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.