The Packers are letting the market dictate what Cole is worth rather than pushing ahead with a deal that might wind up being richer than what it should be. The risk is that they’re allowing other teams to come in and woo Cole away. It’s likely Cole’s agent, Neil Cornrich, won’t give the Packers a hometown discount given they had their chance to sign him before free agency started.
The Seattle interest could depend on whether the Seahawks sign free agent end Chris Canty. They’re expected to host him on a visit this weekend and if he signs, presumably they’d no longer have interest in Cole.
The Buccaneers have $60 million in cap room and if they really want to get someone they can afford to overspend. If the interest is as great as what the St. Petersburg Times reports, the Packers would have to swallow hard if they intend to get Cole to come back.
I agree that the Packers should not overpay for Cole, but with Cullen Jenkins coming off an injury, Justin Harrell being bust-tacular, and Johnny Jolly facing criminal charges, Cole could play an integral part in the defense. However, I would not classify him as a necessity, as the Packers could draft B.J. Raji in the draft.