Do the Green Bay Packers have a rebuilding project on their hands? Not if you ask Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers told Jason Wilde he thinks the Packers are just a couple pieces away from being competitive for the Super Bowl again.
“I think this is the end of a window and the beginning of a new one,” he said on his radio show. “This is the year when we can really open up a new window that can last for four or five years. It looks really bright. I think if you look at the core of our team, our offensive line is looking the way we want it, the receivers look incredible. We have a big-time back in Eddie (Lacy). Not sure what James Starks will do, (DuJuan Harris) is coming back.
“We have a lot of things that are setting up to be really good for a long time. A lot of really good young players with Sam (Shields), Micah Hyde, Casey (Hayward), when Casey comes back (from a hamstring injury) and Morgan Burnett and Sean Richardson, and veteran guys playing well, A.J. (Hawk) had his best season, Clay (Matthews), (Ryan) Pickett, (B.J.) Raji, Johnny Jolly coming back.
“This window has a chance to open up and be really bright for four or five years if you can get guys signed and keep them around. My contract is for six more years. I expect to be playing at a high level for all six of those years. We’ll see what happens after that. Maybe I’ll be able to go another three or four after that.”
That’s the right sentiment and what you want to hear from your team leader, but it remains to be seen what’s going to happen with the Packers.
The team does need some more pieces, but you know how they’re going to get those pieces. They’re going to draft them while ignoring free agency and that method has been hit and miss. It’s why people are talking about rebuilding to begin with.
Not enough of the young guys have panned out. Just look at the team’s last three first round picks, who were all expected to provide some sort of immediate impact.
Then there’s the constant glut of injuries the Packers are always contending with. When starters go down, the team is left plugging in some undrafted rookie instead of a veteran who isn’t learning on the job.
Look, the Packers should be better next season if they can stay even relatively healthy.
However, they’ve got some important decisions to make with their own free agents that will shape the roster for the coming years.
Our feeling is that if Ted Thompson doesn’t alter his strategy of draft and develop and fill the bottom of the roster with a bunch of undrafted guys, the Packers are just going to be good and not great.