With the off season looming after what will be a memorable Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers will contend for some formidable free agents. The list includes; Johnny Jolly, Aaron Kampman, Ahman Green, John Kuhn, Daryn Colledge, Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Jason Spitz, Ryan Pickett, Will Blackmon, Atari Bigby, and Nick Collins. The meat of the defense is in free agency, if Capers is coming back, so should the players.
It is without doubt that the Packers defense was highly elevated with the addition of Dom Capers. However, this was inconsistent, there was trouble against the pass and against the Bengals we were dominated by the run. Capers may be out of touch with full fledged running of a defense. This is the exact reason the defensive starters should return. Nick Collins is priority #1 of course, Johnny Jolly should be #2. Aaron Kampman should be a re-sign! He may drive up a deal in that case there should be considerations for free agency, but, he may be the biggest chip we have for another high draft pick or developing position player. Blackmon should be given a one year contract to see if he can make it through a season, otherwise, he is worthless having not stayed healthy for an entire year. The defensive players that should willingly be let go this off season are Atari Bigby and Ryan Pickett. Now I am a complete Bigby fan however he seems to have injured himself to the point that he is no longer a hard hitting threat for receivers. He was never a great zone defender and man coverage forget it. I believe the packers will do fine finding a late round safety to replace him. Think about what you would learn playing alongside Nick Collins, Charles Woodson, and Al Harris. With Pickett, Raji will eventually replace him, may as well part ways today.
Offensive free agents are a tiny bit different this year. It seems priority come draft time is for OT, however I don’t believe you can go wrong keeping Clifton and Tauscher for leadership and competition. There old, there broken, but they offer that extra something to a rookie that could be the difference in there career(Favre to Rodgers). As everyone knows we have one too many fullbacks. With our offensive needs we may need two fullbacks but three? Goodbye Kuhn. Ahman Green would be a fan favorite to return, but with Brandon Jackson finally coming into the offense a bit last year there may not be a roster spot for the ageing vet. On the offensive line again (same as Tauscher and Clifton) we need the competition and depth so Spitz and Colledge get resigned. Sign them to one year contracts, I don’t believe they could demand much in the way of salary or years with the abysmal performance from the offensive line this year. If they do, ask them why our season ended.
All in all, this off season the need to add depth, strengthen up as opposed to any drastic change.
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