Green Bay Packers: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Frank Winters, Green Bay Packers
Frank Winters, Green Bay Packers. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart / /

. C/G. (1992-02). Frank Winters. 6. player. 49

Best free agent acquisitions in Green Bay Packers history: 6. Frank Winters

Frank Winters spent 11 years playing on the offensive interior for the Packers. Initially a 10th-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 1987 NFL Draft out of Western Illinois, Winters would make his way to Green Bay in 1992 as a free agent.

Winters spent his first five NFL seasons on three different teams. After two years with the Browns, he joined the New York Giants in 1989, before spending the 1991 and 1992 NFL seasons as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

While he played in 75 games over those three stops, his only six starts during that time came as a member of the 1990 Chiefs at left guard. So it really doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Winters would be available heading into the 1992 NFL season.

After signing with the Packers that spring, he would undergo a career transformation in the next decade to come. From 1993 to 2002, Winters had locked down the starting center position on the Packers offensive line. He made 141 starts in 156 games with the Packers over 11 seasons, with those coming at center and left guard.

It absolutely helped that Winters joined the Packers in the same offseason that the team traded for quarterback Brett Favre from the Atlanta Falcons. Favre would go on to be arguably the most dynamic quarterback of the 1990s while in Green Bay. Winters was there every step of the way.

In 1996, Winters made his lone trip to the Pro Bowl, as the Packers would go on to win Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots. Green Bay was on the precipice of repeating as Super Bowl champions, but were unceremoniously upset by the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.

Winters played in Green Bay through the 2002 NFL season. He retired at the age of 38 after 16 years in the league and the best 11 coming as a member of the Packers. Thanks to his ability to be fulcrum of the Green Bay offensive line, the Packers had one of the best offenses in football with Favre as their quarterback.

You can never overlook the partnership has with his center, as he is the guy who snaps him the football dozens of times every fall Sunday. Though lost to time, we shouldn’t overlook the impact Winters had in his 11 years along the Packers offensive line. Favre may not be Favre without having him up front.