Whether it’s today, whether it’s tomorrow or next week, the inevitability that Rodgers becomes the highest paid player in the National Football League is here. He will sign on the bottom line and the Packers will commit 8-10 years to the man at about $20-$25 million.
If that isn’t enough to get Ted Thompson to rethink the situation that’s in front of Rodgers, I don’t know what is.
That said, it’s become clear that the highest priority for the Packers’ brass is to figure out how best to bolster their most important positions on the team – the offensive line.
They can’t afford to sit around anymore waiting for guys like Derek Sherrod to heal up and they can’t afford to juggle guys on the line and to bring in undrafted free agents to cover. Ok, so right tackle Don Barclay played pretty well in the short-term at the end of last season, but when he entered the lineup, the Packers were in a world of hurt.
They can’t afford – not with the highest paid player under center – to allow that to happen again.
Do they experiment by moving right tackle Bryan Bulaga to the left side and keeping Barclay at right tackle? Maybe. But in the best interests of the team, the Packers have got to look to the draft for the best available line(men). They have got to utilize their draft and develop philosophy and use it well in this case.
While their running game is in a shambles, expending a first round selection at that position would be a waste. Eddie Lacy may be the sexy selection, but they need the type of player who’s going to be around for years to come and will contribute for years to come. Whether it’s a center or guard or tackle, it doesn’t matter. Versatility is important to Ted Thompson and we’re sure he’s got some linemen tagged for the part.
Whether it’s a Barrett Jones, David Quessenberry, Larry Warford, or Menelik Watson – it doesn’t matter – we’ll let Ted Thompson target the best player.
We just know that if the Packers are going to be competitive for years to come, if they are going to protect the highest paid player for years to come, they have to bring in the guys to do it.
And in the meantime, not only do they bolster the line to protect Rodgers, but they also develop the line that will help improve the running game.
In the end, the Packers have to draft at least one, if not a couple of offensive linemen to make it all happen.
And to keep Aaron Rodgers happy.