The Green Bay Packers have made a lot of good financial decisions with Ted Thompson at the helm, but they’ve also made some questionable ones.
Fortunately, the good have outnumbered the bad. As we told you yesterday, the Packers currently have just $100,000 in dead money on their salary cap. That’s money that comes from bonuses paid to players no longer with the team and it’s one of the lowest numbers in the NFL.
The Packers have resisted overpaying other team’s free agents. In some cases, they’ve resisted paying their own. The organization’s decisions to let Cullen Jenkins walk two seasons ago hurt their defensive line. The decision to replace Scott Wells with Jeff Saturday at center last year was a disaster. Greg Jennings will join that list of players drafted by the Packers to leave as free agents this offseason.
For the most part, however, the Packers have kept their own in house by signing them to contract extensions before they become free agents. A number of those moves look good, but as you’ll see, not all of them were on target.
The majority of these guys simply haven’t played up to their deal.
Hmm? It seems to me that so much depends on the where these guys are mentally. IMO, it all starts with attitude. I think that many players performance drops off after they get settled in….and feel secure and comfortable with where they are at financially and otherwise with the organization. Who knows for sure? All I know is that it would be nice to have players who love the game and love to play the game with enthusiasm and passion. Once it becomes just a job and a paycheck to them…I think many of them simply “check down” so to speak, instead of going all out. Lets face it, maybe staying injury free and maintaining the status quo…..is all they are looking at. This is why it is so important to research a players character, attitude, and their desire to play the game. I would be looking for players who are passionate about the game…and players who have a team mentality.
get rid of Crosby, Finely and Hawk… Pay Jennings and Rodgers.. get some good offensive line help and maybe an impact D lineman. Then all will be good
It’s clear Ted doesn’t like to carry dead money from this article, dead weight on the other hand…
Sometimes Ted’s own stubbornness as a talent evaluator can be his own worst enemy–evidence by Lang, Crosby, Finley and Hawk being easily overpaid when compared to their counterparts in the league. Since we likely can’t cut all or most of these contracts, the simple solution is to continue the draft and develop mantra, avoid bringing in any mid-to-high price free agent and hopefully hitting on a couple of really, really good starting quality players in the draft. It would seem their own real option is to hope some of these players live up to their contracts and cutting some players at or near the bottom of their roster to make up for the talent gap of say Seattle, San Fran, etc.
I would hope that Ted would really hone in on players who can help us via the draft and make some bold moves to address our biggest weaknesses, offensive line/ blocking and tackling defenders with impressive range and ability to hold the point of attack. A third priority people are missing out on is finding some help in the form of a Randall Cobb replacement on special teams–a legit threat on KO/PR who can also chip in as a great slot receiver option to help us pickup third down conversions. Another need is trying to find a hidden gem for the RB position. It would seem we have a nice option in DuJuan Harris but we need a bigger back who can grab a ton of carries, block and catch.
Idea time for the RB – Lonnie Pryor FSU
Check out this article on him and then watch some game tape on Youtube. He’s being compared to former FSU grad Edgar Bennett (CBS Sports draft) because he’s a big back who is versatile and has outstanding character. When ask to start he did so, and did so admirably, when asked to block for his teammates, he did that as well.
Hidden Gem? You be the judge–he can be had in the mid rounds. http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/jan/03/okeechobee-grad-lonnie-pryors-mvp-night-no-to/
I been saying about Hawk along. He sucks! Never has been worth the money. I’m with stubby, cut those guys to pay Jennings and Rodgers .
CD, good point. Character, addititude and passion. Where is it Hawk?
cutting hawk saves little money despite his large contract – $2.25 mil – at a position thats already thin and coming off multiple severe, season-ending injuries. to do so would be, in my opinion, very dumb. im not some huge hawk advocate – far from it – but i am realistic and given the contract and roster situation, its best to keep him around for at least one more year – and hopefully he wouldn’t be needed beyond that.
similar is the situation with crosby, given that he still has a lot of signing bonus money to be paid out. if you cut crosby, its cant be because of money, its strictly a football move – but that could be argued. is he over paid? yes. it is so drastic that you get rid? i dont think so and beyond that you’d be paying $3 mil a year to a person who isnt on the roster for the next three years (and a kicker at that). not smart.
i also disagree with cutting finley in place of jennings. jennings is a stud (when healthy) and i think under-rated, but he has injury issues big time and he’ll demand a significant amount more money than finley would – probably in the neighborhood of 2-3 mil/yr – possibly more – and he plays a position in which the packers have depth, whereas at TE they would have no receiving threat at all without finley. you would be forced to make a move by either drafting one, or overpaying in free agnecy. if you draft, then you’re ignoring the line – on either side – and thats not only where the strength of this draft is but its also where the pack need to improve most drastically. it creates an unnecessary a problem and costs more while youre at it. does he deserve all of his money, no, but it isn’t too much by a lot, and he changes the way defenses have to play even when he’s not getting the ball and.
people seem to have the attitude that you can just cut whoever you want and find replacements on the cheap that will be ready to step in and provide right away with no drop off or even an improvement in performance, but the reality is thats not how it works. not every contract can be perfect and you cant let the perfect be the enemy of the good…that got too long, i apologize
I agree, these are the worst contracts on the Packers’ books.
On the other hand, if THESE are the worst contracts on the books, then WOW, TT is fricking good.
It is hard for me to say dump Lang. He played part of the year out of position at right tackle and played most of the year hurt. When healthy I like what Lang brings to the table. He also had to pick up a lot of the slack with Jeff Saturday being unproductive in the run game and Marshall Newhouse struggling at times in the passing game.
C’MON guys, where is this great “potential” Finley’s supposed to have? 5 YEARS with GB as he’s had a couple of good games-what do fans remember about him for last two seasons? Dropped passes and his mouth-not game winning TD’s-as a matter of fact he’s dropped at least 3 TD passes, two that no defender was involved. Cut Finley, restructure Hawk and Woodson’s contracts or cut them also, though it might be feasbile to hang on to Hawk over cost of cutting him. Right now GB doesn’t have any quality replacement for Lang-he stays for another season
Jermichael Finley – Classic one game wonder.
No player has ever milked more hype or money from one game than he has from the 2009 Playoff loss to the Cardinals.
In a case where everyone wanted to make real what they believed they were seeing, the Packers, the NFL and the media all proclaimed him “the next big thing” prematurely based upon one game.
Still a decent tight end, but not even in the YOTTO hype universe he and other koolaidites subscribe to.