Will Ted Thompson be active in free agency after all?
Head coach Mike McCarthy (center) and general manger Ted Thompson (right) Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
In a crazy development, Ted Thompson might just sign a few free agents in order to open the Super Bowl window wide.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com reported:
"NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Wednesday on “NFL Total Access” that the Packers plan to take advantage of their nearly $30 million in cap space and acquire outside free agents, according to sources informed of the team’s thinking.Rapoport reported on NFL Network that the Packers could sign as many as five players, which would be the most for the team since 2006."
Color me intrigued.
I did not know Ted Thompson knew five phone numbers for free agents, let alone wants to sign them. The report talks about the fact that the Packers want to rebuild the defense. If I had to guess, we could see a ratio of two defensive to two offensive free agents in the case five were signed, maybe even four to one.
Among the list to sign, I would give Thompson would be the following …
Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
1. Safety- Jairus Byrd/TJ Ward
If Thompson does not know Jairus Byrd’s or TJ Ward’s agents’ numbers he should. Byrd would help solidify a safety group that was arguably the worst in the league. They recorded no interceptions for the first time in years. TJ Ward would be a good consolation prize if Byrd were not available, though he is not the ballhawk that Byrd is.
Other lower tier safeties at least worth kicking the tires would be Malcolm Jenkins, Antoine Bethea, Chris Clemons and Mike Mitchell.
2. Defensive Line – Lamarr Houston/Linval Joseph/Arthur Jones
The line faded down the stretch, mainly due to the fact that older players were wearing down and Aaron Rodgers was not on the field to flip the time of possession. They need to get younger yes, but they definitely need to get stouter. Players like the three listed above would be younger options who are about to really reach their prime. The one that intrigues me the most of those three is Arthur Jones. He has played in a 3-4 his entire career and knows what it is like to be a champion. Jones could be a star in the making … for the right price.
Other lower tier lineman would include Tony McDaniel, Randy Starks, Matt Shaughnessy, and Willie Young.
Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller (81) Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
3. Tight End- Dennis Pitta/Brandon Pettigrew/Dustin Keller
To keep teams honest, the Packers need a player who can really play the middle of the field, be a good possession target for Rodgers, and possibly even stretch the field. With Jermichael Finley almost certainly gone with his neck injury, a player like Dennis Pitta would make sense (even if his chances of leaving Baltimore are slim). Pitta has the ability to be that target over the middle that Rodgers could constantly rely on.
Dustin Keller would be interesting in this spot mainly because he would be the less expensive option coming off an injury. If he came back well he could replicate Pitta’s production with a good quarterback. I put Pettigrew on this list because he has similar athleticism to Finley, while unfortunately a similar case of the drops. Could working with a quarterback like Rodgers bring out the best in him?
Options at tight end that might be more inexpensive would be Scott Chandler, Garrett Graham, and Brandon Myers.
I do not honestly expect Ted Thompson to sign five free agents, but I would not mind if he took a bit of money and gave us similar results to his 2006 offseason.
What do you want or expect him to do with this new information?