There are lots of sexy free agents out there this year, especially with the Pack converting to a 3-4 defensive alignment. What can Packers fans really expect from this season's free agency? Let's look at Ted Thompson's actions over the last three seasons for clues.
Signed: Bauman QB, Wrobel QB and Moore OG, none still with the team.
Lost in FA: Walker WR, Longwell P, Fisher RB, Steele TE, Lenon LB, Diggs LB, Roman S all significant starters elsewhere, and Wallace, Carthon, Lee, Chatman, Jones, Reugamer, Flanagan and Thomas all still on rosters, or new FA. 2 compensation draft picks, and a huge reduction is base salaries.
Signed: J Kuhn FB, and Malone DL still contributors to the team, and F Walker who only played one season here. Also Russel WR, Adkisson TE, Harris TE, Lonie P, Goodwell LB, Randall LB none of whom had any impact on the team.
Lost in FA: Green RB, Fergusson WR, Martin TE, Rayner K all significant contributors elsewhere, Berry OL, Allen, Manuel on other rosters, little impact. 2 comp draft picks.
Signed: B Chillar LB part time starter
Lost in FA: Ryan P, Franks TE, Walker DB, Robinson WR and T Smith WR all on other rosters none of much impact.
ERFA: Williams CB will likely sign long term, and Powdrell will likely sign short term 2 yr.
RFA: Bigby S Kuhn FB likely resign long term, Humphrey TE, Martin WR, Bodiford, Bush DB, Palmer OL likely sign minor short term contracts, Hunter DL is not likely a fit for the 3 - 4 and not offered significant contract
UFA: Tauscher is injured, and will likely resign on a short term deal, Cole DT likely gets an offer over perceived worth here and goes, Poppinga LB likely resigns modest contract, and Montgomery De is likely not a fit for a 3 - 4 and signs elsewhere.
All in, this team loses very little in FA, with only T Williams a big loss if only a one-year deal is made. There is not very much increased money spent on signings from within, with several high dollar contracts (Harris, Woodson and Clifton) all expiring next season, and none of the existing FA getting much for increases except Williams.
There is money available, but this roster has very few spots without existing depth. There may be some DL or OL of non-spectacular note that Thompson sees as depth upgrades, but looking at history, plus the fact that he has eight draft choices, and the need to conserve the core of young talent with contracts next offseason, I do not see much coming in free agency.
A line upgrade in the ilk of the LB upgrade with Chillar is likely the most Packer fans should hope for. That is the good business sense. Pretty boring, but that's how I see FA this season.
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