The Packers are a team that does things a little bit differently compared to the other teams in the NFL. For starters they are a team that is owned by the fans, which helps create a family atmosphere. It’s a team steeped in tradition and history. It’s also a team who don’t ever really sign free agents (at least they haven’t recently) with the front office deciding to build their team through the draft.
That’s not to say there aren’t any players that the Packers have picked up from other teams, they just aren’t the type of team that is going to compete to sign a player for big money when they select a player in the draft and let them develop.
They do of course dip their toe in and sign players they feel they need to fill a need- look at the recent signing of Jared Cook. They needed receivers for the coming season, and went out and got a Tight End, which they needed anyway. Same with Julius Peppers, they saw a player who still had something to give as an edge rusher and they went out and signed him.
You could argue this is the philosophy of Ted Thompson, which I’m sure it is now but it was a necessity when he first signed up. The Packers were in all types of cap trouble when he first joined, and he needed to make changes to the roster to make them competitive and work within the cap. This meant that he wasn’t able to compete with other teams to sign players and had to improve the scouting department, so that he could let the process work.
If you look at the makeup of the current roster its mainly their home grown talent that has come through. That includes the players that have been deemed to not be good enough for the NFL and remain undrafted (20 of the current official roster were undrafted)
The other flip of this is that of course Ted has to try and keep that talent in house, or make the decision to let it go. He is always looking at the value of a player going forward, with it being a rarity to sign a third deal with the Packers you could argue that he lets a lot of talent leave before it too soon.
Casey Hayward was a notable player that was allowed to leave the building, considering he was one of Green Bay’s best DB’s it’s a bit concerning but when you consider in last years draft the Packers picked up Randall and Rollins who have looked like good players this year it might be a case of Ted and the coaching staff thinking those players can step up and allow the team room going forward.
But if the deal can be done for a good price then he will pull the trigger this offseason he pulled off a fantastic re-signing in keeping Mike Daniels in house for what is a cheap deal at $42m for 4 years (this was done before the offseason market for edge rushers could be set, and looks like a steal considering the deals for Jackson and Vernon who was signed at an eye watering $85m/ 5 years). The Packers haven’t got a player that looks ready to step up- so resign the player and wait to pick someone up in the draft.
One thing is for sure- look out for who the Packers draft this year, as you may have their name on your jersey for a long time.
Richard is a Green Bay Packers fan (as a result of too much That 70’s show as a child) when he isn’t watching or commenting on the NFL he is watching rugby and can be followed on Twitter @dvdaldo.