Sydney Speaks! Paying the price for success

Thus far, the Packers seem a little gun shy in free agency

It was nice to see the Collective Bargaining Agreement finally being put in place, giving every team more money to play with. True the start of free agency was pushed back at different times, making all the teams not sure of when or what to do. But did that stop the Packers from putting their wish list together than maybe executing it? I believed that the CBA deal would be done. I've said this from Day One, so I'm not sure why it took the Packers so long to put their plan into action, or is this the plan? Or do they have a plan?

The whole philosophy of free agency is to help teams with salary cap room get top-notch players and remain competitive so they don't fall into the cellar. It's ideal for a team like the Green Bay Packers who as we all know finished at 4-12 and had more than $32 million dollars to play with, but what have they done with it? They paid Aaron Kampman and we don't know what the numbers are yet, but hopefully it's not too much. They signed from Seattle Marquand Manuel for a five-year deal for roughly $10 million with a $3 million signing bonus. Let me say it again: They signed Manuel. If you are saying ‘Who?' that would be the same thing I said. I know that Ted Thompson was part of getting him to Seattle. I guess he likes him so much that he brought him to Green Bay, but is this what they are going to do with their money? I understand that the Packers don't want to be foolish and just spend money for the sake of it, but give me a break! Other teams have signed players that will make them better. Isn't that what the Packers are supposed to be doing? And I mean improving not just getting better.

Last year we all wondered what was going to happen in free agency and the Packers went out and signed some busts such as Klemm and O'Dwyer to replace Pro Bowl caliber players. Guess what? We all make mistakes; it's part of the business. But Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy can't go into this free agency playing scared because they have no reason to. The waiting game has to stop. Other teams have gotten burned but they didn't take their ball and go home. Look at the Vikings. They spent a lot of money on free agents last year and didn't get where they wanted to be, but they got closer and they are still spending money because they know sometimes you have to pay for success. Not just them. Look at Washington and Cleveland. They are going out and getting what they believe they need.

The only team in the NFC North that is really doing anything to improve is the Vikings they seem to saying the right things or something. They potentially have went out and signed five starters filling crucial holes that stopped them from getting to the next level. Let me say this: I am not a Vikings fan, but I like how active they have been in free agency. Teams that want to win do things that others don't. Prime example: It will be interesting to see the effect of the loss of Ryan Longwell because not only did the Vikings get a weapon, but they took one from the Green Bay Packers. Talk about a double kick in the BUTT. When they face each other and it comes down to a game-winning kick that might determine advancing to the playoffs next year and we see him trot on the field in the other jersey it's going to suck isn't it?

I don't want Thompson to be foolish, but I hope his plan means getting players that can really help the Packers win and some of them have already been signed. True we don't know all the things that go on behind the scenes, but when I see some of the players that have been signed that could have signed in Green Bay, it confuses me. Especially with all the needs this team has to address. Could Antwaan Randle El, Andre Davis, or Joe Jurevicius have helped us at receiver? Or could Ted Washington, Ma'ake Kemoeatu or LaRoi Glover filled a void? How about Will Witherspoon or Ben Leber? Could you have seen them in a Packer uniform starting at linebacker? Just to name a few!!!!!!!

This is a new staff with a first-time head coach and two new first-time coordinators, so maybe the thought process is to not go out and spend big money yet and just get marginal players until Thompson believes in Mike McCarthy's philosophy and/or leadership skills. But if that was the case, Ted wouldn't have hired him RIGHT? Ted, this team needs players so don't wait for all of the good ones to be gone because coaching can only do so much. It's all right to play it cool, but remember THERE IS A PRICE FOR SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at, and he will forward it to him.

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