Green Bay Packers need to make big changes


Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson must lead the charge for significant changes this offseason. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

"Editor’s note: This piece was written Friday, Jan. 25, prior to the information about the possible amount that New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis may demand as part of a new contract. While demands and reality are sometimes far apart, we’ll let you decide. This is just a heads up to you, the reader, as you consider the Packers’ 2013 personnel options."

Knowing Ted Thompson’s anal attitude when it comes to change, I understand that my hope the Green Bay Packers go all-in embracing change this offseason is delusional.

You see, you can call me crazy, but I’m not – really.

Aside from Aaron Rodgers and his corps of receivers, the Packers are in a world of hurt and they’ve got to do something about it. That something involves changes … big changes

Greg Jennings will be gone. Jeff Saturday is gone. Donald Driver is gone. A.J. Hawk should be gone and Charles Woodson could also be headed down the road. Throw in the fact that the Packers’ running game is in limbo, the defense was embarrassed badly in their last game of the year and they have no backup quarterback.

Yes, Houston, we have a serious problem.

Change is a-comin’ in Green Bay whether we like it or not and Ted Thompson has got to lead the charge, not shrink from it with his lame draft and develop philosophy. Yes, it works, but it takes time – like five years. This is the win-now National Football League and it requires that front office personnel utilize all the tools at their disposal – the draft, free agency, creative manipulation of the salary cap and trading. Thompson loves the Draft – check; Thompson uses free agency once in a blue moon – check; his manipulation of the salary cap has been non-existent – check; and his use of the trade outside the draft has been nil – check.

So, what’s the answer?

Well, first off, he can’t pay Charles Woodson $10 million per year, nor can he afford to continue to pay A.J. Hawk the big bucks, so he’s probably got to cut those guys loose which will free up some change. He can’t afford to pay Greg Jennings number-one receiver money, so there’s some more change. He’ll be dropping big chunks of change with the departures of Saturday and Driver.

Aug 26, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) defends against Carolina Panthers wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu (19) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Packers use some of that money to go out and get a guy like Darrelle Revis? He was once thought to be the top player in all of football. His island was impenetrable, but he has only played in two games in the last year and is coming off knee surgery. He will command tens of millions to whatever team decides to take the chance on him.

I say why not? Could he become the John Hadl of Thompson’s reign? I doubt it. He is only 27 and has a few good years left in the tank should the Packers want to take that risk. However, they will really have to want him and to think that Thompson would pull the trigger is probably fantasy, but we’ve got to visit fantasyland every now and again and hope that TT joins us.

Remember when Ron Wolf traded for a guy name Brett Favre and we all said, “who?”

Does Thompson give up a first round draft choice for Revis like Wolf did with Favre? Will he sacrifice the pick that has given us Derek Sherrod and Nick Perry for someone like Revis.

It would be a change that gives us a potential shutdown defensive player that would make everyone around him that much better. It could be the player that brings about a defense that could make the difference between defeat in the second round of the playoffs to that team that finally gets over the hump like they did in 2010.

Yes, call me crazy. Call me delusional. But if this team is going to evolve into another championship team, changes have to be made. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called the Packers soft. I agree with him. TT needs to beef up the toughness and Revis could be the start.

Couple that move with his usual late draft magic, and Thompson could help this team cut away the dead wood and add new life and new direction.

The Packers have to make changes this year – significant changes. And it’s not crazy.