Green Bay Packers: Ideal Trade Scenarios for the Packers This Offseason
The Packers are headed into the offseason with plenty of talent on their roster, but that doesn't mean that they can't make a few personnel moves to improve their team, especially on the defensive side of the ball, where they were ranked last in the league.
The Packers rarely trade, unless it is draft day, but there are a few deals that Ted Thompson should consider making, whether for a player or, more likely, a high draft pick.
The Packers may have been 15-1 this year, but that doesn't mean that they should be resting on their laurels this offseason. Here are five transactions that could prove to be beneficial for the Pack in 2012.
5. Trade out of the First Round, Stock Up on Second- and Third-Round Picks
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While it may not be the flashiest move the Packers could make, they could certainly consider trading down, getting two or three high-quality second-round picks rather than one first-round pick.
The Packers pick near the bottom of the first round, and the talent difference between the late first and the early second isn't drastic. If they want two players that are projected to be picked in the second, they could take a calculated risk and move out of the first round to get two high-quality picks in the second.
The second round has been good to the Packers in the past. They have gotten players including Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Nick Collins and Randall Cobb.
There is plenty of potential in the second round, and they wouldn't necessarily be downgrading the quality of their picks by trading away the 28th pick for perhaps the 33rd or 34th pick.
4. Trade Up to Draft Mark Barron
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The Packers will know the fate of their veteran safety Nick Collins in a few weeks. Collins, who is one of their top defensive players, suffered a neck injury early in the 2011 season. If the Packers lose Collins, they will likely have to bring in a new safety.
If the Packers have to sign a new safety to their roster, they should make sure they are getting a high-quality pick, which means that they should either try to sign a free agent veteran safety, or draft a safety in the first or second round.
Mark Barron is the best safety in the draft, and if the Packers lose Nick Collins, moving up to around No. 15 in the draft would be a small price to pay for filling a big hole that Collins would leave by retiring early.
3. Trade Away a Receiver for a Defensive Player
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The Packers are stocked at receiver, with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb and James Jones all under contract, not to mention another receiving threat in rising tight end Jermichael Finley.
The Packers could afford to trade away one of their backup receivers, like James Jones, and get a solid defensive player in return. Of course, this Packer receiving corps is one of the best in the league, and breaking even one of them up could prove to be more costly than one might think.
But still, the Packers are in need of a better defensive lineman than Mike Neal, and a pass-rusher opposite Clay Matthews, so giving up a superfluous offensive player might not be a horrible idea.
2. Trade Up to Draft Morris Claiborne
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This would be more of a reach, as the Packers would have to give up a lot to do it, but if they acquire one of the best players in the draft, it might be worth it.
The cornerback position for the Packers is complicated, as they are set for the short term with Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams. But with Woodson likely retiring in the next three-to-four years, and their future at the position being in question, it may be wise to draft someone for the future.
Currently, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams look to be the starting corners of the future, but with Shields dropping off significantly in 2011, his role is still in question. And after Shields and Williams are Jarrett Bush and Pat Lee, two players who have underperformed greatly during their time in Green Bay.
Drafting Morris Claiborne would give the Packers stability at the cornerback position for a long time, and if Nick Collins comes back, they could have one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
1. Trade Matt Flynn
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Trading Matt Flynn is also complicated: He is a free agent for the 2012 offseason, which means that the Packers would likely have to franchise tag him if they had any hopes of trading him and getting some value out of him.
But it would be a great move on the Packers' part, as they would likely get a first-round pick for the guy who threw six touchdowns against the Lions in Week 17 this year, and threw three against the Patriots in 2010.
Flynn would be great trade bait, as the Packers would be sure to get some sort of value for him. But it's going to be hard for them to get the money to trade Flynn, and they may not see it as being worth the price.