We’ve talked about the possibility of [intlink id=”139″ type=”category”]Nick Barnett[/intlink] being the odd man out at linebacker for the Green Bay Packers and one place he could potentially end up is in San Diego, where the Chargers are in a state of flux at the position.
The Packers are set on the inside with [intlink id=”492″ type=”category”]Desmond Bishop[/intlink] and [intlink id=”80″ type=”category”]A.J. Hawk[/intlink], both of whom signed new contracts with the team in the past year. Barnett is coming off his second season-ending injury in three years and has a salary north of $4 million, which would make him a very expensive backup.
San Diego, meanwhile, has three prospective free agents at inside linebacker — Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett and Brandon Siler. Burnett is a good bet to return, according to ESPN’s Bill Williamson and the team drafted Jonas Mouton in the second round, but may still be looking to add a veteran.
Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said he thinks a potential Barnett-Chargers’ pairing is intriguing.
“He wouldn’t be a bad fit at all,” Williamson said. “He’s a very solid football player. He’s experienced in the 3-4 on the outside. I still think he has plenty left in the tank. San Diego’s inside linebacker situation is in such a state of flux, it is hard to predict who he would be playing next to on the inside, but I see him more as a weakside inside linebacker that system.”
Barnett certainly still has value and the ability to start in the NFL, so it will be interesting to see if a trade market develops for him once the lockout ends.
I am hopeful. It doesn’t seem like they’ll keep this guy who I never considered “packer people”. When he got hurt I honestly thought “great that will give AJ Hawk a chance to prove himself, a guy who doesn’t run his mouth, is a team guy, and who is actually hungry.”
His and Jermichael’s injuries are pretty much the spark that led to them finding their identity. They were no longer bogged down with guys who like to talk with not a lot to show for it.
“He’s experienced in the 3-4 on the outside.”
Did he play outside in the 3-4 at Oregon St? Because he’s always been an ILB in Green Bay.
It sure would be nice if he had experience on the outside…I’d take Barnett, Bishop, Hawk, and Matthews, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have the explosiveness needed to play OLB in a 3-4.
doesnt’ have the explosiveness??? and brady poppinga does?!?!?! it BLOWS MY MIND all this talk about how the packers need a dominant force opposite clay matthews. HELLO!!! we have nick fucking barnett and i dont care what the hell position he wants to play he should play olb! i mean its like they dont even consider it! WHY??? so we can rotate brad jones, walden, and poppinga?!?!?! seriously someone explain this to me!!!
I’m not convinced Barnett is done in GB. I’m not sure Chillar can return from his third shoulder surgery. If he’s done and Barnett isn’t here who is the ILB backup, Francois, DL Smith, Diyral Briggs? We saw last year how a position of strength can become a weakness w/ one injury.
Barnett has incentive to return being 8 tackles short of the all time record and said he wants to work w/ the team (renegotiate?). TT has been known to keep expensive backups before and if they can make a cap freindly contract NB may stay.
Let’s not forget we have a 3-5 year window as we try to win multiple Super Bowls so even as TT keeps an eye on the future the leaning has to be a little more on the present. Yes, NB can be a pain in the butt and yet what a great security blanket as a signal caller and veteran backer.
What I don’t want to see is Green bay South. Cullen Jenkins is said to be a high priority FA signing by Dud Bears. Jame Jones has been mentioned as a good fit for them. And they only have two LB’s on their roster. Could NB end up in Chicago as a outside backer in their 4-3 D? I hope not.
Next article spells it out… Packers are over the salary cap already with none of the rookies been signed.
Tauscher and Barnett’s salaries have to go… as well as a few others.
I have always been fine with Barnett, but I think some people have gotten over-excited about a guy who typically can’t even finish a season.
To play OLB in our system, you need to be able to rush the passer or cover the flat, and you have to be at least mediocre against the run. By those standards, Walden, Zombo, and Brad Jones are all better options than Barnett.
Throughout his entire career, Barnett has never distinguished himself as a pass rusher, and he’s had plenty of opportunities. He’s also somewhat short to play OLB in a 3-4. His best position would be weakside LB in a 4-3.
The ideal situation would be for Barnett to redo his deal at league minimum for someone with his tenure and stay with the Packers as a back-up LB.
I would lose ZERO sleep over Barnett being in Chicago, or San Diego, or anywhere else for that matter.