Category Archives: Scott Wells

16

March

Packers Center of Attention to Change: Wells Gone, Myers Signs With Houston

Scott Wells signs with the St. Louis Rams

Scott Wells signs with the St. Louis Rams

Packers Free Agent center Scott Wells is gone. His management company has announced that  Wells signed a contract today with the St. Louis Rams. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wells signed a four year deal at six million per year with 13 million guaranteed. The Packers are believed to have offered Wells 4.5 million per year.

Houston’s free agent center Chris Myers, rumored to be on the Packer’s radar (I didn’t particularly believe it), is also now off the market. Myers re-upped with the Texans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter is reporting that Myers contract with Houston is for 4 years at $25million, $14mil fully guaranteed.

Wells and Myers signed very similar contracts, which in the Packers’ opinion (and mine), is way too high for a center over 30 years old.

When reports came out about the Packers talking to Myers, I never really believed it was serious. Tthe Packers have shown they will resign their own free agents first (especially if getting a hometown discount). Going after Myers, similar in age and salary as Wells, made no sense. Most likely it was strictly a leverage play on Wells.

So where do the Packers look now? There are some other free agent centers on the market, but I find it unlikely they will give anyone a long term deal. Perhaps the logical thing to do would be to offer a 1-2 year deal to someone like 35 yr old Todd McClure, who had been the staring center for the Falcons for the last 12 years. That would allow then to then draft and develop a center from the upcoming NFL Draft.

Personally, I’m not holding my breath on the Packers signing a center. I think they will draft someone at the position and give the job to Evan Dietrich Smith at least for this season. Next man up!

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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16

March

Assessing the Packers’ Biggest Draft Needs

Ted Thompson Packers

Despite Tom Silverstein’s shocking news that the Packers are interested in former Miami Dolphins’ defensive end Kendall Langford, chances remain high that the Packers instead address their defensive deficiencies through the draft.

In doing so, the question becomes which position should the Packers address first; an outside linebacker to put opposite Clay Matthews or another body to build up a much-needed pass rush. Or what about center if Scott Wells finds a new home via free agency and the Packers come up empty-handed with veteran centers?

Regardless of need, Ted Thompson is likely to draft the best player available when the Packers get on the clock, but it’s worthwhile to play the game.

While the Packers having glaring holes both on the defensive line and at right outside linebacker, addressing the issues of the defensive line will also help to alleviate additional pressure placed on the outside linebacker, as well as the defensive back field.

With a steady pass rush in 2010, the Packers were able to mask their weakness at the right outside linebacker position all the way to winning Super Bowl XLV. When Cullen Jenkins walked out the door to become an Eagle and the pass rush struggled, there were just too many problems to disguise. By fixing one issue, namely the defensive line, the Packers would again be able to compensate for weaknesses elsewhere, if not able to find a solution via free agency or the draft.

The news of Mike Neal’s suspension earlier this week was another hit to the Packers’ defensive line situation. Supposed to be the justification for letting Cullen Jenkins walk for a somewhat affordable deal, Neal hasn’t lived up to the hype and is getting dangerously close to the bust label, or even the Justin Harrell 2.0 label. It appears that Neal is not the answer, and the doubt weighs enough that it’s time to act.

While Langford would be a good addition to the rotation on the line, he won’t offer much in terms of the pass rush, the Packers’ biggest downfall in 2011. He is a run-stopper first and foremost and not known for getting after the quarterback.

The Packers need to address the defensive line and get a lineman who can and will get to the quarterback. That’s not to say if the Packers have a chance at a top outside linebacker they should pass him up, but just that the addressing the issues on the defensive line is a more desperate need.

14

March

All you Need to Know About Day 1 of NFL Free Agency and the Green Bay Packers

Brandon Marshall

The Bears traded two third-round picks for WR Brandon Marshall.

It’s 11:30 p.m. central time on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. I’m going to read a few pages in my book and go to bed. By the time this publishes around 7 a.m. central time on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, a bunch of other stuff might have happened and the news contained in this post might feel like it’s 10 years old.

Welcome to the start of NFL free agency.

A lot went down on Tuesday when 532 NFL players hit the open market. Let’s take a look at the developments that concern the Green Bay Packers:

  • Packers center Scott Wells is as good as gone according Packer Report. I was a big advocate for bringing Wells back, even if it meant overspending a little. Maybe it’s me accepting the fact that Wells is probably leaving, but I started changing my mind a couple days ago. Is it wise to overspend for a 31-year-old center that’s undersized and isn’t that great of a run blocker? Probably not, especially when there’s extensions for Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews coming up in the near future. The Packers will miss Wells’s pass blocking. They’ll miss his command of the pre-snap calls just as much. But it’s not a devastating loss…I don’t think.
  • And who knows? Maybe the Packers are treating Wells like they treated Clifton a few years ago, letting him explore the market to see what sort of offers are out there and hoping for an opportunity to match.
  • There’s been some scuttle that the Packers might go after Houston center Chris Myers to replace Wells. I’ll believe it when I see it. Myers would be an upgrade over Wells, but replacing his own high-priced free agent with another high-priced free agent isn’t how Ted Thompson typically operates.
  • Packers DE Mike Neal has been suspended four games for using a performance enhancing substance. The injury-prone Neal gets a lot of heat from Packers fans and this won’t make it any better. I always had sympathy for Neal. Why should we get angry at a young player just because he gets hurt? But this changes things. There’s no excuse for taking PEDs. The best thing Neal can do is admit his mistake, take his punishment like a man, and try to come back and salvage his career.
13

March

Packers Making a Splash on First Day of Free Agency

The Ted Thompson StareWho would have thought you would be reading stories about the Green Bay Packers on this first day of NFL Free Agency? Yes, the Packers are making news today, but unfortunately, it’s not the type you want to hear.

No, Ted Thompson didn’t go against form and dip into the free agent waters on the first day for the big fish. But then again, you knew that, right? No, the news is all bad today for the Packers.

First, Scott Wells, the one Packers free agent that fans have been saying the team “had to sign” is going to be leaving Green Bay. This hasn’t been officially announced yet, but it had been widely reported from a variety of reliable sources, including Packer Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Let me first say that I never bought into the Scott Wells Pro Bowl scenario.  Wells does a lot of things well (no pun…), but he’s not outstanding at anything. He’s had two really good years where he hit his physical peak and his years of experience put him over the top from good player to very good player. But a Pro Bowl center? Not for my taste.

Wells made the most with what he had, but I hold one grudge against Scott Wells – he can’t throw a block downfield on a screen to save his life. As a freakishly deranged fan of the screen game, I can assure you I have watched enough tape of this that you can take my word for it. Not that this makes him a bad player. As I’ve already said, he’s a very good player. Do remember, however, that the Packers tried very hard to replace him with Jason Spitz a few years ago.

For my money, however, Scott Wells wasn’t worth it and I’m not surprised that Ted Thompson has gone this route. Wells is at the peak of his career right now, the worst time to give a 31year old player a career-high contract. Think about this; what is the likelihood that Wells is going to improve on last season? I would put it at 10% Instead, the odds would heavily favor a decline as the age numbers increase.

But even with all of that, I still find myself a bit sad at the news. Wells was a known quantity, and helped solidify the Packers pass protection calls when the’ Jason Spitz experiment failed and Wells got his starting job back. But we have to think big picture, Packers fans.

13

March

Report: Packers C Scott Wells Likely to Sign Elsewhere

Packers C Scott Wells

According to reports, Packers C Scott Wells is leaving Green Bay.

Packer Report is reporting that Packers free agent center Scott Wells will likely be leaving Green Bay today. The report also says that the Packers are looking at two centers in free agency.

Wells will be missed in pass protection. If the Packers do opt for the free agent route, hopefully they end up with a stronger run blocker.

First let me say that I have never been a huge fan of Scott Wells. I really don’t see him as a Pro Bowl center. He’s a guy who definitely made the most out of what he had and with experience, made himself valuable in the protection calls. He turned himself into a very good center in this league, but not great.

Now, with Wells not likely to get any better at age 31, the Packers will look for less expensive options. All season long I’ve felt that the Packers disinterest in talking contract extension with Wells was the proverbial handwriting on the wall.  It was hard to believe for most people and even for me at times, but alas, it seems to now be true.  - Jersey Al

We’ll have more as this story develops.

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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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12

March

Packers: Scott Wells “Appears Headed” to Free Agency

Scott Wells is likely to hit free agency, which opens Tuesday.

Barring any late change of heart or mind, Green Bay Packers center Scott Wells will get to the start of free agency without a new contract from the Packers.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Wells “appears headed for free agency barring a last-minute deal.” The sides are still far apart on what the value of Wells’ new contract should be.

In my opinion, the two sides are playing a game of chicken, with the Packers going low and Wells going high and waiting to see which side breaks first. My guess is that the Packers are going to have to give in some, but whether it’s enough to sign Wells, I don’t know. Wells remembers that the Packers gave up on him two years ago only to see him beat out Jason Spitz for the starting job and become one of the most valuable players on the offensive line.

It appears that Wells is wanting a contract that puts him on par with the top centers in the NFL, somewhere in the $7-8 million a year range. The Packers are almost certain not to give him that kind of money, especially considering Wells will be 32 at the end of 2012-13 season and is a touch undersized for the position.

Given that wide impasse in yearly negotiations, the Packers are likely to let Wells scour the open market. Once there, it’s possible Wells will find out a harsher truth about his real value and the Packers will be able to negotiate a more cap-friendly deal for the veteran center.

GM Ted Thompson has seen this same scenario unfold with left tackle Chad Clifton and receiver James Jones, both of which got to free agency but re-signed with the Packers once they got a better grasp at what free agency valued them at.

Clifton flirted with the Washington Redskins back in 2010 but shortly returned on a three-year deal with the Packers. Jones was widely assumed to be finding a team that would make him a more targeted receiver last offseason but found no satisfying offers. He also returned on a three-year deal.

Despite that fact, Wells still has leverage in the talks because he’s coming off a Pro Bowl season and back-to-back years when many considered him one of the NFL’s top centers.

8

March

No Worries about Packers Running Backs

Brandon Saine

Packers RB Brandon Saine

Packers running back Ryan Grant is set to hit the open market and, in my opinion, likely won’t return to Green Bay. Once Grant signs elsewhere, get ready for a segment of Packers fans to start clamoring for Ted Thompson to sign or draft Grant’s replacement.

If a RB high on Thompson’s draft board is out there, he very well could draft him, but don’t expect Thompson to reach for a RB based on a perceived need. And if you’re holding your breath that Thompson will sign a name free agent RB or trade for one, exhale now. If a RB comes to the Packers from a different team, it’ll be a guy that nobody has heard of, like Grant was.

Don’t be surprised if Thompson rolls with the RBs currently on the roster. If he chooses that route, it shouldn’t worry Packers fans at all.

James Starks had a disappointing and injury-filled 2011, but he showed he had the talent to be a competent every-down back if he can stay on the field. Hopefully a full offseason builds Starks’s endurance and makes him a stronger player. It’d be nice if he learned to be a little more decisive, too.

Brandon Saine’s main job was catching swing/screen passes, building a head of steam, and plowing forward after initial contact. The undrafted rookie seems versatile and able to do a variety of things out of the backfield, sort of like Grant. We know way too little about Saine to declare him anything but a longshot, but with some seasoning in pass protection, I could see him as a third-down back.

Alex Green blew out his knee halfway through the season and likely will start slowly in 2012, maybe even on the physically unable to perform list. Before the injury, Green didn’t get many opportunities. The Packers seemed to envision Green as the type of all-around back they target: Someone that won’t blow you away, but is able to do everything you ask him to do at a mostly competent level. Green will be a wild card in 2012. If healthy, he should improve later in the season.

By now, we all know what we’re getting with John Kuhn. He blocks, he catches, and every now and then, he plows into the end zone. It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers stick TEs Tom Crabtree or D.J.Williams in the backfield as a fullback at all this season.