In another month or so the Green Bay Packers will be cutting players. Most of those players will be youngsters who just weren’t quite good enough to make the final roster.
When it comes to veterans, the Packers typically make a decision on those players during the offseason. Either they release them or choose not to re-sign them. Going back to 2013, here is a look at how a great number of the players the Packers decided to move on from have fared.
Those who have had a measure of production:
Those who’ve done little or nothing elsewhere:
The whereabouts of 2016 departures:
Though Woodson continued to play strong even at age 39, you could argue his Packers salary would have exceeded his value. The team cleared around $10 million in salary cap space when they released the veteran in 2013.
Some people around here will never forgive them for that, of course.
Williams, House and Hayward were all expected to be starters elsewhere and the Packers’ plan to upgrade their cornerbacks at much a lower cost is working. Veteran Sam Shields is the only Packers cornerback currently making significant money.
Walden has been solid, not great, with the Colts and most everyone else has failed to gain traction elsewhere.
All in all, it’s hard to find any major missteps by the Packers when it comes to parting ways with veterans.
My thought on Woodson is would he have really been overpaid? Peppers is considered old and they have no issue paying him. You can’t put a price on the leadership that Woodson brought either.
It also amuses me how much delight Packer fans take in allegedly poor performance of former players on other teams. They like to act like every player who leaves has betrayed them and deserves future failure. Being a Packer is not a religion or a cause, people. Most of these players left because the team did not want them. So, who betrayed whom? you are basically saying: Since we no longer wanted you, you deserve to have failure… evil laugh.
Others left for more money. That means another team valued their abilities more than did the Packers organization. Ah, you say, shame on you for taking more money! OK, let me ask you, if another business the same as the one you work at now offered you a job making 40% more would you take it? If no, you are a fool. If yes, you are a hypocrite because in your book you are a traitor.
With the above I am addressing the types of posts I’ve seen from many Packer fans, not the actual author of this article. However, the author does write that it is hard to find many major missteps when it comes to parting ways with veterans. You must not have looked at your own lists there, Rob.
1) Brandon Bostick is a very replaceable player and career fringe/back-up. However, the fact they released him as a scapegoat sacrifice to put the Greatest Choke responsibility on him as if releasing him fixed everything showed a lack of logic, a panic-style mentality, and craven cowardice. TT and MM were too cowardly to take any responsibility or to even do it face to face with Bostick OR EVEN SPEAK WITH HIM OVER THE PHONE! They had a lackey do it.
2) Charles Woodson, a turnover machine exceeding all expectations and showing great leadership, playing at a pro bowl level asking for pro bowl money? Well, sir, on behalf of the Packers: F**********CK YOU! A glaring “misstep”. This, in turn, caused the expenditure of a #1 pick on Clinton-Dix to replace him. A pick that could have been used on CB Jason Verrett, WR Kelvin Benjaim, Safety Deone Buchanon to name a few. If I’d been GM for the Packers then I actually would have taken DL Stephon Tuitt. That is not due to the benefit of hindsight, that is actually what I said I would have done at the time. Clinton-Dix has been pretty average and his skills/athleticism are about average for the position. Tuitt is a 3-4 DE dominator. Anyway, you see the domino effect of this “misstep” by TT.
3) Davon House. He is the #1 CB for the Jaguars and has an excellent year in a new system for him. He will only get better. His athleticism is off the charts as well so his ceiling is extremely high. That contract was a steal for the Jaguars. Instead of hanging onto a top performaer with pro bowl potential on the cheap they let him go and wasted draft picks on Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. Now, I am not criticizing Randall or Rollins. Quite frankly, I like them a lot and loved them before the draft. But the Packers could have kept House and drafted ILB Benardrick McKinney, Stephone Anthony, or Eric Kendricks in round one and then gotten RB David Johnson in round 2. Clearly a better draft than these “need pick” drafts they have been doing. Why does TT do “need pick” drafts? Because the new players get a lot more time than they should and it makes his weak drafts look better than they actually are. Other than the Aaron Rodgers pick (which was almost pure blind luck) and some good 2nd round WRs he has actually been one of the worst drafting GMs.
So, imagine last year with Woodson at safety (yes, I know he has now retired but he was not retired last year), House locking down one CB across from Sam Shields, Tuitt kicking ass at one DE across from Mike Daniels, David Johnson kicking ass behind a very good set of guards, and Anthony Kendricks performing admirably at ILB which allows Matthews and Peppers to be the best set of 3-4 OLBs anywhere other than Denver. Just imagine! This could have been had with a nod to fair contracts, a view towards future potential, and a little common man wisdom.
Most the players on the lists above have not had a significant impact elsewhere and were not significant losses. But, guess what? Almost every team could make a list like that or one even more compelling. Shocker, teams usually let players go for good reason.
Quick, name crucial high-performing players the Vikings, for instance, lost since 2013. Toby Gerhart? Greg Jennings? Meanwhile they brought in via free agency Linval Joseph, Terence Newman, Emmanuel Lemur, Alex Boone, Captain Munnerlyn, Tom Johnson to name a few vs. the Packers Julius Peppers.
So, your lack of losses is not actually exceptional and more a function of a lack of talent overall from TT’s drafts and the acquisitions are deficient in comparison to other teams. Yet the author seeks to brag! Pitiful.
PS Most Viking fans wish players who leave all the best and are happy for them if they do well. There really is a big difference between fan bases out there.