The NFL trade deadline has been moved back to Thursday, November 1 out of deference to the hurricane hammering the East Coast, so there is still time left if it turns out that the Green Bay Packers want to negotiate with another team to help shore up some positions where they have worn thin.
It’s no secret that Ted Thompson has a tendency to build his team organically through the draft and by grooming undrafted free agents rather than participating in blockbuster free-agent signings or showy last-minute trades. That system has worked well for him, peppered as it has been with occasional free-agency pickups that are rarely flashy but which are almost always of great utility.
That being said, there are a couple of key positions at which the Pack have been worn thin by injury and which could potentially be addressed by a timely trade right now.
This is also a chance for Ted Thompson to look to the future. He has the opportunity now to secure additional draft picks in exchange for players whose contracts he does not intend to renew in the offseason.
Bearing in mind that it is highly unlikely that the Packers will make any movement at all before the NFL trade deadline even with the extra time, keep reading for some players that the Pack should consider either bringing in or trading away.
From the very late offseason signing to the perpetual trade rumors that have surrounded him since then, James Jones has spent much of the last few seasons surrounded by fan uncertainty about his future with the Green Bay Packers.
Despite that, he has managed to make himself an important part of the offense.
Trading James Jones would have been a move that might make some sense up until the recent announcement that Greg Jennings will undergo a potentially season-ending surgery to repair an injured abdominal muscle.
Now that the Pack are worn thin at offense, this one may be off the cards. On the other hand, Jones' name continues to crop up as a potential candidate for a trade, which makes him at least worth mentioning.
Despite his apparent self-confidence and his incredible athletic potential, Jermichael Finley has failed to live up to the high price tag that he believes he commands. It’s starting to look like he just might not be what the Green Bay offense needs.
The problem is that he’s too valuable and too talented to keep on the sidelines. Finley and his attitude present an interesting problem for the Packers when it comes to dealing with his ego.
Trading him away might make as much sense as anything else.
Tom Crabtree in particular has improved to the point where he could comfortably act as a replacement in the Green Bay offensive system, and the draft picks that Finley would command now (before his reputation is tarnished any further by drops) would likely be worth the offensive loss.
There’s a chance that Greg Jennings may not play another snap this season. It all depends on how his upcoming surgery goes. Given that the surgery has been delayed indefinitely in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, time is working against Jennings.
Knowing that, it’s time to start looking towards Jennings’ future with the Packers. In a scenario that Bob McGinn from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel paints, trading Jennings makes a lot of sense.
Jennings is clearly a high-caliber wide receiver when he can stay on the field, which he has been unable to accomplish so far this season with any regularity. It has been a bit rough going at times, but the Pack have proved that they can get along without him.
The Packers may not need him to find success, but there are teams around the league who would be willing to trade draft picks—a valuable currency to Ted Thompson—for Jennings and the potential that he might be able to return this season.
In this case, unlikely though it may be that it actually happens, it might be for the best if the team is planning on letting Greg Jennings go anyway in the offseason. Trading him now would net them something for their No. 1 wide receiver, as opposed to letting him walk away in a few months for no gain at all.
The New Orleans Saints have a glut of talent at running back, even if none of them are producing reliably at the moment. They have so much potential at that position, in fact, that the versatile Chris Ivory has only suited up for one game this year.
The Packers need a running game. What an amazing coincidence.
This is one of those “too good to be true” trade wishes that sounds incredible on paper and probably would be pretty awesome in reality, but which is unlikely to ever happen.
Another underutilized running back who could potentially jump start the Packers backfield is Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots.
Since Stevan Ridley has basically taken over the Patriots running game, there simply haven’t been enough touches on the pass-dominated offense to go around and do justice to the talent on the roster.
With the Packers, Vereen would have the chance to compete for the starting spot against Alex Green. Whatever the outcome, he would certainly be more likely to see time on the playing field than he is right now.
Another running back whose talent is greater than his spot on the depth chart, LeGarrette Blount has taken a backseat to rookie running back Doug Martin.
At 25, Blount is relatively young with plenty of life left in him and, more importantly, he has proved that he can be good. Blount could be exactly what the Packers need.
If a trade were to happen and if he were to find success in Green Bay, Blount could even potentially evolve into the face of the Packers running game.
The final candidate for a running back trade is perhaps the most likely of all to happen.
Steven Jackson is finding himself quickly phased out of the Rams backfield. The Rams have opted out of the last year of his contract, which means that if they want to get something for him they must make a move right now.
Jackson would have an expanded role in the Green Bay offense while simultaneously taking the pressure off Alex Green to perform.
Matt Leinart may not really be starting material but he has proved himself over the years to be a serviceable backup.
Green Bay needs a serviceable backup. Nothing flashy or spectacular, but reliable.
Running back isn’t the only position of need for the Packers. After his only NFL snap turned into a fumble recovered by the New Orleans Saints, Graham Harrell has cost himself any credibility that he may have built as a backup quarterback during his putrid preseason.
The Packers need a backup quarterback who can cut it under pressure.
Sitting on the bench in Green Bay may not be any more glamorous than sitting on the bench in Cleveland, but he would be a big improvement as a backup for Aaron Rodgers than Harrell has proved to be.