Report: Green Bay Packers will be Players in Free Agency

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B.J. Raji

B.J. Raji

Are you sitting down? According to a report, the Green Bay Packers are ready to abandon their usual do-nothing approach to free agency and actually be players this year.

This report comes from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who’s usually pretty reliable.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Wednesday on “NFL Total Access” that the Packers plan to take advantage of their nearly $30 million in cap space and acquire outside free agents, according to sources informed of the team’s thinking.

Rapoport reported on NFL Network that the Packers could sign as many as five players, which would be the most for the team since 2006.

We are stunned! Stunned, I tell you!

The focus will reportedly be on rebuilding the defense (again) and getting faster, more athletic players that fit Dom Capers’ 3-4 system. That kind of makes you wonder why the Packers weren’t acquiring players that fit Capers’ system the past three years, doesn’t it?

While any number of you have been blaming Capers for the Packers’ defensive failures, we’ve always pointed to the personnel. This shift in philosophy suggests the Packers would agree with that argument.

The main focus for the Packers appears to be the defensive line, where all three starters are free agents. According to Rapoport, the Packers want players more in the mold of last year’s first-round pick Datone Jones than they do in the mold of fat-ass B.J. Raji.

Raji turned down an $8 million per year contract extension during the season. That now looks completely foolish on his part, but when you couple that with this supposed new direction it’s as good a sign as any that Raji won’t be back. Ryan Pickett, who’s also a wide body, could fall into the same category unless he’s brought back on the cheap to play the nose.

Even if the Packers want quicker, more athletic guys on the line they’ll still need a big boy in the middle of it.

At any rate, the Packers will have close to $30 million in salary cap space available to spend. For once, it might just be an interesting offseason in Green Bay.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

15 Comments on "Report: Green Bay Packers will be Players in Free Agency"

  1. James

    The Packers will only sign free agents when their value and cost is better than signing their own. In this case a lot of the Packers own free agents have not played well so in the case it makes total sense.

  2. TyKo Steamboat

    (Related))…My 1st-round draft pick wish list:

    1.) Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
    (assuming Raji is indeed gone)
    2.) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
    (assuming we don’t grab a proven safety in free agency)
    3.) Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.
    (assuming we cannot sign Sam Shields)

    & I honestly believe we will get one of these 3 guys. Good draft for defense this year & that is where the Packers’ needs are (with exception to the TE position)

  3. Shawn iltarion

    The Packers typically extend the players they want to keep unless they believe that there will be no market for said player and can get them back for cheap.

    So, this report would explain why the Packers have not extended BJ Raji among others. Apparently the Packers believe better options might be available elsewhere.

    The Packers actually tried to extend Shields. So, I think he is a case of HIM believing there are better options elsewhere.

    Again, this goes along with what I said at the end of two seasons ago- that the Packers need to get FASTER and not bigger.

    The three top teams in the NFC this season- Seattle, San Fran and Carolina- all run the read option and have QBs that can run for first downs. You have to have speed on defense to compete with these guys.

  4. GBslacker

    I doubt the Packers make a move in free agency.
    It’s just not their style, regardless of needs.
    If you look at free agents before last season, and then investigate their subsequent performance — for a vast majority, it’s a “who’s who” of nondescript, non-performing players.

    I really hope that the Packers don’t re-sign a majority of their free agents. I want new people.

    I’d be thrilled if they let Raji and Shields walk.
    If any performance from last year said “I want outta here,” it was Raji’s.
    And when you play with Pickett, Raji, Hawk, Jones, Jennings, McMillian, House, and Burnett — sure, Shields looks good. But he’s not that good. With Rosenhaus as an agent, Shields will be the last one to figure that out. Look for him to sign with a near cellar-dweller for big-bucks (with the possibility of spending some of that money for tattoo removal).

    And what-if we lose those two?
    We go to 27th in total defense, instead of 25th?

    • GBslacker

      …and boom, there it is on PFT, a free-agent signing:
      “Packers add tight end Raymond Webber”

      Holy Cow!
      Talk about acting fast!

      The Packers have scooped up the 6′ 2″, 237# wide receiver, formerly with the Jets and Buccaneers — and the CFL!

      So… for those that are reading carefully, you might be thinking: “what the? have we signed a wide receiver or a tight end?” Guess what! we’ve got yet another conversion project. But at his size he should have no problem picking up a stunting defensive lineman, with an off-season of OTAs and training-camp “thump” drills.

      And there’s this: he’s already spent a season on Injured Reserve!

      In summary,
      …he’s spent time with stalwart organizations,
      …he’s playing out of position,
      …and he’s got the injury situation down pat.

      Crazy good fit with the Packers; awesome move, Ted.

      Finley, Quarless, Jones — we need your playbooks, bitches !!!

  5. Abe Frohman

    The Leo’s just released Delmas and the Saints just released Roman Harper. Say what you want about those guys, but they’re better than anyone we have.

  6. Icebowler

    I was hoping we’d go after FS Malcolm Jenkins, but with the Saints releasing Roman Harper, it probably means he’ll stay with the Saints. Damn!

  7. Stephen

    What I don’t understand about Thompson’s anti free agent stance is how he still over pays resigning his own players. The packers are big spenders in free agency. They just resign their own guys for stupid amounts. Thompson has been doing this consistently the last few seasons. The worst one was AJ Hawk. Fortunately, Thompson was able to negotiate his way out of that one, but not immediately. The worst signing of recent note would have to be Morgan Burnett. If Burnett has another interception free season, I would say this is Ted Thompsons worst contract.

    He’s paying Burnett 26 million over 5 years that just started in 2013. The packers never waited for Burnett to show any playmaking ability before giving him a contract. Ironically, this was the exact opposite when they had Collins. Collins got a nice raise after he started really playing. Thompson just gambled with Burnett and it looks like it totally backfired.

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