As the Green Bay Packers get set for another offseason, a report surfaced saying the Packers could be a player in NFL free agency, which of course was met from Packers’ fans with a sigh and a slight roll of the eyes.
You see, Green Bay fans are used to these rumors. It seems like reports surface every year saying Ted Thompson is finally investing in free agency — yet it never happens.
So, despite what is being said and reported, I wouldn’t expect the Packers or Thompson’s philosophy to change.
It’s about drafting good players, developing them and signing them to long-term contracts. Yet, here is this from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
With a 👍🏼 from CEO Mark Murphy. https://t.co/2l9ZKRwRDr
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 27, 2017
Certainly, the Packers would like to keep Cook. Heck, Aaron Rodgers already has lobbied for him. So that would be no surprise. But Thompson, signing a big-money free agent, early in the process?
That would be. He hasn’t done that since 2006 and Ryan Pickett. Yes, he signed Julius Peppers, Charles Woodson and Cook last year. But all three of those players were released by their former clubs.
The Packers generally don’t sign un-restricted free agents early in the process. One reason is they cost a ton of money. And secondly, it can cost the team a shot at compensatory picks and since we all know Thompson hoards his picks like gold, it’s hard to envision him hurting his chances of getting more.
While the Packers will certainly have enough money to spend on free agents, around $37 million to be exact, they also have plenty to get done among their own players, which is where I expect their investment to go.
Cook will be a priority. But Nick Perry, who had 11 sacks this past season, should be also and won’t come cheap. T.J. Lang is another that should be kept. If Green Bay wants its O-line to continue dominating, Lang must be back in the fold.
Beyond that, Eddie Lacy is a free agent and so is Micah Hyde, who had three interceptions and nine passes defensed in the regular season, as well as a sack and interception in the playoff win over Dallas.
Julius Peppers, who was second on the team with 7.5 sacks, is also a free agent. So, there is plenty of work to do on the home front.
However, if the Packers do spend on a free agent, I would expect it at either cornerback, where Sam Shields may be released or at pass rusher, if Green Bay fails to keep Perry.
If Shields and say James Starks are released, the Packers would have nearly $50 million to spend. And while some of that should be saved for future deals with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Davante Adams, investing in a legit No.1 corner, wouldn’t be a bad idea.
It just seems more like wishful thinking than reality. But maybe, with time running out on his tenure, Thompson will look to make a bold move.
It’s definitely possible, but I for one, will believe it when I see it.