This loss is a bit of a tough one – Evan Dietrich-Smith has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a four-year contract worth up to $14.25 million – a hefty contract, but one that wasn’t doable by the Green Bay Packers.
So where to the Packers go from here?
We have been told for a while that J.C. Tretter is an option, but we are all definitely worried given his injury. Can Tretter come back and be as effective or even more effective than Dietrich-Smith? We do not know given he is really just a rookie with the loss of his rookie season. We had a good experience with David Bakhtiari so we know anything is possible. But do you really want your Pro Bowl All Star quarterback in the hands of an inexperienced center?
Other options could include a free agent (not very likely). There are a few good options in Alex Mack (fantastic center but has a tag on him and would be too expensive) and Brian De La Puente, who had a great rapport with Drew Brees. Ted Thompson just is not going to go that route. Hopefully he will see the need to protect his MVP and do it anyway.
It’s not impossible given the Packers line shuffle of last year. That turned out really well, however, so it might be worth a try. Either way, this is not the way to protect your quarterback. Line continuity is a good thing, so the fact Dietrich-Smith was allowed to go is a bit worrisome.
We just have to trust that the Packers knew something about Dietrich-Smith we don’t.