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Offline play2win  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 5:26:27 AM(UTC)
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I'm just zipping through some stuff on Twitter, saw a comment from Osi Umenyiora saying the Falcons are the most talented team he has been on. It got me thinking about what we do to make our team better, and I wonder whether we hurt ourselves more than help ourselves with such a strong policy of staying away from Free Agents?

This is not a bash Ted Thompson thread. That is not the intent.

That is one hell of a lot of talent they have amassed there in ATL. Same with BAL, and SF. Proven talent at that. I look at how we've been mentioned as possible destinations in all the chatter and realize we were pretty much just played by most players looking for new homes to get better deals.

Are we not even a consideration to some players who could really help us?

Personally, I think a team's roster is best developed by adding great young talent via the draft, with some veterans added at key positions to help show some of the younger guys the way. A balance if you will.

Somehow, I think we've lost that balance. We've swung so far to the other side of FA where we don't add top talent, that many players available probably don't look at Green Bay as an attractive alternative destination. For instance, remember the Marshawn Lynch signing in SEA. I know Woodson really wanted GB to get him. Granted, we won the SB that year. However, we've been looking for that punishing RB element ever since, while Lynch has gone onto 1204 yds in 2011, and 1590 yds in 2012. How differently would our team have looked if we had Lynch, and used that 2011 R3 on a position other than RB Alex Green?

Would we have run the table in 2011 by adding Lynch in 2010 along with a top DL FA in 2011 or a good DL with the R3?

There is indeed a method to Thompson's approach, as both FA and draft & develop register around a 50% success rate from what I read recently (sorry, can't recall where). Maybe Thompson's method will prove best. Then again... I feel like we really missed out in capitalizing on how hot we were 2011 by failing to add a powerful pass rusher or two. I believe that could have taken us over the top. And, we were missing the very same thing in 2012, while waiting and hoping for draftees with one or two years experience, or none at all, to produce at a high level. Meanwhile, we lose out on opportunities with a potent offense and Rodgers poised to deliver.

Our recent Brad Jones signing seemed a bit frivolous to me, as his play was decent, and there is a possibility he will improve, but he signed for more than some top talents around the league at other positions of great need to the Packers. Those dollars that Thompson doesn't wish to waste on FAs, well, there is a strong possibility they have been wasted in other areas by wanting to keep his own, if some of this "potential" is not realized.

I'm curious to know your thoughts, as it seems Green Bay is losing some of it's lustre as a possible destination for top FA talent, especially being as devoid of top talent as we are at so many positions: S, DE, LB, LT, C, RB, TE. In listing those, I'm merely talking about how our depth or lack thereof may be perceived by others around the league.

So, what do you think?
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Online buckeyepackfan  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 5:53:58 AM(UTC)
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Ted is not going to overpay for anyone, as far as Lynch goes, would have been great to get him, from what I remember Seattle contacted Buffalo with 11(eleven) offers before Buffalo let Lynch go. I don't have a link, but remember the guys on Sunday night Football talking about it.

Ted has pretty much shown he is not going to get into a bidding war with anyone, let alone make multiple offers to a team for a player.

Injuries hurt The Packers more than anyone wants to admit last year, the only good thing to come out of it was that many of the rookies and 1st year guys got valuable playing time, some when they really weren't ready.

That is only going to make them better this year.

Always go back to Vegas for the real story, they make money for a reason. The Packers are still one of the prohibitive favorites this year, so it probably isn't as bad as many think.

JMHO
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Offline texaspackerbacker  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 5:55:37 AM(UTC)
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I hardly think Osi Umenyora qualifies as a great judge of talent. Players getting or wanting to get a big paycheck see talent as a lot of other players getting a big paycheck.

Yeah, in hindsight Lynch might have made a difference, but he could just as well have been a high price bust, and Starks or some other Packer RB could have had a break out year.

I suspect, not having benefit of hindsight, Thompson weighs the alternatives and if there is no clear bargain in sight, he goes with the cheapest. And the record has been pretty good. I fault him more for the money he has spent than the money he has not spent - Hawks, Brad Jones, Crosby, to name a few.
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Offline TheKanataThrilla  
#4 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:12:24 AM(UTC)
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I remember when the Eagles amassed a whole bunch of talent. Big Grin
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Zero2Cool on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:36:08 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: TheKanataThrilla Go to Quoted Post
I remember when the Eagles amassed a whole bunch of talent. Big Grin


Yep.

Now there about three or four of those Dream Teams out there. A lot of proving for them to do. Pressure is on, big time.
Offline Zero2Cool  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:36:16 AM(UTC)
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in the last 50 years, how many teams that were the most "talented" won it all? I'm willing to bet less than 20%
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Offline play2win  
#7 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:51:14 AM(UTC)
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The ones that really come to mind are some of the Jimmy Johnson DAL teams, the Bill Walsh SF teams, the Chuck Knoll PIT teams, the Holmgren Packers, maybe a couple of those Patriot teams, Giants teams.

Ted Thompson landing both Woodson and Pickett in 2006 were huge for our team. None really since. I'm just wondering if this tact is turning some players away from us? With Woodson, he did wait him out till just before TC I think... and HE didn't want to come here.
Offline Zero2Cool  
#8 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 7:30:15 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
The ones that really come to mind are some of the Jimmy Johnson DAL teams, the Bill Walsh SF teams, the Chuck Knoll PIT teams, the Holmgren Packers, maybe a couple of those Patriot teams, Giants teams.

Ted Thompson landing both Woodson and Pickett in 2006 were huge for our team. None really since. I'm just wondering if this tact is turning some players away from us? With Woodson, he did wait him out till just before TC I think... and HE didn't want to come here.


Why don't you count players like Sam Shields or Tramon Williams?
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Offline Pack93z  
#9 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:00:49 AM(UTC)
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Just thinking back to the last couple of SB champs.. and cannot think of a single high profile Veteran Unrestricted Free Agent that was signed that spearheaded them to the title.

Last season.. Boldin had been there a couple years off a trade. Birk did I believe ink a FA deal a few years prior.

Giants - Canty comes to mind.. but past that I can't think of one impact FA.

Packers.. Woodson, Pickett but that has been discussed. Walden was a UFA.


I might have to comb through the last say five years if I find the time to see if I am missing something.. but I think more of it is drafted and growing your own.. and augmenting the roster with depth that fills needs. But sitting on the front line and signing a splashy expensive UFA... can't say there have been many.

Saints might have been the last real blended team with any number of UFA.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline play2win  
#10 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:11:32 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
Why don't you count players like Sam Shields or Tramon Williams?


I'm not following you. Shields just got slapped with a 2nd Round RFA tender. He was arrested for marijuana possession and killed his draft chances, signed as a UFA in 2010.

2006 Williams signed with Houston as an UFA, was released, then signed with GB. Those are hardly top talent FA signings at those times.

Have they worked out well? Absolutely. Thompson rolled the dice and won with both players. However, both of those guys were just happy to find a team to play with. My point is some of the FAs that are less of a risk because they are known quantities, those top players at their positions. It appears they don't want to come here. They include us in their schedules, mostly to drive their price higher, but they don't seem truly interested in coming to GB.

And, of course, Thompson doesn't give a whole lot of chase. Not a slam, it is just his way. But, is this a detriment?
Offline Pack93z  
#11 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:23:44 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
I'm not following you. Shields just got slapped with a 2nd Round RFA tender. He was arrested for marijuana possession and killed his draft chances, signed as a UFA in 2010.

2006 Williams signed with Houston as an UFA, was released, then signed with GB. Those are hardly top talent FA signings at those times.

Have they worked out well? Absolutely. Thompson rolled the dice and won with both players. However, both of those guys were just happy to find a team to play with. My point is some of the FAs that are less of a risk because they are known quantities, those top players at their positions. It appears they don't want to come here. They include us in their schedules, mostly to drive their price higher, but they don't seem truly interested in coming to GB.

And, of course, Thompson doesn't give a whole lot of chase. Not a slam, it is just his way. But, is this a detriment?


To me.. it is the accumulation of those types of moves that really good teams make, keeping their salary caps in check and providing a deep and talented team.

If anything, the Packers drafts have provided good players, but has been a bit light on the home run hits. Matthews and Rodgers.. home runs. Jennings.. home run. Raji looked like he could have been one.. but consistency seems to escape him. There are more.. but the point is either we haven't gotten lucky enough or that when drafting we shade towards the players we think have a better chance of not busting out and contributing then taking larger risks with guys that might have a higher ceiling but also a bust factor.

We also have had some poor luck in terms of injuries.. Example is losing Collins at his prime. Justin Harrell failing to bounce back and reach anything close to his potential. Bulaga and a developing player like Quarless and Sherrod sustaining drastic injuries. Those are some rather large hits to the core of this team.

But I think it ultra wise to comb through talent to find guys that fit and come in with a chance to develop and contribute. There is a reason we attract so many undrafted players after each draft.. because Ted and Co. have no qualms of adding talent that might need time to develop.

Again.. this NFL season is only a few weeks old.. I am confident as the season and rosters take shape we will add not only youth but a few well placed Veteran Free Agents to form a deep and talented roster.

I think more falls on the coaches to utilize that talent more effectively this season than last.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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Offline DoddPower  
#12 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:30:15 AM(UTC)
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Marshawn Lynch would have been great, but that's been covered over and over. Seattle had a higher pick to give up. Additionally, in what position would the Packers be salary cap wise right now even if they would have gotten Lynch? He is set to make $8.5 million this season, $7 the next, and $9 the next (http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/marshawn-lynch/). I believe he only had one year left when they traded for him. It was definitely a risky trade in many regards that just happened to work out. Having a salary like that on the books would no doubt complicate things otherwise on the Packers roster. Additionally, his stats have been great, but it's a completely different team and system. Obviously he would be an upgrade in talent, but it's very unlikely he would have the same stats on the Packers roster. Again, the bigger problem comes down to the emphasis on the run game and balance, as the Packers were having some success late in the season when they actually ran. It would take a lot of convincing for me to believe Lynch would be worth almost $9 million/year given all the other players that need resigning.

Trades and player acquisitions just aren't as simple as they appear on the surface to us fans. There's so much that goes into the transactions, and a lot of the considerations are 2, 3, or 4 years down the line. I'm sure Ted Thompson would love to sign many other players. However, he has a budget to work with that is well studied and thought out beforehand, and he can't/won't go beyond that; and he shouldn't.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#13 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:30:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: play2win Go to Quoted Post
I'm not following you. Shields just got slapped with a 2nd Round RFA tender. He was arrested for marijuana possession and killed his draft chances, signed as a UFA in 2010.

2006 Williams signed with Houston as an UFA, was released, then signed with GB. Those are hardly top talent FA signings at those times.

Have they worked out well? Absolutely. Thompson rolled the dice and won with both players. However, both of those guys were just happy to find a team to play with. My point is some of the FAs that are less of a risk because they are known quantities, those top players at their positions. It appears they don't want to come here. They include us in their schedules, mostly to drive their price higher, but they don't seem truly interested in coming to GB.

And, of course, Thompson doesn't give a whole lot of chase. Not a slam, it is just his way. But, is this a detriment?


You pine for free agent signings, but yet the free agent signings that have worked out well for the Packers you ignore. Have you ever even looked at how many free agent signings the Packers have on their roster? Check it out, - link.

Oh wait, that doesn't matter because they weren't BIG NAME OVER PRICED players that their own team no longer wanted. My mistake, I'll step down ... carry on.
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DoddPower on 3/29/2013(UTC), earthquake on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline warhawk  
#14 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:43:41 AM(UTC)
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I look at teams like the Bears that have made some pretty big FA moves to elevate them above the Packers and it's not working. They gave up several draft picks along the way ultimately not giving them fresh talent to develop.

They got old quick on the defensive side of the ball and also sacrificed quality depth having to pay these players they brought in.

I remember back in '05 thinking "we're in trouble". The quality players we had on the roster were getting old and we had no infusion of young and upcoming talent because Sherman totally sucked in the draft.

It would be nice if we could keep some of the better young players on the field instead of leading the league in missed games by starters due to injury. The thing I see as far more the problem than a FA here or there taking us to the SB.

"The train is leaving the station."
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Pack93z on 3/29/2013(UTC)
Offline play2win  
#15 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 8:44:54 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Pack93z Go to Quoted Post
Just thinking back to the last couple of SB champs.. and cannot think of a single high profile Veteran Unrestricted Free Agent that was signed that spearheaded them to the title.

Last season.. Boldin had been there a couple years off a trade. Birk did I believe ink a FA deal a few years prior.

Giants - Canty comes to mind.. but past that I can't think of one impact FA.

Packers.. Woodson, Pickett but that has been discussed. Walden was a UFA.


I might have to comb through the last say five years if I find the time to see if I am missing something.. but I think more of it is drafted and growing your own.. and augmenting the roster with depth that fills needs. But sitting on the front line and signing a splashy expensive UFA... can't say there have been many.

Saints might have been the last real blended team with any number of UFA.


Good call Pack93z!

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