Wednesday, March 09, 2016

NFL Free Agency Opens With The Usual Silence From The Packers

UPDATE: Actually it looks like the Bears had one of the best free agent signings with Trevathan. Signing a linebacker for $6 million per season who can stay on the field for every down is a good move. He might have been more motivated to work with the Bears and his old HC John Fox than he would have been with the Packers.

It also looks Forte signed for less than I expected but even at $4 million per season, if the Packers were going to make one splash in free agency, I'd rather they spent it on a linebacker or to re-sign Hayward over a backup running back.

Do you remember the good old days of 2014 when GM Ted Thompson made a splash in free agency? The past is in the past, and so far the Packers have only made one free agent move this week.
At first, it didn't seem like a good idea to give a backup a two-year deal, but the guaranteed money isn't much and he's currently the lowest paid player on the roster who isn't still playing under his rookie contract. They trusted Taylor to start two games last season, and they obviously liked what they saw. Offensive line depth around the NFL is very shallow, once you get beyond every team's top six lineman your probably looking at a player who's a future revolving door, so keeping a player who's good enough to start is valuable.

The only big name free agent that seemed to be rumored to have drawn any interest from the Packers was RB Matt Forte, but he's going to the Big Apple.
That should put Forte's new deal at around $6 million per season. That's not crazy money, Forte wouldn't be in the top 10 cap charges on the Packers' 2016 roster, but adding him would be a luxury if they're planning on sticking with RB Eddie Lacy as the starter next season. The Packers always carry forward some cap space into the next season, so a hypothetical Forte signing would probably only leave the Packers with about $5 million of cap space they'd like to use. That might not even be enough to re-sign NT B.J. Raji and would end any hope of a free agent upgrade at inside linebacker, and those are two positions I'd rather see upgraded before adding an extra running back. Plus, they'd be giving up on the chance to re-sign CB Casey Hayward (which might not be happening anyway).

Unfortunately I don't know who that magical inside linebacker might be that they can use their free agent dollars on. ILB Danny Trevathan is great but he's going to get overpaid by the Bears. After Trevathan, the free agent class features a number of veterans you'd hope could stay healthy (Derrick Johnson, Stephen Tulloch) or you hope can rebound from a disappointing season(s) (Bruce Carter). So basically no one that would look like a difference maker.

So the silence that began the 2016 free agent period will probably continue for a while.

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