Opinion Corner: Packers do it rightWith some of the biggest NFL free agents now having found new homes, there is one team that has not made any major moves — the Green Bay Packers. And why should they?
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
With some of the biggest NFL free agents now having found new homes, there is one team that has not made any major moves — the Green Bay Packers.
And why should they?
Sans the signing of Charles Woodson in 2006, the Packers have been able to field consistently strong teams, while not saddling their salary cap with overpriced free agents.
I’m talking about big money for big players, like Mario Williams landing $50 million guaranteed, or Peyton Manning, landing a record cool $96 million. Think what Philadelphia did last offseason. That’s the kind of wastefulness that Green Bay just does not do.
The Packers big offseason deal this year was netting veteran center Jeff Saturday for $4 million in 2012. Even that is unlike anything Green Bay has done in the past with linemen.
It’s something Packers GM Ted Thompson and his staff has made into an art form.
By building through the draft and finding players that fit the mold of the defense and the offense, Thompson and his staff have turned undrafted free agents into significant players.
While quiet last season, Frank Zombo and Sam Shields proved they belong in the NFL when no other team had any interest.
It’s what we come to expect as Green Bay fans — talented players coming out of nowhere to make an impact on a winning football team.
James Starks, a sixth-rounder from Buffalo won a ring after a call-up from the practice squad. Brad Jones, a seventh-rounder worked his way into the good graces of Green Bay’s coaching staff and is now a starter (Jones also had my favorite hit of last season when he drilled a 15-year-old for running on the field against the Lions).
Center Scott Wells and back-up QB Matt Flynn, both seventh-round picks, just signed new deals for a combined total of more than $7 million in 2012. Neither Wells nor Flynn are superstar players. But because they fit into Green Bay’s system, they did their time and earned big pay days elsewhere.
The future looks even more promising as Green Bay was awarded four compensatory picks by the NFL on Monday, two in the fourth and two in the seventh.
This is for losing four players through free agency last offseason, while bringing in none.
It’s only a matter of time before one of those diamonds in the rough is molded into a player that makes significant contributions.
I can’t wait to see who that is.
Rodgers is a news writer at the Jamestown Sun