Last week there were two media reports about the Green Bay Packers and how they might approach free agency this offseason.
The counterpoint came from Mike Vandermause, who doubts the source of the rumor was GM Ted Thompson and therefore it shouldn't be relied on. That's an excellent point, and it would be contrary to everything we've seen from the Packers in recent years. However, the Packers have kicked the tires on many free agents over the past few years, but they've usually balked at the asking price. In almost every instance, passing on an overpriced free agent was the best decision. Except there are a couple factors that have changed this offseason.
First, the defensive line was so bad last season that many free agents would provide an immediate upgrade, so long as it's not some Anthony Hargrove type bargain/reclamation project. Second, the Packers don't have a lot of big free agents of their own to re-sign. Sam Shields could be in line for a big contract, but no one else should expect a huge deal this March. Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and (unfortunately) Morgan Burnett all received extensions in the last year. There's no rush to extend Bryan Bulaga until he can prove he's healthy. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will have to be considered for extensions, they'll both be free agents in 2015, but neither one will crush the salary cap. Third, the Packers usually have room under the salary cap, but they don't usually have this much room (around $29 million). This isn't the same-old offseason situation.
I think the sources that Ian Rapoport mentions are probably agents, maybe B.J. Raji's agent since Rapoport's tweets addressed the defensive line and specifically mentioned Raji. Unfortunately most reports from unnamed sources turn out to be false, but I can at least see how it's possible that the Packers might actually open up their wallet for a defensive lineman or two this offseason.