If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it one-hundred times – Ted Thompson is one patient dude. He knows value and he has an uncanny ability of knowing what’s best for the unique franchise that is the Green Bay Packers.
Somehow, some way he has developed a kind of symbiosis and unfathomable understanding of what makes the franchise tick, what keeps the team competitive year-in and year-out. Of course, having Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback doesn’t hurt.
And Thompson knows how to work the system.
Consider this year’s free agent period – the Miami Dolphins jumped in right away, spent a whole gob of money on a select few players they felt would improve the entire franchise – players that would make them into instant winners. Yes, it’s the sexy thing to do, but the quick high many times leaves the buyer with sticker shock.
While this year’s free agent class won’t be objectively evaluated for months, we’ve got to step back, like Thompson, and view the big picture. If you noticed today’s signings (with the exception of Dashon Goldson), you will see contracts that are sure to benefit the Green Bay Packers in their negotiations with both Greg Jennings and Steven Jackson. It’s the scenario that Thompson has seen before. And it’s also a situation that tends to speed up the negotiations.
Take Wes Welker’s two year, $6 million per year deal and compare it to Mike Wallace’s – yes, there’s a big difference. Wes Welker’s not Mike Wallace, but his contract is more in line with the average and more in line with Jennings’ market value.
The Packers offered Jennings $10 million last year … given what’s transpiring across the league this free agency period, Jennings is now probably looking at $8 million per year – tops. The same goes with running back Steven Jackson, who is also looking to sign with Green Bay. Reggie Bush signed a four-year deal for $16 million and Rashard Mendenhall signed a 1-year, $2.5 million deal.
Jackson will probably now have to settle for around $3 million, maybe less.
That’s good news not only for the Packers franchise – if things work out – they could get two Pro Bowl players at a fraction of the cost that teams like the Dolphins are paying … again, it’s all about value.
Maybe Tom Brady was ticked because Welker signing was a “disgrace,” but that’s the way the system works. I guess Brady doesn’t seem to understand that.
Just ask Ted Thompson, Tom … he understands.