Thompson’s Forte: Value Versus Splash

ron 1Ted Thompson has built a perennial contender and one-time (so far) champion by focusing on the draft, signing players who prove themselves, and once in awhile making a careful off-season acquisition. Most recently, Thompson acquired Julius Peppers after he had been released by the Bears because his contract got too bloated. Ted also brought in Charles Woodson and Ryan Pickett. So it is not fair to say that Ted Thompson does not sign free agents. But it is also true that Ted rarely if ever signs players during the free agent “frenzy”.

The first week or two of free agency are called the “frenzy” for a reason. It is like the sharks come out, circle their prey and then fight over one another for the fresh meat. And we all know that when sharks attack, they open their mouths and close their eyes. I, for one, am glad that for the most part, Ted Thompson does not partake. I believe he does his due dilligence on these guys and once in awhile it would be nice to see him make a splash but let’s face it…most of the time these guys don’t transform their team the way a Reggie White would. So teams that are too aggressive in the frenzy often end up in cap trouble down the line. Ted knows that these teams that have to “move things around” to get under the cap are teams in trouble. If not this year, then in the near future. While all the National media applaud the Colts off-season acquisition of Trent Cole, Andre Johnson, and Frank Gore, I have to wonder if at least one if not all of these guys (all up there in years) will either prove to be past their prime or play a season of “sigh of relief” football, resting in the knowledge that they have the final bit of bank to hold them in retirement. But I guess they will figure all that out when quarterback Andrew Luck comes up for a big time (highest paid in the League?) contract this very year.

It seems teams can go about their business in one of two ways, by being reactive or proactive. Either way, the numbers will have to be ironed out in the end…the League demands it. But I like that Ted Thompson is proactive about the cap space and player acquisitions. He is still in the mix (everyone says he is the hardest working GM in the League) but he is always looking for value. That strength has kept the Packers strong. So, with that said, the “frenzy” is now over and there are still some free agents out there who will be more motivated to sign than to start bidding wars. This is Thompson’s forte.

Chris Wesseling had an article about his top ten remaining free agents that are still available. I like a Tramon Williams vs Bengalsfew guys on this list, but first, what position do you think the Packers should try to shore up in this second wave of free agency rather than in the draft? Each free agent class and each draft have their distinct strengths and weaknesses and signing the right free agent now could improve the Packers ability to draft the right players. Take a look at this list of “needs” and check all those that you think should be addressed before the draft at the end of April.

Later, I will post on the individuals that are interesting to me and put up a poll to once again find out what Packernation thinks!
Go Pack!

Thompson’s Forte: Value Versus Splash
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