Julius Peppers will wear number 56 in 2014 with his new team - the Green Bay Packers. Photo courtesy of packers.com

Green Bay Packers tabbed as 'winners' in free agency


The debate over whether the Green Bay Packers reached in free agency by signing former Carolina Panthers and most recent Chicago Bear Julius Peppers has been ongoing since the day the annual all-pro signed on the bottom line at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.

But at least one writer from nfl.com, Dan Hanzus, believes the Packers hit a home run with the pick.

In the “Roster Reset” at “Around the League” over at nfl.com yesterday, several writers put their pens to paper with a list of the winners and losers in free agency.

The Packers, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders, were all tabbed as winners in this offseason’s player and money grab. The losers were the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tennessee Titans.

We’ll let you read the descriptions for all the others, but for the Packers, here is what Hanzus had to say. I have to say, I can’t disagree with him:


With the addition of Julius Peppers, it should help make life easier for Clay Matthews. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

With the addition of Julius Peppers, it should help make life easier for Clay Matthews.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The Packers made history’s first big splash in free agency when they landed Reggie White, but this is an organization not known to take big chances on other people’s players.

That changed this season with the acquisition of Julius Peppers. Even at a diminished state, Peppers is a prime candidate to enjoy a late-career resurgence playing in a playoff atmosphere at Lambeau. Peppers and a healthy Clay Matthews are bad news for Jay Cutler and the reset of the NFC North signal-callers.

Meanwhile, general manager Ted Thompson did well in bringing back core players who help keep Green Bay the class of the division. Retaining cornerback Sam Shields was vital to the secondary, and re-signing James Starks and John Kuhn keeps a nice nucleus in place around rising star Eddie Lacy. I even like the Matt Flynn re-signing.

– Dan Hanzus

What are your thoughts? Did the Peppers signing help put the Packers over the top on the defensive side of the ball? Will the Packers be able to add a safety, linebacker and maybe even another defensive lineman in the draft to get them back to elite status?

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