If I Was The Green Bay Packers G.M.
As the Saints and “Who Dat” Nation are celebrating their first (and well deserved) Super Bowl victory, I am in full off-season mode. But as many Packers know (and complain about) it could be a long off-season for the Packers fans since GM Ted Thompson (who does a very good job at his job) generally doesn’t “do” too much until the draft.
So I figured I would do a piece on what I would do as the Packers GM/V.P. of Player Personnel. So I will do the players who I would resign (with-out the dollar amounts, because I suck at those), trade, cut and draft.
I understand that not everyone will agree with what I would do, but I am doing this under the current CBA situation (or lack there of).
Here I go…..
Ryan Pickett: He is a perfect nose tackle in Dom Capers system. He is also a player that has out played his contract and didn’t make any noise about wanting a new one. (Re-Sign)
Nick Collins: He has been to the Pro Bowl for two straight year and is a playmaker in the defensive backfield. He has also been very good about not letting his contract situation distract him on the field or off the field. Collins play alone says that he deserves a new deal. (Re-Sign)
Chad Clifton: Clifton is not the same player he once was, but when he is in, he does a very good job. He knows the system and is a player that is a leader in the locker room. It would only be a 1 year deal. (Re-Sign)
Mark Tauscher: Tauscher is another case of the Packers lack of depth at the offensive tackle position. When he started for the Packers, it seemed that the offense came together. It would also be a 1 year deal. (Re-Sign)
Tramon Williams: Tramon is a very good nickle-back and a player that can start for many teams int he NFL. He is to talented and has enough starts under his belt as a Packer (the past two seasons) to show that he is a capable starter. He is a restricted free agent, but I would tie him up long-term. (Re-Sign)
Johnny Jolly: Jolly may have been the Packers best and most consistent defensive linemen in 2009. He can play either left defensive end or nose tackle. With his legal issues, he should be a little easier to re-sign (and may face some type of NFL suspension). (Re-Sign)
Jason Spitz: Spitz is coming off back surgery and that makes him a question mark. When he is healthy he is a guy that can play either guard spot and center. He has the “nasty” that offensive line coaches love. It will be a 1 year deal to see if he can stay healthy for the season. (Tender)
Daryn Colledge: I struggled with this one. Colledge played well at times, but when he was bad, it was in the biggest games. He is a guard, not a tackle and that was made clear by the Minnesota Vikings. I will tender him and he would get a $900,000 raise. If he shows that he can improve from a poor 2009, then I would look into locking him up long-term. (Tender)
Will Blackmon: Blackmon is a really good punt returner and is a better dime back than Jarrett Bush. He is coming off a knee injury, but he has too much big play potential for me to let walk. A roster spot is not guaranteed, but I am not willing to give up on him. (Tender)
Derrick Martin: Martin was (and is) the best special teams player on the Packers. He can also be a solid back-up safety. He is a special teams demon and a player I place a high value on. (Re-Sign)
Aaron Kampman: Coming off a season ending ACL injury and a unproductive season, some may scratch their heads, but I have a bigger plan. The re-signing will be under the premise that I would deal Kampman to a team that he would be a better fit with (see what deal I made involving him on draft day in a few moments). (Re-Sign)
Atari Bigby: Bigby is a big hitter but to me those big hits blind some of his coverage abilities (or lack there of). He is a huge liability in coverage and gets burned far to often. He is also a player that can’t stay healthy. I feel I can upgrade the safety position through the draft and (yes) free agency. (Not Re-Signed)
Jarrett Bush: If I can’t trade him (and my first call would be to Tennessee), I would cut him. He is a poor cover corner and he is a better than average special team player. I KNOW I can upgrade his position. (Cut)
Brady Poppinga: Over paid for a 5th or 6th linebacker. Yes he plays a mean special teams, but not at his price tag. High motor and effort guy, but why pay him as much I he is getting paid to play (almost) solely on special teams. (Cut)
Other I would cut/release/not re-sign:
Joh Kuhn, Jeremy Kapinos, Patrick Williams, Josh Bell, Trevor Ford, Matt Giordano, Deshawn Wynn, Devin Frischknecht and Mike Montgomery.
Free Agent Signings:
Ryan Clark- Pittsburgh Steelers: Clark would be the strong safety the Packers (and Dom Capers) would love to have. He understands how to play in the 3-4 and is underrated. He does have a medical condition, but would be a major upgrade in the secondary for the Packers.
Larry Foote- Detroit Lions: Foote adds even more depth to the inside linebacker group and a player that has played in the same type of defense in Pittsburgh.
Adalius Thomas- New England: Here is a guy that can play almost any where in the front 7 (in the 3-4) and can still get to the passer. He is a guy that will be cut by the Patriots and will try to prove them wrong (about not playing him that much in 09′). He would be a really nice player opposite of Clay Matthews III.
Aaron Kampman to the Saints for Jammal Brown: A draft day deal that would benefit both teams. The world champs get a pass rusher that is tailor made for a 4-3 defense (as an end) and the Packers get a 2 time Pro Bowl left tackle that will be 30 years old in 2010. Brown will need a new deal so that would have to get done, but coming off an injury, he should be cheaper than people think.
2010 Draft: ( I project a 5th round comp pick for Colin Cole)
Round 1: Trade pick to Tampa Bay for their 2nd rounder (#35) 2010 4th rounder and a 2011 1st round pick)
Round 2 ( A ): Taylor Mays- SS- USC: I know he can’t cover, but Mays ability, work ethic, attitude and blood lines (his dad played for the Vikings) make him to good to pass up in early round 2. I think with Darren Perry’s help, Mays will become a better coverage guy and Dom Capers would put him in a position to use his strengths.
Round 2 ( B ): Perrish Cox- CB/KR- Oklahoma St.: Cox plays with a chip on his shoulder and is a playmaker. He is brash and over-confident (but what NFL corner isn’t) and would help in the return game as well as play nickle (or dime) back right away (depending on how good Al Harrises recovery is coming.
Round 3: Dexter McCluster-RB/WR/KR- Ole Miss: McCluster is a lot like Percy Harvin in the sense he can line-up any where. He can play RB, WR or even “Wild Pack” quarterback. He is lightning in a bottle and a playmaker.
Round 4 ( A ): Eric Norwood- OLB- South Carolina: Here is the big, strong guy that will line-up next to CM-III in the future. He is projected by some scouts to be a 3rd-4th rounder and to get him here is great value.
Round 4 ( B ): LeGarrette Blount- RB- Oregon: Blount is that tough, physical running back with surprising burst and speed. He slips due to character concerns, but here he provides very good value in round 4.
Round 5 ( A ): Ciron Black- OT- LSU: A big, mammoth guy that projects at right tackle on the NFL level. Again, here is value and a guy that coming into the season was a late first-early second rounder. Could be a steal here.
Round 5 ( B ): Akwasi Owusu-Ansah- CB/FS- Indiana (PA): A playmaker that has it all and is an outstanding return man. He is a ball hawk that may rise up draft boards after the combine but is coming off an injury. He has great size and speed and would be a welcome addition the the Packers secondary. I see him as a 5th CB, back up free safety and a returnman. He slides because of two reasons; he is coming off an injury and the level of competition he played at.
Round 6: O’Brien Schofield- OLB- Wisconsin: He tore his ACL at the Senior Bowl, but he was a standout at the Shrine game. This is a pick that will have value in a year or two and would provide depth then, opposed to 2010. He is a real go getter with up-side and make-up that I love.
Round 7: Mike Tepper- LT- California: He is a pretty good player that was hurt a lot while at Cal. In 2005 he was out with a broken right leg and then in 2008 he was out with a pectoral injury. He does a good job of sealing off the edge rushers, but will have trouble with powerful bull rushers. Another value pick.