If you read my previous post today, you know what I think the chances are of the Green Bay Packers actually making a move of consequence this offseason. Still, it would be remiss of me not to mention the possibility of the Buffalo Bills’ Marshawn Lynch joining the Packers.
Bob McGinn did just that over the weekend, so unless the Journal Sentinel is beginning to engage in wild speculation like we do (which, considering the state of journalism, is entirely possible), then there has to be something to the idea.
The Bills drafted Clemson running back C.J. Spiller in the first round of the NFL Draft. In addition to Spiller, the Bills also have Fred Jackson, who outperformed Lynch last season. Jackson ran for 1,062 yards and averaged 4.5 yard per carry and Lynch, who was suspended the first four games of 2009 because of a weapons charge, totaled 450 yards and averaged 3.8 yards per carry.
Still, Lynch has talent. He’s 24 and prior to last year’s turd of a season, Lynch was a 1,000-yard back. In 2007, Lynch tallied 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games. In 2008, he racked up 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. He averaged 4.0 and 4.1 yards per carry in those seasons, respectively.
And not that it’s likely to sway Packers’ GM Ted Thompson, but Lynch also has the Cal connection. He was Aaron Rodgers’ backfield mate in college.
Despite public denials, the Bills were reportedly trying to trade Lynch during the draft and it was said he was essentially available for a bag of donuts. Now that nothing has materialized, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Lynch was released. There doesn’t seem to be room for him in Buffalo.
In either case, the Packers would be wise to take a look at him. The team clearly has an interest in adding a presence behind Ryan Grant or they wouldn’t have been kicking the tires on Brian Westbrook. Current No. 2 Brandon Jackson hasn’t looked like the answer in his three seasons in Green Bay and the Packers have no idea what they’re going to get, if anything, from sixth-round draft choice James Starks.
Interestingly, the Packers had their eye on Lynch in the 2007 NFL Draft. The Bills chose him at No. 12 and Thompson went on to choose Justin Harrell at No. 16 and addressed the running back position by selecting Jackson in the second round (yes, great job, Ted). Jackson opened the season as the starter, but soon gave way to Grant.
If it takes a trade to get Lynch this time, the Packers would be wise to get him. The price will be cheap and the potential upside is tremendous.