Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Chris Mortenson answered an e-mail on espn.com on May 20th and said that the Packers have lost roster depth this offseason. Who did the Packers lose this offseason? Four defensive starters on a defense that wasn't all that good last year. Nate Wayne wasn't as good in 2002 as 2001, leading me to believe he will continue to slide, but the Eagles were quick to sign him so apparently they see some good football left in him. Vonnie Holliday is a good player but he has trouble staying healthy. Hardy Nickerson doesn't have anything left in the tank and he is retired. I always liked Tyrone Williams until he was shoved into Eric Metcalf on a fumbled punt return in the playoff game against the Falcons and he would have cost $3 million for the signing bonus that the Falcons paid him as a free agent which is too much for him. The Packers lost two key backups in Bowen and McBride but both players are closer to the waiver wire then the Pro Bowl. Are Bowen and McBride the depth that Mort thought the Packers lost? They lost Terry Glenn on offense but he couldn't stay healthy either. For every player gone the Packers either have a replacement in-house (Johnson for Holliday, Westbrook for McBride, Edwards for Bowen, Walker/Ferguson for Glenn), traded for a replacement (Harris for Williams), drafted a replacement (Barnett for Nickerson) or signed a free agent (Navies for Wayne). We don't know yet if any of the replacements are better than the previous players but I think all of the replacements could be an improvement. My complaint with the column is that he wasn't specific about who the Packers lost that they did not replace. Plus he added a Packers-must-stay-healthy comment that applies to all NFL teams every season.