Friday, March 04, 2005

OG Marco Rivera signed with Dallas for a $9 million signing bonus according to AP. Wow. The Packers had no chance at matching that offer. To have matched that offer, the Packers would have to release at least the contracts of FS Darren Sharper and the contract offer to TE Bubba Franks, plus probably at least one other player. That would have been the end of the Packers offseason. Rivera won't be easily replaced, but the Packers had to let him go at that price.

OG Mike Wahle signed for an $11.5 million signing bonus to play in Carolina according to That is bigger than Rivera's signing bonus, but it was expected that Wahle would get that much money and play tackle. It is surprising that Carolina signed him to play right instead of left tackle, but they already have a good left tackle in OT Jordan Gross. The Packers never had a chance of fitting Wahle under the salary cap.

San Diego signed S Bhawoh Jue on the first day? Jue was quoted by AP "I can't tell you why a starting position never came my way." It was because Jue was beyond awful in 2003 and improved to almost average in 2004. Plus, playing next to an injured Sharper and struggling SS Mark Roman made his play look better. It would be surprising if Jue ever becomes a full time starter in San Diego.

At least the rest of the NFC North isn't looking much better in free agency, so far. Minnesota traded WR Randy Moss for LB Napoleon Harris and the #7 pick, while signing DT Pat Williams to plug up the middle ala NT Grady Jackson. Williams has been playing very well for the past few seasons in Buffalo, but he is on the wrong side of 30. Harris could be an upgrade over lost LB Chris Claiborne to St. Louis and who knows what they do with the #7 pick. Minnesota's offense was good without Moss last season, but that was only for a few weeks and not a good sample size. Minnesota has to be considered a big net loss so far without Moss. Chicago signed WR Muhsin Muhammad (while forgetting that Muhammad too is on the wrong side of 30 and was useless until he perked up in the 2003 playoffs and carried it forward for all of 2004). Muhammad can't throw the ball to himself, so this wasn't an inspired signing. Detroit hasn't done anything in free agency yet and doesn't seem rumored to do anything other than sign a veteran to backup (excuse me, push) mediocre QB Joey Harrington.

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