5 Players the Green Bay Packers Should Consider Trading Before Regular Season
The Green Bay Packers will enter the 2012 season as one of the best teams in the entire NFL. Their offense will once again be one of the most dominant units in the league while the defense should be much improved.
However, there are a few players no longer necessary to the roster. While these players won't bring much to the Packers during the 2012 season, other teams around the league could find them very valuable.
As such, the wisest decision for Green Bay would be to trade these five players before the start of the regular season.
James Jones, WR
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It seems like James Jones has been a name thrown around as a potential trade target for years. If there were any time for the Green Bay Packers to trade Jones, it would be now.
With receivers Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver and Randall Cobb all on the roster, Jones is simply an added bonus. When you combine that with the emergence of young receivers Diondre Borel and Dale Moss, Jones becomes an unnecessary piece of the puzzle.
With the NFL becoming a league where passing success is a necessity, there are likely to be plenty of teams willing to give up an earlier draft pick for the ability Jones brings to the field. We all know how much Ted Thompson loves extra draft picks, and trading Jones before the season—and before he can drop any passes—seems like a logical way to pick one up.
Andrew Quarless, TE
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The Green Bay Packers kept five tight ends on their roster last year. They'll enter training camp with seven this year, but with so many issues on the defensive side of the roster, it seems unlikely Green Bay will keep that many tight ends on their team this year.
Of the five kept on the team last year, the one the Packers should think about trading is Andrew Quarless. Despite coming off a rather pedestrian season, Quarless has great size (6'4") and a well-rounded ability other teams could find useful.
The biggest issue with Quarless and Green Bay is that he simply can't do enough to move up in the depth chart. Jermichael Finley will enter the year as the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart, while Tom Crabtree showed great improvement last year, and both D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor are too young to get rid of.
Quarless has the potential to become a quality player in this league, and the Packers need to look to trade him to strengthen another aspect of their team.
C.J. Wilson, DE
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One of the big issues that led to the Green Bay Packers' early exit from the 2011 playoffs was their struggles with their defensive line. This forced them to draft Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels and also sign Anthony Hargrove during free agency.
Now they simply have too many players fighting for such few positions, and the odd man out seems to be C.J. Wilson. Many have expected Wilson to break out the past two seasons, but struggles with injuries have made that difficult.
Wilson is still a young enough player for the Packers to be able to get some good value were they to trade them.
Erik Walden, OLB
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Last year simply wasn't a good year for Erik Walden. He struggled to perform admirably opposite Clay Matthews and didn't have much of an impact at all at outside linebacker.
In fact, his poor performance led to the Green Bay Packers drafting Nick Perry in the first round. Perry has been practicing with the first team during minicamp and OTAs, while Walden has been left sitting on the bench. He has even been pushed further down the depth charts by undrafted free agent Dezman Moses.
The difficulty with trading Walden is finding a team that could use his services. His low salary and relative youth could be attractive for teams, but his on-field performances don't bring much hope.
However, a team looking to add depth and versatility to its linebacker corps could certainly be interested in giving something for Walden's services.
A.J. Hawk, ILB
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Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com gave a great report of the possibility of A.J. Hawk losing playing time sooner than later. The player that seems poised to takeover for the former No. 5 pick is second-year player D.J. Smith.
If the Green Bay Packers truly believe Smith is the long-term answer at inside linebacker, they need to figure out a way to trade Hawk for as much as they can possibly get. There is no doubt Hawk has been a solid performer since coming to Green Bay, but he absolutely hasn't lived up to his billing as a top-five draft pick.
There are plenty of teams in the league that would be interested in upgraded at either inside or middle linebacker. While Hawk isn't an exceptional player, he is definitely good enough to be an upgrade for a number of teams.
It would be difficult to see Hawk leave, but it is a move the Packers should make in order to be better now and for the future.