Thursday, February 15, 2007

ProFootballTalk was speculating (no permalink for the February 11th post) that the Packers will make a serious push to sign unrestricted free agent LB Adalius Thomas. Thomas is a great player. Michael David Smith at Football Outsiders wrote this about Thomas: "Thomas is like a chameleon. Lines him up on the line of scrimmage and he attacks the quarterback like a defensive end. Line him up as much 10 yards off the line and he covers wide receivers like a safety. He’s very tough against the run but quick enough to keep up if he’s called on to defend downfield passes. He’s also the gunner on the Ravens’ punt team. Sometimes it just seems unfair for a 270-pounder to move like Thomas does." Adding Thomas alongside LBs Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk might give the Packers the best starting group of linebackers in the NFL, but at 270 lbs., ProFootballTalk heard that the Packers would play Thomas at defensive end. It is always good news to hear the Packers want to pursue a great player, but there are a couple of problems. First the Packers would tie up a huge amount of cap room on defensive ends. DE KGB took up 5% of last season's cap and the team would take an almost $5 million cap hit if he is released. Then if Thomas plays at linebacker, he would block the improving LB Brady Poppinga and probably turn promising LB Abdul Hodge into a permanent second stringer. What is the point of drafting a linebacker in the 3rd round if he never has a chance to start? As great as Thomas is, the Packers would be better using cap room and money to resign current players like Barnett and target positions that could really use the help like safety, wide receiver, and tight end.

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