Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Defensive end Bryce Fisher visited with the Packers last week according to The compensation to sign him is low, his signing would cost the Packers a 7th round draft choice, and he probably would be guaranteed no more than $500,000. thinks St. Louis wants to keep him as their defensive end on first downs opposite pass rusher Leonard Little, so presumably Fisher is good at stopping the run and his size (6'3", 272 lbs.) makes him appropriate for the run stopping end, or "elephant", on the Packers starting defensive line opposite KGB. He would take over for Joe Johnson, assuming Johnson is released after June 1.

Fisher has complied an interesting resume in his three years in the NFL, with 60 tackles and 5 sacks, in 33 games and only 3 starts. He was drafted in the 7th round by Buffalo in 1999, completed his 2 year obligation to the Air Force, and recorded 3 sacks in his rookie season of 2001. I would expect any team would be happy to get 3 sacks out of a backup defensive end, especially an end who is only a rookie, but Buffalo cut him after one year in order to sign veterans Chidi Ahanotu and Shawn Price, both of whom are no longer with Buffalo. St. Louis picked Fisher off waivers in 2002, and they have liked what they have seen so far to consider him their replacement for Grant Wistrom.

Fisher sounds like a player who would help the Packers in 2004, but reported that Fisher's agent told them that Fisher is loyal to St. Louis GM Charley Armey and he is unlikely to sign with anyone other than St. Louis. Additionally, St. Louis has already lost defensive linemen Wistrom and Brian Young, and probably would match any modest offer sheet Fisher would sign with the Packers in order to maintain their depth on the defensive line. Fisher's visit sounds like a typical agent prepared visit to boost the offer from his client's current team, ala Mike Logan who used the Packers interest in him at strong safety to resign with Pittsburgh last month.

Another Tim Couch story, as the Packers continue to wine and dine Cleveland's ex-quarterback. Why are the Packers wining and dining Couch without having any substantive talks about compensation with Cleveland and contract with Couch? Either Mike Sherman likes Couch more than any quarterback available in the draft or Sherman is just keeping his options open and his true intentions vague. If Couch is signed before the draft, then Sherman probably likes Couch better than Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, or Philip Rivers, however, maybe the Packers couldn't fit a 1st round quarterback under their salary cap but they can fit Couch. All in all, its just part of the time honored tradition by NFL head coaches; do not reveal your intended 1st round draft choice until you actually draft him. It wouldn't be surprising to hear that the Packers traded for Couch during the draft, but after the 1st round had been chosen, in order for Cleveland to get a pick in this year's draft while the Packers are able to hide their intentions as to their 1st round draft choice.

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