Once upon a time, Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson dipped into the waters of free agency and emerged with big fish in the form of Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett. What’s that you say? No way Thompson did that? Well, yes, he did.
People do not tend to remember the 2006 season, especially given it followed a terrible 4-12 2005, but it is a reminder that Ted Thompson knows that sometimes you just have to make a move.
Teddy went out of his comfort zone and got 2 players that have had a huge impact on the Packers. Woodson was a mainstay with potential Hall of Fame credentials who had 38 interceptions for 9 touchdowns in seven years with the Packers. While Pickett may not be remembered as fondly for his impact, he very rarely missed a game in eight years and has been very stout against the run.
So why would anyone surmise that Thompson may reach out of his comfort zone again?
Well, the defense is horrendous and missing playmakers. Now I know you will say, “David, it’s been terrible and he hasn’t tried anything.”
While I agree, Thompson had to at least stick to his guns and try and see if his guys would pan out. Unfortunately, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian never turned into the second coming of Nick Collins, whom the Packers have never been able to replace (and perhaps more than coincidentally the defense has never been as good). He has tried, it is just not working, and I think he knows it.
There are actually players available at safety at the moment who have the talent that would have an immediate impact. Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward are two who immediately come to mind. After playing for the Bills and Browns, do you not think either would love a shot at a title?
All Ted has to do is open his checkbook and say, “Aaron Rodgers is on my team,” and they will most likely sprint to the dotted line. There is not a good defensive tackle fit, though I would love to see the Packers steal Henry Melton from the Chicago Bears, but I just do not see that happening.
In my opinion, I think BJ Raji ends up returning.
Do I think Thompson just unloads in free agency?
no. But I can see him, like in 2006, realizing his defense needs impact players and understands that they are not going to come through the draft in 2014.
What do you think or hope Thompson will do this year?
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