The Green Bay Packers have taken their time getting involved in free agency this offseason and now they are entertaining several second-tier options that could help them in 2012.
After a 15-1 season, Green Bay clearly didn't feel the need to add any big pieces this offseason. That was a smart move, as the team can add some guys who could provide a slight boost but for much cheaper than other options.
After losing center Scott Wells to the St. Louis Rams, the Packers opted to bring in 36-year-old former Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday. The five-time Pro Bowler signed a two-year, $7.75 million deal, which was fairly cheap considering that he is still one of the top five centers in the NFL.
Saturday was the first unrestricted free agent to sign with the Packers in three years, which shows the team's commitment to drafting, developing and locking up players within the organization. This offseason, the team might actually grab another free agent or two before the draft to help round out the roster.
Green Bay is in the mix for offensive tackle Demetrius Bell, a 27-year-old who has spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. Bell has already met with the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins, but he would be a fit with the Packers.
Considering that long-time tackle Chad Clifton was injured for most of the 2011 season and recently had surgery to relieve pain in his back and hip, Green Bay could use depth at the position. Meanwhile, 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod's status for training camp is unknown because of a broken leg. In fact, he may not play at all this season.
The Packers will also host former New York Giants pass-rusher Dave Tollefson on Thursday or Friday. Tollefson would likely play outside linebacker in the team's 3-4 base defense, but could also see time at defensive end. He tallied five sacks for the Super Bowl champions in 2011 and could take pressure off of sack master Clay Matthews by providing some additional push from the outside.
Tollefson and Bell would be the kind of outstanding, low-cost pickups for the Packers that could prove to be incredibly valuable long-term. Along with the addition of Saturday, they could go a long way to shoring up the few holes in Green Bay.