortable with the idea of saying “We’re going into the season with Howard and Walden.” But when you put it in these terms, yes; by all means, bring em into camp and let them fight it out with the competition

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        • Ron LC says:

          Walden was a liability at nay price in 2011. Green played so little in 2011, Raji was almost burned out by the end of the year.

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      • Kyle says:

        I agree with most of your points, except bringing in Tommie Harris. I think if they are going to bring in a FA on defense, someone like Cliff Avril or Ahmad Brooks would make more sense. I realize they would play OLB across from Matthews in our system, but that would allow GB to worry about other positions in the first (and perhaps second) rounds. That way, whoever they draft at OLB wouldn’t be expected to start and instead would provide depth to learn behind two great pass rushers. Imagine bringing in either Avril or Brooks and then drafting a guy like Derek Wolfe or Brandon Thompson in the first.

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  6. The Dude says:

    #8 Daryn College plays for Arizona. Where have you been?

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      This is indeed true, I was referring to the 2009 season when Colledge was still a Packer, my apologies for not making that more clear. As a present, here’s a link to a Arizona Cardinals fan forum about converting Colledge to LT http://forums.azcardinals.com/showthread.php?t=57908, I like how it takes them 30 posts for someone to actually watch a Packers game with Colledge playing tackle.

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      • Oppy says:

        It’s not even converting, really.

        Look at Packers Guards under TT. They’re all converted collegiate OT’s. Sort of tells you where the Packers priorities are on offense :)

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        • Oppy says:

          I think Sitton might be the only guy who played guard, but I’m not sure.

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          • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

            He started as a guard but was moved to right tackle and played the majority of his college career at right tackle

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  7. Kyle says:

    If they restructure the contract for Woodson from $11.562 mil down to say $8 or $9 mil and Driver from $5 mil to $3.5 that would free up an extra $4 mil. Green Bay could use that money to bring in someone like Cliff Avril who is not only younger than Tommie Harris, but also has better production. They could probably get Avril for even less than $4 mil, but that would add to their pass rush instantly. With that taken care of, they can take the best DL available. If they can manage that and then bring back everyone except Green and Walden, their defense would start the season in the top 10 again.

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    • Mojo says:

      Not a chance they get Avril at $4 mil a year. Detroit is thinking of franchising him at $10+. TT wouldn’t consider getting near that.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      If you were Charles Woodson, would you give up $3 mil? I can’t think of an incentive for Woodson to do that, and I doubt the Packers can think of one either. As for Avril, he’s never played 3-4 OLB in the NFL, so that’s be a pretty risk move in my mind. Maybe Avril could pull it off, maybe he ends up like Aaron Kampman, but either way the money it would take to get him in GB is far too much for the risk.

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      • Zack says:

        Ya Woodson does have the upper hand there. Perhaps the only leverage the packers have is if they said take a pay cut or we’ll cut you which isn’t really a good option for anyone involved.

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        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          Woodson probably to call that bet without much risk, everyone knows that the Packers wouldn’t be able to pull that off, let alone the huge cap hit incurred by cutting him. The only incentive I can think of that Woodson would want is to extend his contract, but I’m not sure the Packers would want to extend his contract, especially since he’s already lost a step

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          • Zack says:

            yeah I wasn’t saying that they would or should actually do that… I was just illustrating that that is the only way I think that they could possibly get any leverage on him.

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      • Oppy says:

        Just want to chime in that if you really look at Kampman’s attempted transition to OLB, it wasn’t as big of a failure as people made it out to be.

        Sure, he didn’t have the sacks, but he had decent numbers of hits and pressures (kinda like Clay this season) and the big knock on his pass coverage was that he “looked really awkward out there”, which, coincidentally, is entirely true. He -looked- like a fish out of water in coverage… But he wasn’t giving up plays in coverage, either.

        Kamp didn’t like it, no doubt about that, and yeah, he looked stiff and uncomfortable. But as far as his actual play? He did pretty good. Another year or two, and the -desire- to convert to OLB, and Aaron Kampman could have been a pretty darn good OLB, I think.

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        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          I seem to recall that Kampman was most effective when the coaches basically gave up and let him stick his hand in the ground and rush the passer, essentially ending up as a 4-3 DE again. Unfortunately, that tells everyone and their mother that you are going to rush the passer so it does take some of the confusion of the 3-4 defense out. Kampman is a good football player, just not a great 3-4 OLB

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  8. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor 12 says:

    I’ll keep the list short or to what is a possible issue IMO.
    2)Woodson…is the book your reading and you want to turn the page BUT you feel it nessessary to review the previous again and again because you sense your missing something or there are two pages stuck together leaving you befuddled.The next page doesn’t flow with the previous and yet you can’t SPEND too much time on it.
    4)Wells is/would be great to keep but again EDS may not be long term but he probably earned/showed enough for TT to give him a season and find the next one.
    6) FA,only if the player calls TT without the word “COLLECT” being used.
    8)Bulaga,need I remind all he only has 32″ arms but seriously,he’s a RT for a decade,don’t dilute whats solid.
    9)I thought camp was always a open competition except for a couple of no brainer spots.
    10)I have no doubt that TT knows this.

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  9. BubbaOne says:

    If I told you TT was going to bring in a soon to be 36 yr old CB who has lost some speed and pay him $11.5M this year you would think he’s lost his mind. I love all Charles Woodson has done for the org. but like Favre…it’s time to move on.

    Brandon Carr (one of the KC CB’s who shut our receivers down)and S Tyvon Branch could be signed for CW’s money. Besides them being 10 yrs younger they improve the talent at two positions.

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    • Ron LC says:

      Heard MM interviewed this am – “Woodson will stay where he is and not play safety. Happy with the turnover rate. Not happy with tackling And will fix it.”

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      • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

        At this point, he essentially is the nickel cornerback for all intents and purposes, and really I think the hesitation with moving Woodson to safety would be that he’d be further off the line, which is where he makes the most impact

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      • Zack says:

        Yeah I saw that interview too which lends itself to the thought that they have already made up their minds that Woodson will be back so the likelihood of them picking up Carr and Branch is not high at all. I think that he will be hard pressed to improve woodson’s tackling. Woodson has the ability to tackle… it’s more of a self preservation issue in my opinion. He is making a conscious decision to not go for tackles like he used to… not like Hawk where he doesn’t have the ability, too slow too indecisive and not strong enough. He was injurred in the superbowl and is on the wrong side of 30. Putting himself out there on tackling isn’t something he will do anymore at this age and the twilight of his career. It’s a measured philosophy that it’s much better to miss a few tackles and still be there to make the big game-changing interceptions than go 100% on collisions and get injurred and end his season. Imagine if Woodson were to get injurred at this point. You would have to imagine that it would end his career. The packers wouldn’t risk bringing him back at this point if he missed more than 2 or 3 games due to a major injury. I expect that if we see any change at all it will be more of a regression in this area and probably accross the board. It’s hard to find a DB still around in his 30′s let alone in his late 30′s.

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      • Zack says:

        I guess the point of saying all that is I would prefer for them to grab Carr and Branch and release Woodson because he isn’t a complete player anymore while Carr and Branch are but like you said the interview implies that Woodson will be back. Plus if you guys consider the process we would probably get into a bidding war for carr and branch considering the defensive issues accross the league in which they would be close to as overpaid as Hawk is. TT probably wouldn’t do this even if he could get them for market value but he definitely won’t over pay for them. He paid alot for woodson when woodson was a FA because woodson was one of a kind… probably the closest thing to a shut down corner since Deon Sanders. I don’t expect to see him making a habbit of going to FA.

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      Well for one, I’m pretty sure Carr and Branch are going to see a pretty healthy free agency, with Carr being a good cornerback and the shortage of good safeties in the draft, so that basically means Thompson will never sign either one of them. Also keep in mind, if you cut Woodson, you have a big hit on the salary cap, not entirely sure what his numbers look like after he got the new deal after winning DPOTY, but his base salary is huge, so presumably so is the cap hit

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      • BubbaOne says:

        The salary cap hit may not be as high as you think. TT likes to front load the guarantees. My rational on the signings is approx. $7M/yr for Carr (about what Tramon makes) and $4.5 to $5M/yr for Branch. I’m also assuming Collins is done so we also gain his cap #’s.

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        • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

          That’s probably true in terms of his initial contract with the Packers, but after he won defensive player of the year, the Packers raised his salary, and I’m not sure how much of an effect that has. My assumption is that raise was probably also very front loaded, but since that was only two years ago, there still might be a lot left to be paid.

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