Apparently, Packers fans have latched on to the idea of going after free agent Mario Williams of the Houston Texans. I am here to be the cooler head, so to speak, and tell you not to get your hopes up. It is extremely unlikely to happen.
I get it. I really do. The thought of two great edge rushers like Williams and Clay Matthews wreaking havoc on the NFL is tantalizing indeed. After watching the Packers' defensive line get stood up on play after play last Sunday, fans are wanting them to go out and make a splash in free agency.
Williams played well earlier this season until it was ended by a torn pectoral muscle. This isn't a career threatening injury in the least. It would not be much of a conjecture to say that Mario will be at full strength next season.
The problem is that under general manager Ted Thompson, the Packers never make major moves in free agency. For instance, in the first game of the 2010 season, star running back Ryan Grant was injured. From that point forward, the Packers struggled running the football. When John Kuhn and Brandon Jackson are your running back tandem, you've got trouble. Football writers thought the Packers were going to go after Marshawn Lynch of the Buffalo Bills.
However, they never did. The front office was patient. They waited. When a back was needed most, James Starks performed fantastically during the playoff run. Once again, Thompson looked like a genius.
Will the Packers get Mario Williams?
This is the Packers' philosophy. Build your team from the ground up, in house. When something goes wrong, the next guy needs to step up. Remember, this is the same general manager that let Brett Favre go when he didn't fit the Packers' plans for the future anymore.
The last major free agent that the Packers brought in was Charles Woodson and he was considered damaged goods at the time. Thompson has a very specific vision for what he wants his team to be. He scouts for talent that fits what he wants and has had a good track record over the last couple of years.
I will not argue that the addition of Williams would be a good thing. I honestly believe that he would fit the scheme well as he already has experience of playing in a 3-4 defense. The more I write about it, the more I am convinced that it needs to happen. Unfortunately, history is not on the side of this move.
Packers fans need to pray that the team finds a good defensive lineman in the draft instead of getting their hopes up for a move that is never going to happen.