Now is the Moment for a Big Swing in Free Agency

It's time for Packers to stop splitting the baby.

Pro football’s complexity is one reason we love it, but success can require taking big, calculated risks. 

Often the decisions are narrow, such as whether to move on from a David Bakhtiari, or an AJ Dillon. But sometimes they are more global, such as whether it’s time to go all in, or build for consistent, long-term competitiveness.

It might sound premature, but the Packers should consider themselves at this decision point right now (it’s a good problem to have). When you come within two games of the Super Bowl despite being the youngest NFL team, while transitioning from a hall of fame quarterback to one with little experience, and having a subpar defense, it’s reasonable to think that one or two key pieces can get you to the summit. Now should be the moment to take a big swing. 

Alas, this is not the Green Bay way, and hasn’t been since Ted Thompson took over. TT was a split the baby guy to his core, generally risk averse and unwilling to make big moves that might sacrifice any part of the future for the present. This was a change from his predecessor, Ron Wolf, who in 1993 made Reggie White the third highest paid player in the entire league (behind only Elway and Marino), changing the Packers’ identity for years, winning the Super Bowl in 1996 and returning to it the next year. It helped that Wolf also had sent a 17th overall pick to the Falcons for little-known Brett Favre in 1992, a major move that is often overlooked in discussions of the greatest acquisitions of the modern era. Wolf knew what a difference-maker he had in the still-raw Favre, and pounced on White a year later to vault the Packers into consistent Super Bowl contention.  

Thompson did dabble in free agency occasionally, and took a chance by signing Charles Woodson to a long-term deal in 2006. But Woodson was coming off two injury-plagued seasons, and Thompson was able to get Woodson at a decent price because no other team offered him a contract. And with the exception of Clay Matthews, Thompson was rarely inclined to make major moves in the draft, believing in his ability to evaluate talent and find undervalued gems. 

To be fair, Thompson was a solid drafter, particularly when it came to offensive linemen and receivers. And he was a good steward, avoiding the reckless mistakes made by several GMs who went overboard on players and team balance sheets. He kept the team competitive, with the obvious help of picking Aaron Rodgers when he fell into his lap. Yet his slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach translated to only one Super Bowl appearance in 12 years.       

Enter Brian Gutekunst, who by his own admission is a Thompson disciple. Gutekunst made a splash early, using a bunch of the cap money Thompson hoarded by signing Za’Darius and Preston Smith, along with Adrian Amos. Gutekunst clearly hoped to leverage the remaining window of Rodgers’ prime, but then turned around the next year and traded up to take Jordan Love in the first round, an investment in the future and splitting the baby yet again. That move looks great now, but who knows how much farther the Packers might have gone had they drafted, say, Tee Higgins to pair with Davante Adams. Then, Gutekunst turned around and gave Rodgers his huge contract extension. 

This column is not about judging these moves one way or the other. I’m merely pointing out the effects of an ongoing effort to have it both ways, when what is sometimes needed is going full bore in one direction or another. Had the Packers wanted to build for the future, the move would have been to trade Rodgers one year sooner, getting a bigger haul in return and not saddling the team with that massive extension. If it was Super Bowl or bust in the Rodgers window, they would have given him more pieces. Green Bay did neither.

Taking big swings isn’t easy for GMs and head coaches who value their jobs. It can be a higher-risk strategy because the benefit doesn’t necessarily come instantly, and if you get it wrong it takes longer to dig out of the hole. But is the risk really as great as it seems? Let’s look at the recent crop of teams that have had deep, post-season runs:

The Rams went all in for Matt Stafford, mortgaging their draft future, and won the Super Bowl. The Niners paid dearly for Christian McCaffery and have gotten to the Super Bowl after just missing two years in a row. (And this after giving up a boatload for Trey Lance, a failed move that did not set the team back much.) The Ravens were propelled by the addition of Roquan Smith, while the Lions and Texans went hard the other way, tearing everything down and building back up in fairly shot order.

Given their salary cap situation, the Packers would have to be ruthless in cutting players and driving very hard bargains with restructured contracts in order to take a big swing. I say do it; none of the Packers’ free agents is a foundational player, but unfortunately they don’t help much on the bottom line. Per salary guru Ken Ingalls, the big savings come from cutting David Bakhtiari, Royce Newman and De’Vondre Campbell, while restructuring Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, Jaire, Aaron Jones, Elgton Jenkins and Preston Smith, meaning several years of high dead-cap numbers. And some of them might balk; Russ Ball will need to be in top form.

Love obviously needs an extension, but this still frees up considerable cash to sign a top free agent, either safety Antoine Winfield or linebacker Patrick Queen. They are difference-makers at premium positions critical to stopping modern offenses, and essential to the kind of defense Jeff Hafley runs. This year’s draft class is light at the premium end of both positions, and those two will be highly sought after and the price will be very high. 

Just do it. Open the wallet for one of these 25-year-olds in their prime. It’ll be costly, but could pay big dividends, and then your upcoming draft strategy follows from that. Then you have a shot at a top 10 defense. Then you make a deeper run, and perhaps get to the dance. And then maybe you win it all. 

Signing big free agents isn’t the Green Bay way, but in a promising off-season of changes, this should be one of them. GPG.

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__________________________
Jonathan Krim grew up in New York but got hooked on the Packers — and on hating the Cowboys — watching the Ice Bowl as a young child.  He blames bouts of unhappiness in his late teens on Dan Devine. A journalist for several decades who now lives in California, he enjoys trafficking in obscure cultural references, lame dad jokes and occasionally preposterous takes. Jonathan is a Packers shareholder, and insists on kraut with his brats. You can follow Jonathan on twitter at @Jkrim.

__________________________

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7 points
 

Comments (70)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
crayzpackfan's picture

February 06, 2024 at 03:45 pm

I think would rather take an even bigger swing in 2025? Cap will be much better with a lot of that dead money/void years bill gets paid. We will know more what we truly need after one full year with a new DC. We will have better data on what kind of a jump the 2023 draft picks make and what our 2024 draft produces.

Cool the jets a bit. This is a process. Look where "all in" got us last time? Let's line up those ducks into a nice row first, allowing for a much more educated evaluation of the team's needs, with much more financial stability beneath us.

Then go get a couple studs that actually make sense for us that will be with us for 3-4 years after signing.

11 points
14
3
Turophile's picture

February 06, 2024 at 06:12 pm

couldn't agree more. The Packers are already 'swinging big' this year by having 5 picks on draft days 1 & 2. As long as the Packers are getting good value with their draft picks, the need for them to acquire top tier veteran guys is far less. This is the Ted Thompson legacy.

Every pick you successfully draft and develop is a pick that is cheap for several years before everything ramps up for the second contract......and that means something when a big chunk of your cap goes to keep a top QB.

When the cap is relatively stable (probably after 2024), maybe you get the odd bigger-price veteran, but the 'Packer way' is for a few lower tier guys to fill a hole and little else. Big splashes are not unknown, but certainly a rarity.

5 points
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splitpea1's picture

February 06, 2024 at 03:50 pm

.

1 points
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splitpea1's picture

February 06, 2024 at 03:56 pm

If we're going to spend money, it ought to be at safety, by far our biggest need; especially if we're going to be deploying different types of coverage and taking away the middle of the field more. Winfield, Jr. is obviously the monster here, coming off a season with 3 INTs, 6 FFs, and 6 sacks. He has started every game in his career and can play anywhere in the defensive backfield. I would love to see him in Green Bay. A proven player of this quality is going to make Hafley's job much easier.

X. McKinney may be another good option, and he's going to be a lot cheaper. But he is also a good all-around player and is a solid tackler (!). He's also a year younger.

Good safety prospects should be available when the Packers are picking in the first round, but signing a choice free agent is going to give Gute some flexibility, which he likes. I just hope he doesn't decide to give himself flexibility by re-signing one of his own or scouring the bottom for some low-level free agent JAG that isn't any kind of difference-maker at all.

Yes, there are all kinds of ways to win. Don't forget that Wolf also signed Jones, Dotson, and E. Robinson, all notable free agents at the time. Every one of them was instrumental to the Packers' success during their time in Green Bay.

7 points
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Starrbrite's picture

February 06, 2024 at 08:11 pm

Yes—Safety first—Budda Baker

2 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 06, 2024 at 04:06 pm

I am on the sign Mckinney or similar talent Safety for less dollars so I can get 2 or more good vets for the price of Winfield, who I heard would get $20 million per year.
The Jets are losing some good Safeties.
How about Julian Blackmon and Devin White instead?

5 points
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stockholder's picture

February 06, 2024 at 04:17 pm

Keep the wallet closed.
Stay young. Beat the odds.

7 points
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EnemyTerritory's picture

February 06, 2024 at 05:20 pm

My goodness, I agree with Stockholder. Do not blow up the future long term prospects for a win now all in high dead cap future. The plan appears to have been to truly compete in 2025 but the performance exceeded the expectations in 2023. AT LEAST FOR THE LAST HALF OF THE SEASON. There are zero guarantees this will continue and the team will have a much harder schedule including within the NFC North. There is a new DC and a new defense will need to gel. The RB room is potentially in flux. Sign a few inexpensive free agent pieces that have long term potential and that upgrade talent at key areas and leave more draft flexibility. Build through the draft where the team has a first, two twos and two threes. Keep or release Bahk depending on his medical progress. Either way there’s a pile of free space with him in 2025. Patience is a better path imho

8 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

February 06, 2024 at 06:28 pm

by god, this is the once annual agreement with you. younger, faster, cheaper, the Packer way.

4 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 11:29 am

We do have a decent number of picks to do just that Stock, even if we don't move back from #25. Just as I think that where certain position groups should start to come off the board favor the Packers, like Safety, ILB or Interior Off Lineman. Other groups like CB and RB have really strong and attractive options after the first "Tier" of their groups. Rounds 2, 3, and 4 will really strengthen GB @ positions of need this year. A couple extra picks there would be off the charts good.

Another thing in our favor, not talking about the draft, is the fact that good FA Safeties are a lower priced position group over the last 5 years or so. Amos was a decent and fairly reasonable FA Safety pickup when we got him. It would be dollars well spent to have a younger veteran FA to help mentor the back end next year where we will have at least 3 rookies in the Safety and CB rooms. And it seems we have an ideal DC to coach them up.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

February 07, 2024 at 07:24 pm

Yes -we do. I agree.
You don't need to be in the top 90.
Just Look at the OL. And we still have Jones.

The assumption is Defense now.
Take the trench - If the 4 front is in--= Depth.
Van Ess, Gary , or P. Smith will drop back like Kampman
Drafting a True DE gives you Darius Robinson.
Taking the ILB - Depth @ 42 a starter
Taking the CBs - Depth - CBs will be available at 88 and 92
The perfect spot for Nickel Backs! And a RB.
Safety - DeJean did have injuries. Best shot @25
Otherwise Look for a trade down with pick #52 for a safety

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2024 at 09:00 am

Why would they drop back like Kampman ? He played in a four down linemen front. They switched to 3-4 elephant and ruined his career. True four man fronts hands-in-the-ground and control the gaps. They can go 5-1-5 and stand up the edge on passing downs or blitz the guys who are fast enough to jet to the QB. Wooten, Brooks and Van Ness are true DEs. Gutey was actually proactive in the 2023 draft. The trench guy I want is T'vondre Sweat as the DT/NT, alluding to Gilbert Brown.

0 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 06, 2024 at 04:59 pm

Or Jordan Whitehead and Josey Jewel. And a run stuffer.

1 points
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NFLfan's picture

February 06, 2024 at 09:43 pm

Jordan Whitehead is weak link- Jets not happy w/ his over-all play. He reminds me of Savage-very inconsistent

0 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 08, 2024 at 02:44 pm

In 2023, Jordan Whitehead played 1069 snaps for the Jets. He 97 tackles, 65 solo, 32 assists. He also had 4 interceptions. His lowest tackle total in 6 years was 69. If that's not good production and the Jets don't like Whitehead, the Packers should sign him in a heartbeat. He also only made $5.5 mill last year.

If Whitehead was their weak link. Who was their best player and how good a year did he have? Savage had 50 tackles and made the same money.

1 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 08, 2024 at 02:51 pm

By the way Josey Jewel-Broncos, was the 10th best rated ILB last year, has had 100 plus tackles 3 out of the last 4 years, is a good coverage ILB and is slotted to make $7 million per year on his next contract. He would be a fabulous replacement for Campbell without breaking the bank.

We probably could sign Jewell and Whitehead for less than Queen alone.

1 points
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GregC's picture

February 06, 2024 at 05:37 pm

Safety is the one position where it might be worthwhile to take a big swing. They need two safeties and a CB, and it's going to be hard to find three good players at those positions in the draft (especially two safeties). Bring in a good free agent safety and suddenly it becomes much more realistic to fill out the secondary in the draft.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 06, 2024 at 05:45 pm

A decent swing, may be not a huge one. We need a Starting FS for now though, not just the future. That’s the money. I’d be fine with that but prefer we also a cheaper box safety too in FA. That would be preferable to a single big splash for me. Then draft talent to develop behind them. Maybe resign one from last year for depth for a year in transition and give Johnson draft competition.

I do not see an obvious need for FA investment this year elsewhere: the cap is still relatively tight till 2025, and I’d rather not burden those years absent a truly special opportunity. We are young, stay that way now, get cap healthy. Safety is the only exception to that I can see at the moment.

4 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

February 06, 2024 at 08:46 pm

I'd rather see them just go with a fairly cheap SS and draft one of the top safeties that played at least 1000 snaps deep.

One exception might be Xavier McKinney. He's a real versatile guy that is a good run defender and also has a passer rating allowed of 69. Best of all he turns 25 in August. A veteran that can play deep when the want to play two safeties back that is also real comfortable at the LOS could be a real plus if they end up starting a rookie or two on the backend.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 07, 2024 at 09:27 am

FS is a notoriously slow-to-develop position. I don’t see one who is stand out talented and close ready in this draft. Do you? That’s why I think the best strategy is to pay for one and build behind while that player holds the fort for a year or two.

-1 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 08, 2024 at 03:43 pm

WHAT/ Kinchens or Nubin would easily start for us next year.

0 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 11:33 am

Exactly!!!

1 points
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fthisJack's picture

February 07, 2024 at 08:46 am

I agree C. The safety class is not that great this year. Take a big swing to get Winfield and you have made a big move in fixing the D backfield. Then concentrate the draft on CB which is loaded and get your LB, OL ,Edge, RB in the draft. You have made the secondary 100 % better with one guy and have the draft capitol to improve the other areas!

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 06, 2024 at 05:51 pm

The Packers have a 43% chance of making the playoffs. They have a 25% chance of winning the division. They have a 12.5% shot at making it to the Championship game, and a 6.25% chance of going to the Super Bowl. I'd be opposed in principal to making FA deals that would commit a lot of money to a guy who won't improve those odds by very much.

To me, the simplest solution at Safety starts with signing Savage. The team is on the hook for over $5M, even if he's not on the team. He's a FA, so we can't just trade him. Best solution, if possible, would be to sign him to a 3 year deal. He's certain to be one of our 9 best DBs on gameday. It's probably going to run about $5M a year and bonuses but that's actually a pretty reasonable salary for a veteran starting Safety. And since we already owe him $5M, we could just roll that into the package. And it actually could lower the 2024 cap.

AND I'd target a Safety at around #90, after I'd taken a CB at #25. So that puts 3 starters on the field, along with Alexander and Stokes, until they get hurt. Beyond that, we have Valentine and Johnson and some openings at DB.

-1 points
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CheeseEdWest2's picture

February 06, 2024 at 06:13 pm

A number of common taters have opined that Savage has largely been wrongly used. Like to see if Halfley can put him in the spot to succeed, esp if they run the one-high a lot and he's in the box. He just needs to play catch more so he doesn't drop INT's that are right in his hands.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 07, 2024 at 09:30 am

Savage has played his best as a robber. That means close to the line not deep. I’m not sure that the robber role fits Hafley (though I could be wrong). It likely does fit some other teams. Either way, even if he’s affordable, the problem is that Savage is wildly inconsistent from game to game and that we would still need a true single high safety.

-1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

February 08, 2024 at 10:30 am

Savage not being everything is not a problem. If the new DB can't utilize the robber role - that would be a massive problem. There's some talent on the roster that can do it. I can do nothing but trust the process, that 1265 vetted all this.

GPG!

0 points
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egbertsouse's picture

February 06, 2024 at 06:26 pm

Savage is a stiff who doesn’t like to tackle. They might as well sign Ha Ha Clinton-Dix if that’s what they are looking for.

-5 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 11:39 am

We can't have a small Safety on the field that can't or won't tackle consistently. Savage is fast, that's it. And he has bricks for hands. We can do better Savage in free agency for the same dollars. FA Safeties are for the most part an inexpensive position group.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:21 pm

'''''. We can do better Savage in free agency for the same dollars'''''

I'm not so sure.

-1 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 04:11 pm

Would you be shocked if some team doesn't offer a former first round pick who started a lot of games for the Packers $5 or $6 million per year for 3 years. I read the Giants might be really interested. Thats average money for a fair FA Safety. How about we find a good tackler instead.

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 04:55 pm

What's the difference between a good tackler and a poor one?

2 missed tackles a year? 5? 8? 11? Or do you think that nobody should ever miss any tackles?

The Giants could pay him $5million/year for 3 years and it would cost them $15 million. We could pay him $5million/year for 3 years and it would cost us $10M, because we already owe him $5.

It's economics. He'd be an inexpensive vet, and a better than average one at that.

0 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

February 07, 2024 at 06:29 pm

Yes, but. Wait, what?

The allowable number of missed tackles is none in entitled town...

Economics is a course that most dropped because it was at 8:00 am on Friday morning.

Many took some math in HS, but you know, math was hard.

-3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 06:47 pm

The Packers, at $41M committed to the DBs in 2024, are about league average. Of course, a really big chunk of that $41M goes to Alexander ($24). Savage is on the books for $5M, Stokes a little less, and everybody else is minimum wage.

We obviously need to add talent, but everybody we lose is another guy we have to add. You need 9 on gameday, probably another gameday inactive, and a practice squad guy or two that you can elevate. You need 5 or even 6 on the field for much of the game.

This is like not liking your car because it has dents, so you just give it away after you've paid for it. You're throwing away a guy who has already made 5 years worth of mistakes in favor of somebody who still has to make most of them. We should be adding to Alexander and Stokes and Savage, not subtracting and replacing.

-1 points
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stockholder's picture

February 07, 2024 at 04:33 am

Savage has a tease game ever year.
He's had 5 years to build on his promising start.
He is the only change I would make at this time.
His 5 mil. has to go to the others first.
Draft the back -ups and let the competition come out.

3 points
5
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Leatherhead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:25 pm

We already owe him $5M. We can't give it to others. We could extend the contract, roll in what we owe him, and sign him to an average contract for veteran safeties .

We have a shot at the division title in 2024. It's Murphy's last year. I don't think we're going to roll the dice at Safety and hope that some rookie stays healthy all year and plays well. We need several pieces in the secondary, we dress 9 DBs, and Savage is certainly in our Top 9.

-1 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 07, 2024 at 09:24 pm

The only way I would EVER re-sign Savage is if our new DC looked at tape and how he was used the one year he was doing good and told Gute he was out of position and he could get him in top form...if he is a good DC, he could probably do it regardless. First round picks should be playing at a pro bowl level a majority of the time unless injured...If they were really 1st round quality player to begin with. Savage has been healthy most of the time, I hope the new coaches can improve the secondary a bunch as well as the pass rush from the DL and OLB group.

2 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 08, 2024 at 03:04 pm

Phantom, I am started to see the arguement Leatherhead is making. And I tend to agree.

I didn't know we still owed Savage money for next year, so thats one good reason for a 3 year contract. Especially if the dead money is rolled into it.

I have not heard that he is disgruntled with Green Bay about anything, so I would think he is open to staying.

There were a fair amount of NFL Safties playing for less than what Savage made that had better years.

Maybe the biggest reason is because our new DC has a big strength with DBs and particularly teaching good tackling fundamentals. Hopefully catching balls that hit you in the hands is a coaching strength too.

1 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 08, 2024 at 08:33 pm

Well, my baseball coach had us hit and every ball we missed, we ran sprints then went to the front of the line to repeat. It did not take more than a couple cycles of this for the laser focus to firmly plant itself in us. Catching a pass is the same. This would be an excellent drill in spring training for all football players especially WR's/ TE's /RB's and entire defense. GPG

0 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

February 08, 2024 at 10:27 am

LH, I'm with ya on all that except if only 7 O linemen return that needs to be a draft priority. There are only so many big men and "draft and develop" should work well, but starting with top tier talent does matter. If good DBs can be had cheap in FA, that's a great complement to draft capital. Savage did have a good year and it would be nice to see him thrive in a new system in GB.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 10, 2024 at 01:34 pm

My eyes say we have a 90% chance of playoffs. A 50% chance of the Division. If we make it to the playoffs...50% chance of NFCC. These young guys are studs on offense. This latter season spike showed them they belonged in the playoffs. Letting SF wiggle out of the foot on the throat gave them a mission this off-season to finish the game and season right. I see a massive improvement out of the gate if we keep our RB1 and draft another stud address our shortcomings in FA and the draft. Our new DC is more aggressive...GPG

0 points
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Fubared's picture

February 06, 2024 at 06:05 pm

I almost thought sentiment wise I wrote the article. We have deadwood to unload and save some bucks. With a young offense we need to build the defense up and quickly.
Turnover is the biggest obstacle to building a team. The idea of draft and develop is dead. You train someone and just when they are at peak, they leave for mo money. Not to mention you have a great draft you also have a bunch of talent hitting free agency at the same time decimating your team. Free agency is the only answer to fill gaps and create consistency

-4 points
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Oppy's picture

February 06, 2024 at 06:39 pm

You train someone and before their contract expires, you extend them and re-work their deal.

That's how you keep players when you draft and develop. This isn't a big secret. It's not rocket science. It's how the Packers operated during the Thompson era, and how they'll operate under Gutekunst (assuming Murphy gets out of the way and allows Gute to directly advise Ball on contracts.)

You identify the core players you've developed that you consider "must keeps", and you never let them get anywhere near free agency.

8 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

February 06, 2024 at 08:36 pm

"The Vikings way." By Fubared.

8 points
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NickPerry's picture

February 07, 2024 at 06:01 am

EXACTLY!

2 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 08, 2024 at 08:45 pm

We could use a couple Veteran DB's that perform at pro bowl level and are healthy. In order to fix the defense secondary this is the fastest way to get there and it does not involve years of players drafted high and sitting on the bench which has been a constant in GB. I would like to see who our new DC thinks we need in the draft and how they turn out, but as shown our QB1 and WR's and TE's are deep playoff ready and I predict a good chance of going to the show with DB improvement/ pass rush and run stop improvement and OL getting better at run and pass block from the work put in the gym in the offseason. GPG

0 points
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haevs6's picture

February 06, 2024 at 07:00 pm

To say T Thompson (RIP) was a solid drafter is very questionable at best.....everyone has misses, i get it...his last drafts were not good, just look at them....not going thru all of them....
Last draft 2017...#2 CB K King over TJ Watt? #2 CB J Jackson, #3 DT M Adams?? Etc
2016 #2 J Spriggs, Etc
2015 Safety, turned CB D Randall, #2 Q Rollins, #3 Ty Mongomery/Etc.
None of these early round picks lasted or even got 2nd contracts?? All those are killers and deplete your team to draft the same positions again in later years
He had some hits, but overall many misses in very early rounds hurt... Our 2018 draft has only J Alexander left, we have done better in the later years.... Thank goodness.... Pack is moving forward, lots of young/good players, hopefully we use FA and 5 of top 100 draft picks to add to our momentum and new aggressive DC

2 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 06, 2024 at 09:56 pm

GB blew so many draft picks to reel in a serviceable DB. Sometimes if you have issues hitting certain positions it's better to just sign a Vet player with a proven track record....and this is the perfect time for it again.

4 points
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Starrbrite's picture

February 06, 2024 at 08:24 pm

Hitting and/or missing in free agency is risky, but I have no issues with taking “reasonable”risk.
White and Woodson are the most obvious successes, but there were many others; does anyone remember John Jefferson? I loved that move —mixed success.
Thompson refused to give a 4th round draft choice for Marshawn Lynch—a colossal mistake. And Randy Moss should have been signed. Those misses make you think what might have been.
IMO, you cannot sit on your hands in free agency.
I say we sign a FA Safety—I like Budda Baker, but there are others available, and perhaps better, who will immediately improve our defense.
Go Packers!!!

3 points
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GregC's picture

February 06, 2024 at 08:40 pm

They had Lofton and Jefferson, with a pretty good QB (Lynn Dickey), but somehow it wasn't that great. I don't remember why. I was pretty young at the time.

0 points
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Starrbrite's picture

February 06, 2024 at 10:42 pm

Jefferson had a few big games, but it seemed to me he was often used as a decoy. I always believed he should have been much more effective considering his talent; he was unstoppable with San Diego.

0 points
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Oppy's picture

February 08, 2024 at 09:21 pm

The offense WAS great. The defense not so much.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 06, 2024 at 09:48 pm

The Defense needs to get better faster= Veteran Safety , Hopefully a Pro Bowl Safety. Draft another Safety by 2nd Round.

1 points
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Starrbrite's picture

February 06, 2024 at 10:43 pm

Ageee with you Phantom.

-1 points
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ShooterMcGee's picture

February 07, 2024 at 03:03 am

Rasul Douglas would be a great addition to the secondary. We have an extra 3rd rounder we could trade for him lol.

5 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 07, 2024 at 09:11 pm

Yea , what a big mistake by Gute.

2 points
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HarryHodag's picture

February 07, 2024 at 07:54 am

I guess some people didn't learn from the 'big swing' for Rodgers, David B., etc. Signing big contracts doesn't mean victories. This past season should have taught that.

-1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:28 pm

I'm with you HH. Big swings are for teams steeped in a losing situation who feel the need to make big moves. That's not us. All we need to do is improve the offense a little bit and we'll be 12-5 and win the division.

0 points
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marpag1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 08:51 am

Nope.

Draft, then patch holes with the best value FAs you can find.

3 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 08, 2024 at 03:10 pm

EXACTLY!!!

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 07, 2024 at 09:33 am

Jonathan, "Then, Gutekunst turned around and gave Rodgers his huge contract extension."

That's on Ball and Muphy, not Gute. I wonder if they did it to Gute's surprise. The more I look at it the more it looks like he was trending in another direction. In a normal world, that should have been his call or at least in his plans.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:32 pm

Ball, LaFleur, and Gutekunst all would have had input on this contract. Gutekunst was probably like "Love is ready" but Murphy sided with the guys who wanted the MVP back for another year, probably LaFleur (wouldn't you want the MVP at QB?)

Ball probably said something to the effect of "We can do this if we want to ". So Murphy had to decide....that's what CEOs do when there's disagreement. I like that a lot better than ONE guy just making decisions on big things. I remember us passing up Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott. I remember us drafting Bruce Clark and Tony Mandarich. It's better if you have lots of different input, IMO. The Prez only gets involved when there is an unresolved difference.

0 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

February 07, 2024 at 06:36 pm

You're making assumptions that because the CEO is the decision maker that the previous decision makers weren't or didn't have other voices in their ears. That is a ridiculous assumption. To think Ted didn't listen to his scouts and pro personnel guys is absurd. Maybe back in the days of Bruce Clark and Mandarich fine, I have no idea how that front office was constructed. I object to Murphy making personnel calls, because he's an MBA, and an administrator, not a football operations guy. He shouldn't be the one. He usurped that power.

0 points
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marpag1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 11:39 pm

And speaking of making assumptions...

2 points
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WD's picture

February 07, 2024 at 03:35 pm

I totally agree with those that feel it is time to be active. I mean all out and not just dip your toes. Too many worry about dead cap and live cap whatever that is. These people would never have signed Reggie White. Reggie, Reggie! There are very few players that can literally change around an entire offense or defense. So, I think the Pack should JUST FIND A WAY to either sign Queen or Winfield. Personally I think with Quays other half most likely leaving Queen makes the most sense. There is no rhyme or reason to just sign a bulk of mediocrity. Queen, Queen, Queen, Queen!

0 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

February 08, 2024 at 10:41 am

How can you state you don't understand dead cap and yet form an opinion?

There was no dead cap space in Reggie White's contract. He certainly changed the game! Hopefully Gary and LVN will both flourish under the new system; people seem to be overlooking Brenton Cox, too.

0 points
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WD's picture

February 08, 2024 at 01:05 pm

As a writer on cheesehead pointed out. "It is not your money". "Why do you care"? Moreover, another article in Cheesehead recommended Queen as a tier one player that the Packers should consider because he would change the dynamics of the entire defense for the better. Those arguments were persuasive with me and helped me form my opinion. Of course I understand there are always economic factors for every player for all decisions made. But, I am not a financial analyst for the GB Packers. So, it is easy to give my opinion and you are welcome to give yours as well. We are all Packer fans.

0 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

February 08, 2024 at 10:49 am

Before last year, Queen never made a Pro Bowl and didn't have his 5th year option picked up. Then, in a contract year, his play picked up. Some team will come in and overpay him for that one good year. I highly doubt it will be Green Bay. The last thing we need is another inflated contract right now as they are finally getting out from the SC mess Rodgers ridiculous contract caused.

0 points
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golfpacker1's picture

February 08, 2024 at 03:36 pm

Queen sounds like a head case to me. We can do better than him. This is not the year to do this. Lets cool the jets here a little fellow Packers fans. GB had a better year than most expected in 2023. We also played a weak schedule last year and lost to some terrible teams. Next years schedule is going to be harder for sure.

The Packers made good progress this year and answered some big questions. We will not be favored to win the North next year. And we will not be a legitimate Super Bowl contender either. We should just try to fill the holes we have and lose some more debt as well as some overpaid, underperforming, older players.

This is not the year to be spending stupidly on Free Agents who granted will improve us, but not get us over the hump. GB is building through the draft in 2024 and honestly, we don't have nearly as many holes to fill as we did in 2023. Lets keep building this team through talented, cheap, youth.

The 2025 season and beyond is what we are building towards because we should have big expectations for ourselves and from others. GB is positioned about as well as you could be to have a strong draft. Our biggest needs will fall right into rounds 2, 3, and 4. If the right player falls to us @ #25, we should grab them and not look back. If not then we should look for a trade partner to move back for more picks right in the wheelhouse where our big needs, Safety, CB, Oline, RB, and ILBs will be coming off the board.

Safeties off board in 2nd and 3rd. And one later. Kinchen or Nubin. Or Hicks or Bullock.
The second tier of CBs are about the same as the first tier, again in 2nd and 3rd. Khyree Jackson or Kamal Haddin.
OG is a big need, 2nd round.
RBs that fit our needs-3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds. And one later. So many good options, we will have our favorite.
ILBs won't be 1st or 2nd round-so we should get a good one choosing between Wilson, Colson, Gray, Hopper and Bertrand 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 10, 2024 at 10:52 am

I watched our playoff run. We are DEFINITELY IN SUPER BOWL CONVERSATION. Especially since we let the 49er game get away. 2 DB's dropping picks. Detroit used our technique of blocking down on Bosa and running around him most of the game. They blew it also. We need a few more better DB's in the Secondary. A fast ILB and a big hog run stuffer on the DL. OL is where we will win or loose in the playoffs again. Bigger...tougher...stronger and less NEED for TE's to chip is when we will be able to dominate with 5 WR SETS OR A MIX OF TE'S AND WR'S stressing other teams. It is our biggest strength. When the OL can dominate the DL our run game will truly be next level and we can run it right at them instead of around the edge, which will get us short yardage 1st downs at a higher clip. GPG...Get it done Gute...

0 points
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