Saturday, March 15, 2014

Packers Lose Dietrich-Smith; JC Tretter Expected To Start At Center

I was in favor of re-signing C Evan Dietrich-Smith, but that was a contract the Packers wisely passed up. At four years and $7.25 million guaranteed, this will be a contract that leads to some dead salary cap money in a couple years. While he was very good in 2013, he's not worth that kind of money. He's also one year removed from receiving little interest in the free agent market, and he was previously released by the Packers back in 2010.

Second year player JC Tretter is expected to be the starting center, which was the position I expected him to play when they drafted him last year, and he should be fine alongside two veterans; Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, who are two of the reasons Dietrich-Smith played so well last season in the first place.

Back in 2011, when Scott Wells played alongside Sitton and Lang, Wells was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the No. 4 overall center. He's had some injury problems over the past couple years, but in 2012 he was ranked near the bottom of the league (even below former Packer Jeff Saturday) and in 2013 he was ranked No. 23 (below average). He's clearly missed played in front of QB Aaron Rodgers and alongside Sitton and Lang (both ranked among the Top 15 guards in the league last season according to Pro Football Focus). They'll help make this a smooth transition for Tretter, and I expect he'll be ranked higher next season than Dietrich-Smith will be in Tampa.

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