What NFL team can get away without signing free agents in an off-season, while losing several of their players off the 53-man roster and still be one of the top five teams favored to win a Super Bowl?
The Green Bay Packers.
We all know how general manager Ted Thompson handles free agency. If there’s a player available who can add value and improve the team, Thompson may consider him.
That’s what he hopes he gets with a guy like tight end Jared Cook who Thompson signed this offseason after the Los Angeles Rams released him.
But there have been several others who we probably don’t want to mention. Among them was linebacker Brandon Chillar who was probably the best of the rest – he played 32 games for Green Bay.
But here’s a list of some of the others who didn’t last:
- Marquand Manuel, S (2006): 16 games
- Adrian Klemm, G (2005): 16 games
- Frank Walker, CB (2007): 12 games
- Ben Taylor, LB (2006): 10 games
- Jeff Saturday, C (2012): 14 games
Other unrestricted free agents who never touched the playing surface for the Packers are:
• Marc Boerigter, WR (2006)
• Matt O’Dwyer, G (2005)
• Duke Preston, G (2009); and
Anthony Hargrove, DE (2012)
We’ll forget about those guys and chalk it up to Thompson’s human failures.
But the draft is a different beast for Thompson … clearly, it’s been his strength through the years and the way he continues to restock his team with players of talent with great value.
Draft a guy … sign him for four seasons and then re-sign the players who have not only contributed to the team during their rookie contract, but have earned a raise.
Here is the Packers draft schedule in 2016:
2016 Draft Selections Order (9 total picks)
First round: 27th overall selection
Second round: 55th overall selection
Third round: 88th overall selection
Fourth round: 125th overall selection
Fourth round: 131st overall selection*
Fourth round: 137th overall selection*
Fifth round: 163rd overall selection
Sixth round: 200th overall selection
Seventh round: 248th overall selection
*Compensatory pick, cannot be traded
This is what Ted Thompson does and it’s why the Packers have been so successful year-in and year-out.
So, let’s take a look back at the players who have been selected through the draft and what they have contributed to the team over the course of the past 11 years …