NFL Free Agency: Quiet day in Green Bay
The NFL free agency signing period began Tuesday afternoon and despite a flurry of activity the Packers did not sign any free agents. That's not the end of the world and Ted Thompson has proven that his calm approach can work. In the past it's been Thompson's m.o. to let the market settle before making a move.
But will this method work again this year? The Packers need defensive help especially considering that San Francisco and, at least on paper, Seattle has passed Green Bay in terms of talent. The one player I was hoping the Packers would target was defensive lineman Chris Canty. But the Ravens scooped up Canty a few hours into the new NFL year and it now appears the Packers weren't that interested in the former Giant. Will this move come back to bite Thompson, especially considering how porous the Packers defensive line looked late in the 2012 season?
A lack of signings however doesn't mean a lack of activity. Pro Football Talk reported that the Packers were the leaders in the Steven Jackson sweepstakes. A boost to the running game should be an offseason priority after the Packers put a greater emphasis on offensive balance last season. Then there were the rumors that Greg Jennings might end up back in Green Bay. This is a potential move I have trouble with. When you look a bit long term at the money that Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews will get the Packers have to be careful not to overspend. With Mike Wallace getting $13 million a year the marketplace has been set for wide receivers. Anything above $10 million sounds a bit steep. And frankly, wide receiver isn't a priority. The Packers need the most help on defense. especially up front.
There's a cost to the first day of free agency. Teams have a tendency to pay a premium to get a player signed in the first 24 hours. Thompson will be patient, which isn't necessarily bad. Of course, there's a cost to waiting as well. But again considering how bad the defense looked in Week 17 and in the divisional playoff game against the 49ers it's clear upgrades are needed. Upgrades that cannot be made solely though the draft.