With $30M in cap room, look for new deals, not new players

Feb 26, 2009 Full story: WisInfo 31

Having about $30 million in salary-cap room isn't likely to change the Green Bay Packers' approach to free agency, but they may be more active than last year because of their switch to the 3-4 defense.

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wal0645

Hampton, VA

#1 Feb 26, 2009
This was a good article to read and shows some of the complexities a GM encounters. We have all this cap money, but we also have key guys on our team that have produced with upcoming expiring contracts. The question is do dish out a bunch of money for a bigtime FA, or do you concentrate on signing these players on the team where you know their value? I believe the price tag on guys like Suggs, Haynesworth, and Peppers is too high and TT will look at other mid-range players who could help us. I believe the bulk of this cap money will be spent to re-sign current players. People will rag on TT, but that's why he is the GM; to make these tough decisions. The Steelers are a good example for us to follow, draft quality guys and develop them into your system. We have the coaching now to develop guys. I know this is maybe not popular, but is the best approach.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#2 Feb 26, 2009
i couldn't agree more wal! If you look at History,a huge majority of those huge free agents signings dont value out anyway.
it looks great on paper,but there isnt alot of money when you sign your own,we just have to hope the ones we sign do play well and was worth the cash

Problem is Ted hasnt exactly had a terrific record with top picks

Aaron Rodgers GREAT PICK!
AJ HAWK,that was a no brainer as everyone including your grandmother saw that coming!
Justin Harrell BUST SO FAR
and a traded first pick
id expect TT to trade out and save money and pick up multiple picks in the 2nd 3rd and down the line.Save the huge signing bonuses for a lower signing bonus.
changes have got to be made as the defense is changing,but,the Packers arent nearly as far as many think.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#3 Feb 26, 2009
Thing is if TT can make a great first pick and or a huge NT,then Pickett can go! freeing up a ton of cash.Clifton can go if they draft Smith at LT and free up a ton of cash.My first thougth was the Packers can release a big salery player to free up money!
Id be carfull with Nick Collins,he played well his first year,sucked the second,average at best the 3rd,played well last year,but, it wasnt his contract year,so maybe its for real.ALot of players kind of suck until there last year ( contract year) and they play great.( see Cledius Hunt)
eric

Poseyville, IN

#4 Feb 26, 2009
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/packer...

actaully according to the article,TED might actually sign a FA EARLY FOR ONCE
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#5 Feb 26, 2009
After watching some of the combine, the defensive player from Boston College (Ragi) looks promising to me. He's around 330 lbs and is stout. He ran a 5.1 in the 40, but what I like about him is his confidence. I don't know about his health history, but I know it's a lot better than Harrell who is the only high pick that TT got wrong. This NT position is key and I believe Raji could be the guy in the 1st round. If we take him then Pickett is gone. I would pay Collins, but would not Bigbi. I would also resign Tauscher.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#6 Feb 26, 2009
problem is Aaron Rouse hasnt stepped up so its almost a must to keep Bigbi.We need a NT ( Pickett is gone next year,as he is a ton of cash) Clifton is a FA next year and lT are worth a ton and hes past his prime.Guards are easy to find,so Colledge or Spitz are prob gone unless COlledge goes to RT and SPitz c an play center if Wells back is still bad and he isnt effective.
Harrell would be perfect at NT hes around 320 but his health sucks,ect ( but we all know that dont we!)I like Ragi as well,but, read he cant hold blocks as well and can be pushed back,so he would have to play lower,or gain some strength.
Id love to see Ted step it up and sign a big time LB,so we can go with SMith at LT with the 9th pick.Pickett still is very good and we could put him there for 09,but,need to replace him in 10 unless TT will pony up 4 of 5 mil per year for him.
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#7 Feb 26, 2009
I too would have no problem if TT selected a tackle as both of ours are getting old. We were fortunate that Tauscher/Clifton played so well. You got to have quality at tackle and there are a few good ones in the 1st round. I don't have that much confidence in Rouse either at safety and see someone else there on opening day.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#8 Feb 26, 2009
scary part is LT and NT in the 3-4 are both very important positions and we need to fill both! LT is more crucial as Ryan Pickett i think can be a NT in the 3-4 and CLifton;s knees are going and Ted hs to make sure if Clifton cant go,we have a suitable lT to fill in.
Lt
NT
SS
if we dont sign Bigby or if they have no confidence as he had a good half year and a playoff.
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#9 Feb 26, 2009
Yep; that's how I read it, go for the quality tackle and let Pickett play NT to see how he handles the 3-4. We definitely should be looking for a safety to replace Bigby. I like Rouse, he's a very good special teams guy and backup safety. Maybe look for a safety in round #2. Eric; do you think Harrell will show any value and be the backup at NT?
eric

Poseyville, IN

#10 Feb 26, 2009
hes what, 6 4 around 325 or so,so hes got size,we just dont know what he has for power,strength ect as hes always hurt.He coming off a 2nd back surgery,but, being a 1st round pick,im sure ted will give him every shot at it.he or Colin Cole and Cole can be moved back from what ive read from some experts,so he might not be good for the 3-4.

Sad part is J.H. came here as a 1st round pick,out of shape,immature,cocky being a high drat pick ( his own admission) and was out of shape,and he hurt himself working extra hard to get into shape after realizing he screwed up being out of shape and it has cost him 2 seasons..
He seems to be a big kid and realized he screwed up,so he seems to want to get into the best shape of his life and if he does,im sure he would be part of the dline in some capacity.
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#11 Feb 27, 2009
Well folks, would you prefer we had a GM like the one in Washington who dished out a combine 145M for two players; Haynesworth and Deangelo Hall? This is just plain using poor judgment, not thinking long-term, and in the long run will strap their team. I'm glad TT has a thick skin and doesn't do outlandish stuff just to make people happy. I'd like to see us pick up a FA or two, but nothing like what the Skins just pulled off.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#12 Feb 27, 2009
Im glad Washington jumped on AH so fast,we dont have to hear the TT haters bitch that TT needs to sign AH.He takes plays off,what a mistake that was!
Notice Washington is the Yankees of football and notice how often they are playoff bound!
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#13 Feb 27, 2009
The big difference is in baseball you can get away with this crap because these big market teams have unlimited access to signing players. It's one of the big reasons I don't follow baseball that much anymore because the teams aren't on the same competitive edge. Football is a lot different and you blow your team up making moves like the Skins just pulled. Hall is not that good and talks a better game than he plays and Haynesworth's value isn't close to the money he will make. I can't believe the lack of judgment with some of these GM's.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#14 Feb 27, 2009
AH wont be in Wash more then 3 season;s god forbid if Washington's defense doesn't play well,AH will be a huge lightning rod of criticism!
normallylikeyell ow

Hillsdale, PA

#15 Feb 27, 2009
wal, I was Raji fan until I saw the Senior Bowl, when he was a non-factor. Depends on what you're looking for... I think Ronald Fields, Howard Green or Damane Duckett could be solid rotation guys in the middle (FA). Is Raji a Kris Jenkins or Albert Haynesworth---love to be wrong, not what I saw. Jerry Peria might be a more motivated player, but he'll be gone by round 2. Fili Moala would be my next pick at that position.
eric

Poseyville, IN

#16 Feb 27, 2009
if ted like Peria as much as you do NLY,maybe Ted trades down a few spots and gets an additional pick like a 3rd and grabs Peria

I still like Smith at LT with the 9 pick,but,again if the docs tell Ted that Cliftons knees are doing well,and Ted fiqures CC can play at a high level for 3 more years,then he might resign him and go another direction,im thinking Cliftons knees are only giving him another few at most,so my Smith suggestion.
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#17 Feb 28, 2009
The more I read, Raji is growing as the guy we should take. We will lose Cole to free agency and Harrell cannot be counted on. Pickett has been a good player for us, but he's getting older and we will need to address his contract. If he plays well in the 3-4, then the premium to resign him will be very high as solid NT in the 3-4 are hard to find. Raji is a talent and would represent that rock in the middle for years. I just like this guy's attitude and he is a very aggressive player. With all the quality tackles going in the 1st round, couldn't we find a good one in the 2nd (Clifton was a 2nd round pick)? One of the components of an effective 3-4 is this NT position; Raji fits the bill.
normallylikeyell ow

Hollidaysburg, PA

#18 Feb 28, 2009
Not saying Raji isn't talented. I'm just saying he didn't play well in the Senior Bowl (couldn't get off blocks, had no penetration) and frankly was slow and looked out of shape at the combine. He lifted in the top 6 or so, but otherwise was a non-factor in running and drills. We don't need another Harrell. I'm with eric, though, I'd take one of the 4 great OTs. There are other NTs both in the draft and FA.
wal0645

Yorktown, VA

#19 Feb 28, 2009
Raji did run a 5.1 in the 40 which aint too bad for a guy his size (6'1", 330). I have had an opportunity to watch him a few times this past season in the ACC and he's a very tough player. Even if we go with the tackle in the 1st, we still have this issue with Pickett in 2010 when his contract is due. If Ryan plays well in the 3-4 scheme, he's a FA at season's end and would be a prime FA I believe. It will take some serious dough to re-sign him and do we want to commit a large salary to a guy 31 years old? If he's our only option, then there's a big decision for someone (even heightened if the team has a good year). I say take Raji and grab a tackle in the 2nd (we should be able to find quality with the 41 pick in the draft). Raji could be our long-term answer at NT. You never know with these 1st round picks and it is assumed they will be successful because they are talented. Many in addition to Harrell have been bust so there is no sure thing especially after the top 5-6 picks most years.
normallylikeyell ow

Hollidaysburg, PA

#20 Feb 28, 2009
Not picking a fight, here, Wal. Look back about 2 months and you'll see yours truly was pushing for Raji. He ate up his conference. Precisely why I've been so disappointed when he stepped up to all-star competition. Yes, 5.13 is decent, but he was behind 14 other guys in Indy and he was down in the short drills, where he is supposed to be so quick.

Check out this analysis: http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/b.j.-raji...

You won't want to use a first round pick. A great later pick would be Evander Hood. He's terrific, but played on a team with weak defense. He is only 295 right now. He would need to, you know--bulk up.

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