Although we’ve been hopeful the Green Bay Packers would re-sign center Scott Wells, it now looks like there’s a real possibility he may sign elsewhere when free agency begins.
The Packers and Wells aren’t close on a new contract and the team feels he’s overvaluing himself, according to Bob McGinn.
Wells is 31 and considered undersized, but he just made his first Pro Bowl and has been the Packers most consistent offensive lineman. He wants to be one of the five highest-paid centers in the league, which would mean a base salary greater than the $5.5 million the New York Giants‘ David Baas makes.
The league’s highest-paid center is Carolina’s Ryan Kalil, who makes $8.2 million per year. Wells made $2.75 million in 2011.
He has a bit of leverage too. Ten teams, including the Packers, have their starting center heading to free agency. It’s highly unlikely one of those teams wouldn’t jump at Wells if he hits the open market.
So what do the Packers do if they lose Wells? The only option currently on the roster is Evan Dietrich-Smith, who saw action at guard in place of an injured Josh Sitton in 2011. Dietrich-Smith held his own, but isn’t nearly as good as Sitton or Wells.
The team could also add a free agent. The top players on the market will be Houston’s Chris Myers and New England’s Dan Koppen. They’re 30 and 32, respectively, so they’re in the same age range as Wells. They also both have one Pro Bowl under their belt.
The other prospect would be to draft Wells’ replacement, but the Packers have bigger needs on defense so it’s hard to envision them spending a high draft pick on a center.
Of course, there’s still time to re-sign Wells before free agency begins, but if the Packers don’t make any progress at the scouting combine don’t bet on it happening.
I see him in purple…look at that a rise in my pants :)
Let me get my microscope.
I have been curious as to why the Packers hadn’t already extended Wells, and now thanks to McGinn’s article, I know. Nine other teams have their starting centers entering free agency. Wells’ age and size likely mean he is worth less on the open market with other options out there than he hopes.
Too bad the Packers going 15-1 helped him get into the Pro Bowl, as that helps his value a little.
Still, I see the game here. I think we believe that with that many options out there, we can save money on Wells by letting the market reveal his price. Basically, the exact thing we did with James Jones.
Wells could likely be back. The wildcard here is that McGinn seems to hint there might be bad blood since the Packers have twice tried to replace Wells. Perhaps, but Wells needs to buck up because if he were a better run blocker, then we wouldn’t have been looking to replace him.
He had his best year this year, but we’ll see what that gets him.
Pay that man his money (said like Teddy KGB in Rounders)
Where is the loyalty? If I were a player I would trade a little money for the chance of being on a team that had the best chance of winning a few of those nice rings. Ask Cullen if the move he made to Philly paid off. His loss hurt two ways. We seemed to lose any sort of pass rush and you saw what that meant for the secondary. Hell any quarterback can find a wide open receiver when you’ve got that amount of time to throw the ball. Stay Scotty, you wont regret it. Remember Hawk gave a little to stay with a winner
Where’s the loyalty? Ask Donald Driver.
Move up a spot or two in the draft and take Peter Konz, from Wisconsin. This will force Ted to do something in FA on the defense you would think. Maybe it’s posturing, then again if he leaves–maybe its not the worst thing in the world with other scenarios. Also, that Myers kid from Houston is a really good center.
There is that whole ‘Salary Cap’ thing…
We keep James Jones but we’re gonna let Scott Wells go. That makes a lot of fucking sense. I assume then we’ll take a center in the draft? Otherwise, get ready to watch the Packer break the single season record for sacks allowed.
The center typically handles a double team on passing downs, and therefore typically don’t give up a lot of sacks. The Giants had to switch centers during the Packer game and during the Super Bowl. Did you even notice? Exactly.
We let Jones go but were able to sign him after he had tested the market and found no one was willing to pay him as a #1. We got him at a steal, frankly.
We may well do the exact same thing with Wells. He wants Top 5 money. He isn’t worth that. We are saying go test the market and find out what you are worth.