Green Bay Packers need to continue to work free agency


Will Matt Flynn once again be the backup QB in Green Bay this coming season? Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Now that the frenzied free agency season has slowed to drip, we are all beginning once again to turn our eyes to the NFL Draft – including us fans of the Green Bay Packers.

It’s been an incredibly active period for the Packers, as GM Ted Thompson has utilized the meat market far more this offseason than in previous years. Not only has Thompson brought back key players from within his own house, he’s also reached outside the organization to sign two defensive linemen who should help strengthen the team’s depth along the D-line.

Of course, Packers fans and officials are expecting more than depth coming from Julius Peppers. They expect production – significant production.

Though the Packers have lost some of their own free agents, there are still plenty of players in-house the team could re-sign.

Marshall Newhouse signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Here’s who they lost to other teams: Evan Dietrich-Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), receiver James Jones (Oakland Raiders), tackle Marshall Newhouse (Cincinnati Bengals) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (Raiders).

But just because things are slowing in the free agency market, I don’t think the Packers are finished.

Here are the Packers players who are still on the market:

Kahlil Bell, RB: Gone. Take a look at the Packers’ backfield with the re-signing of James Starks … he’s joined by Eddie Lacy, DuJuan Harris, Johnathan Franklin, and Michael Hill.

Jermichael Finley, TE: J-Mike failed his physical with the Seahawks, and now the news is that it could be weeks or even months before he is cleared medically to play football. The Packers say they are monitoring the situation. I would be very surprised to see Finley in Green and Gold.

Matt Flynn, QB: Head coach Mike McCarthy says he likes what Flynn brings to the team – a stability and confidence that was evident last season when Flynn stepped in and helped the Packers to a couple of late-season wins. Somehow they re-sign this guy

Robert Francois, LB: A star special-teamer who has done well when stepping in at linebacker. If the Packers can get him back for the minimum, they should bring him back.

Johnny Jolly, DT: One has to hope Jolly comes back. When he’s healthy, he’s a solid lineman with plenty of experience. I have a feeling that at some point along the line here the Packers re-sign him.

John Kuhn, FB: This is a tough call. The ever-popular Kuhn is drawing interest from several teams, one of which appears to be the Packers. If the Packers can get him

John Kuhn

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

to re-sign for another year or two, he could be of decent value to the team.

Ryan Pickett, DT: Like Kuhn, Pickett is another popular player who is on the outer edges of his career. The only way TT brings him back is a low price.

Seneca Wallace, QB: Gone. There’s no way the Packers bring him back.

So expect the Packers to continue to work behind the scenes to bring back the players who will be of greatest value (Kuhn, Jolly, Flynn, and Pickett), while letting go of those who no longer serve the team’s needs (Finley, Wallace, Francois and Bell). We don’t know what TT will do in the coming weeks, but we do know that it’s his final call.

Stay tuned …