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Packers re-sign Davenport, let Fisher go? Who is Ben Taylor?

I was off visiting relatives over the weekend in Indiana, where I-65 never seems to end before reaching Indianapolis. As I catch up to free agency and the Packers' off-season, here are a few initial impressions of Packers activity, and/or lack of it, while I was away the past couple of days:

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The Packers plan to meet with Charles Woodson. Woodson is the type of veteran cornerback that the Packers need in the secondary, someone who might be able to knock some sense into Ahmad Carroll while starting ahead of him, and a good complement to Al Harris.

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Why did the Packers allow Tony Fisher to walk away and re-sign the injury-prone Najeh Davenport? I don't get it. Fisher's a valuable third-down back. Davenport has yet to play all 16 games in a season.

Seems like the Packers have their eye on a running back in the draft who can take over as a third-down back for Fisher. The University of Wisconsin's Brian Calhoun would be a great choice, if available. If the Packers allowed Fisher to wander off to the St. Louis Rams because of this reason, fine. If not, shame on them.

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Veteran center Mike Flanagan signed with the Houston Texans. Good for Flanagan and good for the Packers. Flanagan got a $9 million contract, a lot more than I thought he'd get. His departure creates some room for a few of the younger players to step up. The deepest position on Green Bay's offensive line is center.

Scott Wells is a prime candidate to take over for Flanagan. If he doesn't cut it, which would be a shock, then the Packers can look to Chris White or Junius Coston, two up-and-comers. But look for Wells to nail this position down in training camp. He's as solid as they come for centers.

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The Packers sign free agent kicker Billy Cundiff. Well, at least the Packers have a kicker on their roster now. But after allowing Ryan Longwell to sign with Minnesota and falling short in landing Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt, the Packers can only hope that Cundiff can bounce back after sustaining a hip flexor injury last season.

Look for the Packers to audition some younger kickers in the meantime after the draft. Who knows? Cundiff may be the answer, but the kicking game likely will be experiencing some growing pains in the next couple of seasons.

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The Packers signed a linebacker, Ben Taylor.

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Who is Ben Taylor? Can Packer fans really expect this guy to start? Why aren't the Packers pursuing LaVar Arrington, a player that can make a big difference on defense? Taylor? Like you, I'm shaking my head. All Packers fans can hope is that signing Taylor is an appetizer to signing a guy like Arrington.

None of Green Bay's recent signings are going to make Packers fans jump for joy. But as Ted Thompson revamps the roster, don't expect too many big names added to the fray, if any. The GM is sticking to his vow of not overpaying for unrestricted free agents and not being swayed by the opinions of Packers fans.

If Thompson hits on some of these lesser-known free agents, we'll all look like fools for whining, just like we did when he selected Nick Collins in the second round of the draft last year. If not, Thompson's stay in Green Bay will be shorter than anticipated.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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