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

Packers DE Mike Neal Suspended

Packers DE Mike Neal

Packers DE Mike Neal has been suspended for the first four games of the season.

Packers DE Mike Neal has been suspended for the first four game of the season after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Neal has missed 25 games in his first two seasons with the Packers, and now will miss another four.

Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press Gazette, tweeted earlier today that the Packers have confirmed the suspension.

And now here’s the official statement from the NFL:

Here is the statement the NFL has released:

Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers has been suspended without pay for the team’s first four games of the 2012 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.  Neal will be eligible to return to the Packers’ active roster on the day after the team’s fourth regular-season game of the 2012 season. Neal is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Last week, Neal mysteriously deleted his twitter account. I guess now we know why…  -  Jersey Al

 

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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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