28

April

Tracking the Trades in the Green Bay Packers 2013 NFL Draft

Packers GM Ted Thompson made a total of four trades during the 2013 NFL Draft.

Packers GM Ted Thompson made a total of four trades during the 2013 NFL Draft.

With the 2013 NFL Draft now in the books, let’s take a look at what “Trader” Ted Thompson did with his eight original picks to turn them into eleven total selections. He made a total of four trades, three of which being “down” and the final one being a trade “up.” Overall, he gained eight picks for the price of five, netting three.

Below I’ve detailed each of the trades, as well as updated what the draft board looked like at that moment. Picks in bold are the ones that were added during the trade, while the struck-through selections were already made by that point.

Original Draft Picks:

  1. Round 1, 26 (26)
  2. Round 2, 25  (55)
  3. Round 3, 26 (88)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 26 (159)
  6. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  7. Round 6, 25 (193)
  8. Round 7, 26 (232)

Trade #1 (DOWN):

Gave the San Francisco 49ers No. 55 (Rd. 2) for Nos. 61 (Rd. 2) and 173 (Rd. 6).

  1. Round 1, 26 (26): Datone Jones, DE
  2. Round 2, 29  (61)
  3. Round 3, 26 (88)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 26 (159)
  6. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  7. Round 6, 5 (173)
  8. Round 6, 25 (193)
  9. Round 7, 26 (232)

Trade #2 (DOWN):

Gave the San Francisco 49ers No. 88 (Rd. 3) for Nos. 93 (Rd. 3) and 216 (Rd. 7).

  1. Round 1, 26 (26): Datone Jones, DE
  2. Round 2, 29  (61): Eddie Lacy, RB
  3. Round 3, 31 (93)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 26 (159)
  6. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  7. Round 6, 5 (173)
  8. Round 6, 25 (193)
  9. Round 7, 10 (216)
  10. Round 7, 26 (232)

Trade #3 (DOWN):

Gave the Miami Dolphins No. 93 (Rd. 3) for Nos. 109 (Rd. 4), 146 (Rd. 5), and 224 (Rd. 7).

  1. Round 1, 26 (26): Datone Jones, DE
  2. Round 2, 29  (61): Eddie Lacy, RB
  3. Round 4, 12 (109)
  4. Round 4, 25 (122)
  5. Round 5, 13 (146)
  6. Round 5, 26 (159)
  7. Round 5, 34 (167) [comp.]
  8. Round 6, 5 (173)
  9. Round 6, 25 (193)
  10. Round 7, 10 (216)
26

April

Trader Ted Strikes Again: Packers Trade Out of 3rd Round in NFL Draft

What would Ted do? - Ted Thompson

Trader Ted was in trade-down mode Friday night in the NFL draft.

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson traded out of the third round on Friday during the second night of the NFL draft.

Thompson initially traded the 88th overall pick to San Francisco for the 93rd pick and the 49ers’ seventh-round selection. Thompson then moved the 93rd pick to the Dolphins for their fourth-rounder (No. 109 overall) and Miami’s fifth- and seventh-round picks.

Confused? So am I. You are probably eating Fruity Pebbles and watching Saturday morning cartoons right now and would rather not have to think too hard about this kind of stuff. So, to make it easy for you, here is where the Packers will be picking on Saturday:

  • Round 4, pick 12, 109 overall
  • Round 4, pick 25, 122 overall
  • Round 5, pick 13, 146 overall
  • Round 5, pick 26, 159 overall
  • Round 5, pick 34, 167 overall
  • Round 6, pick 5, 173 overall
  • Round 6, pick 25, 193 overall
  • Round 7, pick 10, 216 overall
  • Round 7, pick 18, 226 overall
  • Round 7, pick 26, 232 overall

All of this wheeling and dealing happened after Thompson traded down in the second round — once again with NFC rival San Francisco, this time for an extra seventh-rounder — and selected Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. Packers fans were also still digesting the news of Aaron Rodgers’ five-year, $110 million contract extension.

There are still plenty of intriguing prospects left for the Packers to pick from on Saturday. With a load of extra picks in his pocket, it’s all but certain that Thompson will try and move up at least once on Saturday.

What did you think of Ted’s moves on Friday night? Who would you like to see the Packers draft on Saturday?

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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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21

March

NFL Free Agency and Training my Dog

Nnamdi Asomugha

Remember how free agent Nnamdi Asomugha was going to deliver the Lombardi Trophy to Philly?

For some reason, my dog acts like a crazed maniac whenever she’s on a leash.

Matilda is a near-perfect dog in any other setting, but when we put on her leash and walk her around the neighborhood, she goes nuts. Lunging at other dogs. Eating leaves and rocks. Chasing cars. She’s completely out of control.

My wife is working with Matilda to correct this behavior, which makes my wife a much better person than I am. I don’t have the patience to deal with a dog that treats bikers and pedestrians like the fake bunny rabbit on a pole at a greyhound track.

My attitude toward Matilda is kind of like the attitude most NFL fans have toward free agency. I don’t want to put the time and effort into re-training my dog. Most NFL fans don’t want their teams to put the time and effort into building through the draft.

I want Matilda to magically get over her leash craziness. NFL fans want their teams to magically get better by signing a bunch of free agents.

Check out the reaction to Miami not signing Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn. They’re getting trashed. How about the Dream Team moniker and the euphoria over the Eagles after their spending spree last season? People thought Philly would roll to a championship.

Signing a bunch of free agents doesn’t lead to a Super Bowl. There’s a small, but loud, segment of NFL fans and analysts that repeat this fact every offseason, but few people listen. I see this segment getting louder, but not larger. Why?

Are people not listening? Do they not care? Are most NFL fans just plain stupid? Is it impossible to re-train fans to favor draft and development over spend and splash?

Sabermetrics became mainstream in baseball. Advanced analytics keeps getting more popular in basketball. Fanbases in other sports embrace new and innovative ways to build a team. But most NFL fans would rather see their teams go the same old route of stocking up on high-priced free agents and other “name” players.

They’re like Matilda on a leash. They want off that leash so they can chase after every shiny object, whether it’s good for them or not.

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.
5

March

Packers Elect Not to Franchise Tag Free Agent QB Matt Flynn

The Packers decided against franchise-tagging Matt Flynn Monday.

Packers quarterback Matt Flynn will be free to sign with whichever team he so chooses this spring after the NFL’s franchise tag deadline passed Monday without GM Ted Thompson slapping the $14.4 million tender on the 27-year-old backup.

Instead of taking the risk of tagging Flynn and then trading him to a quarterback-needy team, the Packers have decided to play it safe and let Flynn become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. Depending on how a number of factors play out, the Packers could receive a third-round compensatory pick in next year’s draft for letting Flynn walk.

Early opinions following the re-signing of tight end Jermichael Finley to kickoff the NFL Combine were that the Packers would tag Flynn and find a trade partner, which potentially could have landed a first- or second-round pick in exchange. As the process wore on, however, it appeared less and less likely that the Packers would go down that route.

The Packers certainly did their due diligence to investigate whether the tag-and-trade route would benefit the franchise, but the risk of getting stuck with a $14.4 million backup outweighed the potential of acquiring a top pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers makes more than $6 million less than the quarterback franchise tender.

The Packers also would have been forced to make salary cap room to take on a $14.4 million salary, whether they had a handshake trade partner lined up or not. There were ways to accomplish that, but the Packers are obviously in no hurry to make decisions on veterans Chad Clifton and Donald Driver.

The uncertainity surrounding Peyton Manning also could have played a role, as teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins—leading candidates to sign Flynn in free agency—likely want a chance to survey whether signing Manning once he’s released on March 8 is a better route than the unproven Flynn.

Flynn has started two games over the last two seasons, with impressive performances in each laying the framework for the interest in Flynn this offseason.

On the road against the Patriots in 2010, Flynn threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a close loss. Then on New Year’s Day against the Lions this past season, Flynn broke franchise records for passing yards (480) and passing touchdowns (six). He has a career passer rating of 92.8.

20

January

Miami Dolphins Hire Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin To Be Next Head Coach

The Miami Dolphins have hired Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their next head coach.

According to both Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Miami Dolphins will hire Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their next head coach. Terms of his contract are reportedly already agreed upon and a press conference is slated for Saturday.

Philbin, who has held the role of offensive coordinator since 2007 in Green Bay, beat out Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Miami secondary coach and assistant head coach Todd Bowles for the position. All three men went through two rounds of interviews with GM Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross.

Some, including ESPN’s John Clayton, figured McCoy was the front runner after the final round of interviews were completed. Philbin was a favorite of Ross, and that might have trumped any hiring that Ireland wanted to make.

Philbin’s hiring completes what has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 27-year coaching veteran. While in the process of interviewing in both Kansas City and Miami, Philbin’s 21-year-old son Michael fell through the ice on the Fox River in Oshkosh and drowned. That tragedy also conincided with the Packers preparation for their Divisional Round game against the New York Giants, a contest in which the Packers lost 37-20 last Sunday. Philbin was present at the game and served in his full capacity despite Michael’s funeral being on the Friday before the game.

Now, Philbin will take over a franchise that has been through several coaches and quarterbacks over the better part of the last decade. The Dolphins finished 6-10 in 2011.

Philbin also becomes the first of what could be many Packers assistant coaches to move on from their time in Green Bay. It’s entirely possible that Philbin could take several assistants from Mike McCarthy’s staff with him to Miami, including quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. However, the Packers may also want to promote Clements to their offensive coordinator position that is now vacant with Philbin’s departure. Either way, buckle up—because we could see a good chunk of the Packers coaching staff in other locales next fall. The Oakland Raiders, who are now run by former Packers director of personnel Reggie McKenzie, have yet to make their own head coaching hire.

17

September

AllGreenBayPackers.com Poll: Was Week 1 the Death of NFL Defenses?

Clay Matthews is one of the players that can bring some defense back to the NFL.

The first week of the NFL season is usually ruled by defense. Not this year.

Quarterbacks and passing dominated opening weekend in 2011 and it’s going to be interesting to see if the trend continues throughout the season. Some stats:

  • Offenses racked up 7,842 passing yards in Week 1, the most in NFL history.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were five games where both teams QB’s threw for over 300 yards, also a record.
  • The Patriots-Dolphins game on Monday night was the first to have one QB throw for over 500 yards (Tom Brady) and the other throw for over 400 (Chad Henne).
  • All of these records were set despite the fact that Minnesota’s Donovan McNabb had just 39 yards through the air.

Thanks to rule changes that favor quarterbacks and wide receivers, tight ends that are getting bigger, stronger and faster, and offensive game plans designed to exploit mismatches, defenses have been on the ropes for a while now.

 

Did defense finally die in week one?

It was only one week so it’s far too early to make any judgement, but it worries me a little. I don’t want the NFL to turn into the Arena Football League where teams move the ball up and down the field at will.

I love defense. I’ll take a 20-17 game over a 45-38 game every time. When a quarterback throws for over 300 yards, I want it to mean something. I don’t want teams with mediocre quarterbacks throwing the ball 45 times per game because the rules make it more beneficial to do so.

Unfortunately, I think I’m in the minority. Along with those record passing numbers this weekend came a record number of television viewers. People want offense, and the NFL is giving it to them.

But do they really want this much offense? The Patriots-Dolphins game was almost unwatchable to me. Standout defensive plays in the Packers-Saints and Cowboys-Jets games seemed to come after strange play calls or stupid blunders from the quarterback, not necessarily from dominant defensive play. And did anyone see Vikings defenders try and fail to tackle Mike Tolbert all game? It was embarrassing.