NFL Free Agency: Green Bay Packers on Day One

MJ Kasprzak@BayAreaCheezhedSenior Writer IIMarch 6, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 03: General manager Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers watches practice at summer training camp on August 3, 2009 at the Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On Day One of NFL Free Agency, the Green Bay Packers did nothing.

Wow. What a shocker! If you did not expect exactly this, you do not know Ted Thompson, sometimes referred to as Tightwad Ted.

Okay, that is just me, but I have never had anyone defend him from that moniker. This man has not signed a significant free agent since Charles Woodson in his first year as General Manager.

I guess he wanted to end his free agency pursuits on top.

In other words, expect more of the same in the coming week. Green Bay will only release players, not sign them. They have already released Chad Clifton, Mike Montgomery, and Matt Giordano, and you can be sure Aaron Kampman is next.

These are not players we will miss. Montgomery was unable to get on the field despite a thin defensive line, and Matt Giordano was inadequate in relief of an injury-ravaged secondary that should be deep enough in the upcoming season; even if not, his skill level can easily be replaced by someone not on a roster.

But the other two were starters for several games last season. They even played positions of need for the Packers. Surely, they were needed.

Not really. Their performance was inadequate, and that is why their positions needed upgrading.

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After being injured for the season, Kampman was replaced well by a much younger and cheaper Brad Jones. Clifton has been injured the better part of the past two seasons, and his performance has been inadequate for both of them—at 33 years old, it is time to let him go. And because they were both recent Pro Bowl players, someone will offer them sizable contracts.

UPDATE: As I am writing this, the Packers have re-signed Chad Clifton to a three-year, $20 million contract. The only reason I am okay with this is that there are not many good free agents of any kind out there.

For most teams this season, the uncapped year means they can go after the scant free agent market with vigor. Only the final eight (New Orleans, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Arizona, Dallas, San Diego, Baltimore, and the New York Jets) cannot spend more than they lose on contracts.

This could have been an opportunity for the Packers. By getting robbed of a playoff win, they avoid having their hands tied in the offseason pursuit of free agents.

But the Packers have spent most of Thompson's tenure leading the league in cap room, so having that cap removed means nothing. He believes in building through the draft, not in signing aging stars whose time left is unknown.

And that is in a good year for free agency. While this uncapped year is ideal for those few quality players on the market, it is weak for talent overall.

After Julius Peppers (who signed with the Chicago Bears—he may not play a position of great need for our rivals, but they are a contender for the division with the addition of Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna), there is just not much to break the bank over.

The Packers sure are not going to do it for positions that are not in need of an upgrade. To see what they need to pursue and where to find it, read this series over on Packer Chatters.

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