Multiple sites reported that QB Brett Favre will return for next season. The Packers best
chance next season is Favre, WR Javon Walker, RB Ahman Green, rebuild the offensive line,
let new defensive coordinator Jim Bates improve the defense, and win the NFC North again.
Still some work to do with the offensive line and defense, and the defense wasn't made any
easier by the release of FS Darren Sharper. Just a giant loss.
The only possible good side to Sharper's departure is that Jim Bates never had a top
safety while in Miami. He built the defense around great cornerbacks (it would be a
stretch to say CBs Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain = CBs Al Harris and Ahmad Carroll), a
great linebacker (LB Nick Barnett isn't LB Zack Thomas but not too far apart) and a great
defensive end (DE Jason Taylor is probably one of the top 5 defensive players in the NFL,
but DE KGB is underrated and one of the top 5 defensive ends in the NFL). Maybe Bates can
work around the fact that he is without a safety worthy of starting in the NFL on his
OG Marco Rivera had back surgery? One week after signing for giant bucks in Dallas he
injures his back on a tread mill. Unbelievable. Hopefully Rivera recovers quickly but
this is why the Packers shouldn't have matched that huge offer; Rivera is going to start
braking down at this point in his career.
The Packers quiet free agent season continues. Jsonline.com reported that the Packers met
with the uninteresting trio of OG Cosey Coleman, OG Floyd Womack, and TE Freddie Jones.
Its unlikely that a majority of GMs in the NFL believe that any of these three players are
starters. Jones has a no block/good catch reputation but might have trouble beating out
TE Ben Steele or TE Sean McHugh on the roster. McHugh is a bit of a mystery; the Packers
were high on him after they claimed him from Tennessee at the start of the season, but he
saw no playing time. Womack would probably be preferred over Coleman, but both players
are the type that a team should develop from a low draft choice (OG Marco Rivera-6th
round, OT Mark Tauscher-7th round).
Minnesota continues its up and down offseason by signing CB Fred Smoot with a $10.8
million signing bonus. Minnesota's defense was awful last season, but adding someone like
Smoot isn't an automatic improvement. Signing CB Antonio Winfield last season, who played
very well against the Packers when his health permitted, didn't help much either.
Minnesota already has the players to make the defense work, its their coaching that is the
Chicago signed OT Fred Miller with a $6 million signing bonus. What a way to spend money.
Miller has played on some very good St. Louis and Tennessee teams over the last few
seasons. Maybe Chicago is hoping some of their wins will come with Miller from those
Detroit signed TE Marcus Pollard and SS Kenoy Kennedy. Kennedy only seems to make news
with illegal hits. Pollard is 33 and in the twilight of his career. Neither signing
seems a huge help.