When the Green Bay Packers lost running back Ryan Grant to an ankle injury, there were more than a few questions and suggestions focused on who the team could trade for.
Thus far, the Packers have remained true to form by sticking with backup Brandon Jackson and grabbing some nobody off the Atlanta Falcons practice squad to take Grant’s roster spot, once he went on injured reserve.
But the Buffalo Bills are coming to town this weekend and it’s convenient for the local media to drum up a new round of hope the Packers might trade for a running back — namely, the Bills Marshawn Lynch.
In their defense, what are these guys supposed to write about? Brian Brohm’s homecoming? How the Packers are going to annihilate the Bills? What an awesome coach Chan Gailey is?
No, there isn’t much going on in Buffalo these days football-wise. In fact, the Bills may well be the worst team in the NFL this season. So, we get stories about the remote possibility the Packers could trade for Lynch, who is third on the Bills’ depth chart behind C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.
Let me tell you this: this trade isn’t going to happen. It isn’t Ted Thompson’s MO, but let’s pretend the Packers have a normal general manager for a second and indulge in the mindless speculation.
Lynch is a talented back. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons, averaging at least four yards per carry both years.
Last year Lynch was suspended three games for violating the NFL conduct policy and ended up starting only six games, as Fred Jackson took over the primary ball-toting duties. Coming into this season, the Bills found themselves with two starting-caliber running backs, so what did they do? They went out and spent their first-round draft pick on Spiller, of course.
Anyway, let’s get back to the mindless speculation.
It all started when someone asked quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Lynch’s college teammate, his opinion about the Packers making a play for the running back.
“He’s a great player,” Rodgers said. “Any character issues that a team might see, in a situation like that, and you’ve seen that with different players across the league, when you give a change of scenery, and a guy like that who might feel like he has something to prove, and surround him with two guys, (linebacker Desmond) Bishop and myself who played with him (at California), that can only help him feel comfortable and see a lot of production.”
It should be noted that members of the media are the only to ask Rodgers about Lynch. No one in the organization has asked Rodgers anything, other than to throw some touchdowns on Sunday.
However, this got the national media’s attention, and I will admit, trading for Lynch does make sense, as Michael Silver pointed out.
Trading for Lynch, a versatile and physical running back ideal for head coach Mike McCarthy’s version of the West Coast offense, makes sense in so many ways. He’s a skilled inside runner who hits the hole quickly and specializes in gaining yards after contact. He has pass-catching skills and is exceptional in the red zone, where he has been known to enter “Beast Mode.”
The thing Silver ignores in this magical world where general managers do things that make sense, is he’s talking about two general managers who usually make no sense. Buffalo GM Buddy Nix shares the same philosophy as Thompson when it comes to making personnel moves. That being, see the obvious move and then do the exact opposite just to keep everyone off balance.
The Bills are so good this year and have no other holes to fill on their totally awesome team that Nix has decided he’s going to keep all three of his running backs. The Bills were reportedly offered a third-round pick and a player before the draft for Lynch and refused the offer.
That’s baffling. A third-round pick and a player is extremely generous for a third-string anything.
In fact, knowing how he values draft picks, I’d be surprised if Thompson would make that deal if Nix came to him and dangled Lynch for the same price.
Regardless, it appears to be a moot point. Jason La Canfora says the Bills are telling interested parties Lynch is not available.
Gailey, the Bills coach, seemed to echo that sentiment.
“Opinions vary as to whether there are too many or not,” said Gailey. ”Obviously in preseason we didn’t have too many. I know Green Bay wishes they had one more than they had. Everybody has got opinions about what’s right and we feel like having the three we have right now is a very good situation for us. We have to continue to get better with each one of them and see how their roles play out as the year goes on. This is a situation in the NFL where you can’t have too many good running backs sometimes.”
So, give me one Ted Thompson, add a Buddy Nix and sprinkle in a little Chan Gailey and you’ve got yourself a delicious, piping hot bowl of nothing.
Well they surely won’t trade him the week before we play each other! Let’s let Jackson play a game and see what happens first. You can always scrape the heap of unemployed backs if you just need a backup down the road, Betts, Fargus, Green, etc. It’s not like we are going to run the ball all that often. I don’t mind Jackson, just don’t want to see him get running low on juice playing all three downs.
Crazy Bills. Stacking three quality backs while they ain’t got anything else. It’s like a fantasy football team with 3 top backs and no WR and QB. Good luck getting more win than the Ram last season.
Personally I think teams don’t want to trade with the Packers. I tried to make a list of trades were other teams got burned by Packers Gm’s.
-Favre for a #1 pick 19th overall, that became RB Tony Smith, Southern Miss
-Eugene Robinson from the Seahawks for DE Matt LaBounty
-Ahman Green from the Seahawks for Fred Vinson
-Ryan Grant from the Giants for a 6th round pick that became LB Bryan Kehl
-The Clay Matthews from the Patroits for the pick that became CB Darius Bulter and web of subsequently traded draft picks that’s too hard to follow. (Bulter’s not a bad player, he’s just not close to Matthews)
-The picks that became Javon Walker and Aarom Kampman from the Seahawks for the picks that became DE Anton Palepoi and TE Jerramy Stevens.
– Al Harris and a fourth round pick from the Eagles for a second that became LJ Smith (two good seasons)
-Keith Jackson from the Dolphins for a second round pick that became OG Andrew Greene
Anyone else remember others? If I was GM I would not want to trade with the Packers.
not so sure about this one. I think each trade, or potential trade, is based upon the deal: what will I get to make my team better versus what I have to give up to do so? You’ve pointed out some great trades that benefited the team, but it seems…inconsistent to suggest that the Packers are blackballed for trading purposes.
A better example is Tony Moll for Derek Martin last year. That was a big nothing.
You think that’s Packers GMs “burning” other teams?? How about instead of making trades that don’t benefit them, other teams just get better GMs?
If anything, the examples you gave just reinforced the truth that Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson are great evaluators of talent.
I don’t understand your point. Are you arguing semantics or something? I’m sure most owners would like a better GM. The fact that they are very rich men probably indicates they have a preference for things that are “better”.
Unload Hawk and Fourth
but who wants Hawk? And at his salary? We all know he sucks in coverage (which is why he’s off the field for nickel and dime situations). I have to believe every other GM in the league knows he sucks in coverage, too. And so he’s a 1 down player. What value does that have? Just because he was a top 5 pick doesn’t mean anything.
Frankly, I think Jason Spitz has far more trade value. Donald Lee, too.