Sydney Speaks! Reasons why big names stayed away

My last column was about some of the people in the Packer organization that make a difference because they do the little things in extraordinary ways. But why haven't the Packers been able to sign a big-named free agent in the last few years? Let's look at some of the reasons.

Is it possible that because Mike Sherman went out and signed guys that turned out to be busts that the old fear factor has trickled to the new GM? The Packers were a non-factor in free agency in the off-season. Yes, they signed a few non-impact players, or what I call void players ... they fill the hole created by someone else's departure.

In recent years, the Packers signed Joe Johnson, Hardy Nickerson and even Mark Roman, but why? Oh yeah, because they were the best available in the market which really means what? Their old team didn't want them. Is the Packers organization scared to pull the trigger, because they just watched everyone in the division get better this off-season. Remember: "Scared money can't WIN!

Clear direction
This has been more related to the defensive side of the ball. Three different defensive coordinators in three years. Who wants to come into a situation like that? Every player wants to go to a team that fits his strengths and where he can relax and do his job and not to have to worry about anyone else's job. We will get into money in a bit, but if a player really feels comfortable about a good system and is paid fairly trust me they all look for that. I guess you can't expect a big-named player to decide to come to Green Bay unless they know who's coaching. What scheme are they going to use? Is the coordinator a proven winner?

This is the age where money talks and bull crap walks. You can promise a player all kinds of playing time and treat them great, but it always comes down to the MONEY. What that means is that as a organization they have to spend it wisely. You can't spend it on guys like Joe Johnson, Jamal Reynolds, Cletidus Hunt, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila or Aaron Kampman. These are guys that aren't getting it done. Other guys might deserve to get paid, but now nothing is left for them. It sends a bad message through the league.

Look at what is happening on the financial fronts. Javon Walker tried to hold out because he thinks he is under paid compared to other receivers in the league. He is the future of the Packers. Grady Jackson wants more money because he thinks he has played better than the other starters on the defensive line and now he's the lowest paid. They gave Kampman more than they wanted to because the organization couldn't afford to be without him. RIGHT.

And please tell me why they are doing what they are doing to Bubba Franks. He has been nothing but the most steady player on the team and has gone to three Pro Bowls. He never complains or misses practice and all he wants is some security and some peace of mind knowing that the Packers are going to be as loyal to him as he has been to them. MUST SPEND MONEY ON THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

It's time for the Packers to win a big game. People seem to get caught up on the Packers winning percentage. Yes, they have won a lot of games but against who? Yes, they beat up on a very weak NFC North, but who wouldn't have? The Packers have dropped the ball in the playoffs. This team doesn't seem to know how to win the big one, and you have to win the big ones to get to and win the Super Bowl. The great free agent wants to go to teams where they have a chance to get to the Super Bowl because they are willing to take less because they know they will make more in the long run. Look at what New England has done. They sell the free agent on the fact that they know how to win the BIG GAMES.

Word of mouth
Who's talking about what Green Bay has to offer a player? Who's out there being an ambassador? Reggie White put the Packers on the map, but there is no one keeping them on it right now. All we have heard lately is what someone doesn't like, but no one's saying what they do like. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney's is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers.

Packer Report Top Stories