Todd or Sydney,
I'd be willing to bet a large chunk of change that I'm not the only one who thinks that Ted Thompson is WAY under qualified for the job of GM!!
So far he's let 3/5ths of the NFL's best offensive line walk away. He's signed no one of any major importance (at least, no one better than what we had!) and I'm not going to be surprised if he blows our first round pick as well!!
It looks to me like most of the teams in the NFL are signing free agents that will step right in and help. I don't see that in Green Bay. Do you suppose that means that he's CHEAP?
Kinda reminds me of the Mike Sherman mentality when it comes to drafting, or free agent signings. We all remember that well, don't we? I guess when you're friends with someone who doesn't know how to build a team, it kinda rubs off. We should have kept Mike Holmgren and let him have the GM job. He did OK with the Seahawks, from what I can see.
C'mon, Ted. Do a better job, or quit and find something that you're qualified for. You've shown me nothing! If I was Brett Favre and saw what you are doing (or not doing) to the Packers roster, it wouldn't take this long for me to retire! And, by the way, Gary Kubiak was much better qualified than the no-name you've hired. Is he your pal, too?
Still a big fan, but disappointed in what I've seen so far. Time will tell, I guess.
Lonnie the Legend, email@example.com, Green Lake, WI
Trade the fifth overall pick, or hold on to it?
Just read your thumbs up/down article. Great read! I was curious what your take is re: the Packers and TT trading down in the draft. Since TT is set on building through the draft and the FA news/activity coming out of Green Bay has been sparse, will this mean that TT is almost certain to trade down? If you agree, what do you believe TT will want in exchange for the fifth pick in R1 in return? Did the Saints signing of Drew B. basically solidify the Pack trading down since a Mario Williams will likely be gone by pick 5? Thanks in advance!
Dave Cavil, firstname.lastname@example.org, Milwaukee, WI
I don't think the Packers will trade the fifth overall pick of the draft because there are only a few teams with more than one pick in the first round. Denver has two late-round picks, so that's not going to be attractive. TT probably will trade down to get more picks beyond the first round, especially if Favre decides to retire.
Fisher wasn't worth keeping
I beg to differ, but letting Fisher walk away is akin to letting Antonio Chatman go. They are both mediocre players who have had ample opportunity to step up and they have both proven their worth, or unworthiness. I would even argue that Chatman well outperformed Fisher. When given an opportunity to start last year, Fisher couldn't even outperform the likes of Samkon Gado or Chaz Williams. Davenport may have a long history with injuries, but at least he has an upside if he can remain healthy. And don't forget that when Davenport went down last year and we needed Fisher the most, he went out for a few games as well with bruised ribs.
Fisher is what he is. He will never merit being more than a third string back. I say, thank you Tony for all of your efforts as a Packer and good luck somewhere else.
Michael Holmstadt, email@example.com, Brooklyn Center, MN
Thompson plan is as clear as pea soup
Ted Thompson's "fuzzy" football methods continue. Not only has he failed to address existing holes in the Packers offense (2 guards and a center) and defense (DE, linebacker), he actually has created new holes by not signing a place-kicker and depleting the whole linebacker corps except Nick Barnett. While teams like Dallas, Buffalo and Minnesota are filling their rosters with quality free agents, Thompson seems quite content with continuing what he did last year, signing marginal players on the cheap to replace solid performers (Rivera, Wahle, Sharper, Longwell, Diggs). This strategy was barely acceptable last year (with tragic results) and totally unacceptable this year given the Packer cap dollars. There is no way the Packers can fill so many holes via the draft and players cut by other teams.
Thompson's "fuzzy" football methods will have an impact. Unfortunately it will be to guarantee the retirement of Brett Favre and another horrible season at the bottom of the NFC North.
Doug, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tucson, AZ
How about trading Rodgers for more picks?
Any chance the Vikings would be interested in trading both of their second round picks for Aaron Rogers? If Brett Favre comes back I think this could be a great scenario for the Packers as they'd be able to draft another projected great QB in the first round this year and they'd have a year or two to groom him. Also, I've heard all along that there is a lot of talent in the second round this year. I think having two picks would be great as we could possibly draft a solid WR or LB, or get some OL help. I think the Vikings could possibly be interested in this trade if they thought Aaron Rogers could be their next franchise quarterback. Plus, he's already sat for a year and had a chance to develop more than a fresh-off-the-board rookie.
I know all trade scenarios that guys like me propose are probably more fantasy than reality, but what do you think a guy like Aaron Rogers could be traded for? I think we desperately need a proven veteran CB opposite Al Harris. If Javon doesn't play for us this year then we're going to need another receiver. I don't think we should bring Ferguson back and we don't have Antonio Chatman anymore. And does the trio of Donald Driver, Terrance Murphy, and Rod Gardner really strike fear in anybody? Does that make Brett all giddy and excited to come back? I doubt it. Let's spend some money and go get a CB and WR.
Tom Voss, email@example.com, Lincoln, NE
I don't think the Packers are ready to trade away Rodgers. They haven't even seen him play aside from a few garbage-time performances last year. And you can't evaluate a player based on how he practices or performs in a preseason game. It has to be in a regular season game when everything counts. The Packers should retain Rodgers, ride through the ups and downs for a season or two after Favre retires, and then decide if he is the long-term answer.
Favre very busy helping others hurt by Katrina
I have enjoyed the column for ages, first time I have written.
If anyone has any clue as to the condition of Brett's home area after Katrina, then they would realize the primary concern on his mind couldn't possibly be playing football, but helping out his friends neighbors and community try and rebuild. He will make up his mind eventually, and it may not be that he is coming back, but feels he needs to focus his energy there at home. Be patient, be thoughtful and be kind, they are still suffering and hurting on the Gulf Coast.
Doug Mainor, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bloomington, IL
Thompson's tightwad method won't pay off
It's gonna truly be a blue season if Ted doesn't start spending some money, and I mean fast! I'm probably one of the biggest Packer fans around and I'm incredibly confused.
Mr. General Manager, I can't understand what you're planning to do if Favre does retire, and worse yet, what if he returns to a team full of over the hill and/or second hand talent, or worse yet, rookies that must develop over the next 2-3 years? You're putting all your eggs in one basket hoping that Rodgers can carry the team to the playoffs if Favre retires. Are you kidding me? That kid needs to be carrying a clipboard behind a seasoned veteran for at least another year before you even dream that theory into reality.
Ted, you're nearly overloaded with money and you're not dipping into the pot to sign any real players that can make an immediate impact. Not all of your answers can be derived from the draft. You've allowed key veteran players to leave the team this off-season (i.e., Longwell, Diggs, Chatman) and have yet to address those losses with signing anyone to replace them. The best veteran quarterbacks, linebackers, and kickers in the league are now signed with other teams that had less room under the cap than you did. I'm grateful to see there was at least some sense in re-signing Green and Kampman as well as acquiring two quality free agents to replace some dead weight, but what about the rest of these major losses? What about addressing the O-Line to create some bigger holes for the running backs? The market's no longer flooded with talented veterans to pick from and the longer you wait the fewer the choices will be.
Suggestion here, Mr. General Manager, start spending that money on some key acquisitions that can make an immediate impact and stop hording it, hoping you can roll it over into next year's cap, or pocketing it for your personal benefit somehow. Rookies take too long to develop and another losing season could cripple the morale of this team, not to mention fans calling for your head on a platter!
I know all about short- and long-term planning, being a strategist myself, however planning only for the long-term will not answer the questions of today or even tomorrow. I don't believe you'll have your job long enough to see your choices pay off if you don't begin signing some high quality veteran players to replace the ones you let go that will also make an immediate impact on this upcoming season.
Richard K. Anderson, email@example.com, San Antonio, TX
It's looking like another 4-12 season
I am not impressed. Ted Thompson is doing nothing. I predict another 4-12 or worse year for the Packers unless he gets a good kicker. He couldn't get Vinatieri signed, defensive help, offensive line help (quite frankly, they stunk in 2005, and I don't see things getting any better in 2006) and a quarterback. Rodgers is NOT the guy.
It's obvious that Favre is yanking their chain. I would have given a much shorter time frame for making a decision. Could have pursued Brees, but didn't. Could have pursued Kitna, but didn't. Or 2 or 3 others, but didn't. What exactly is Thompson doing? Ron Wolf would have been more aggressive.
And Javon Walker … GROW UP! Go ahead, take your toys and go home. You have a contract. Honor it! I'd make that young man sit. You can rank him right up there with TO as far as "I'm the man". Pay homage to me. Fans are not going to put up with another year like last year.
I've watched Green Bay for 40-plus years. I think that I might be switching channels, or turning off the TV this fall. Green Bay won't be worth watching.
George Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org, La Crosse, WI
Got to get "Super Mario"!
I don't care what happens anymore with Favre. Don't get me wrong, I love Brett and all that he has done for the Greenbay Packers and the orginization, but it's time to move on. I do however think we should try to trade up to get Mario Williams, the best overall player in this years draft. I am afraid now that NewOrleans got Drew Brees, they will select Williams and although A.J. Hawk looks tempting, I would rather see "Super Mario" in a Packers uniform. Forget all the comparisons to Reggie White, and Julius Peppers, Mario Williams can flourish in Bob Sanders/Jim Bates defensive scheme, and he will make a huge, immediate impact for the Green and Gold! He is a one of a kind DE and he has the ability to play at a high level for many years!! Please draft Mario Williams!
James Poore, email@example.com, Marinette, WI
Supplement to Harry Sydney's article ‘Packers Need To Wake Up'
I've been a out of state GB fan (CA & AZ) since I was about 10 and am now 50. Looking back during Wolf's GM, in about a 2-3 year period, R. White, B. Favre, S. Jones, G. Brown, S. Dotson, D. Beebe, K. Jackson, A. Rison, D. Howard, E. Robinson, F. Winters, C. Hentrich , B. Wilkerson, either were picked up during free agency, or trade. All played key roles in the success of the Packers, some played just half a season to 2 yrs. to several years. Wolf used balance of free agency and the draft in putting his team together, and wasn't a tight as* when he had to spend the $$.
What surprises me is that T. Thompson grew up around this, but yet so far in his two years as GM he picked up only a couple free agents this year. T.T. has been pathetic for the most part in his free agency signings and seems so paranoid, passive and being such a tightwad in pursuing free agents. WHY CAN HE NOT USE BALANCE ?
As a fan this is most aggravating, especially with so, so many team position needs. T. Thompson's lack of balance and common sense, and his lack of using the salary cap to do something about it is mind blowing. He has, as Wolf said, the most important position QB covered, but he is taking his sweet as* time about everything else, which could force Favre into early retirement.
Jan Mandel, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phoenix, AZ
This team is not worth it, Brett
I've been a Packer fan my whole life through thick and thin but what what's going on is an injustice to the packer pride, tradition and the fans. We all rant and rave as fans, but when just about everybody is saying the same thing you have to give it some credence. TT is destroying the team from his coaching selections to free agent signings - Arth? Ben Taylor (1 pick, no sacks, no forced fumbles in four years). GREAT CHOICES!!! They may as well just hand out little red noses because this team is becoming a joke from the coaching staff on down. You are great Brett, but stay home. This team will only embarrass you.
Anthony Schiano, email@example.com, Keyport, NJ
Thompson smart by being patient, not overspending
As I have been reading and listening to much of the information put out about the Packers recently, I question the validity in any argument by "Spend Now" supporters? How successful have the Washington Redskins been with their constant change of personnel? They have filled many areas, but are still challenged by the quarterback position. The Vikings are not a better team after last year's spending spree, they were Super Bowl bound in preseason...remember? The Purple People Eaters once again came out of the gates fast, I truly question what their results will be long term.
Mr. Ted Thompson is running a business, people forgot that. He is investing in younger players who have a large upside! Focusing on agents at the end of their first contract instead of the "hot" commodity of the week? Very rarely do free agents like Reggie White come available? Those players are rare and are worth the large dollars! Why are we so focused on the quick player to suddenly propel us to the BIG Dance? My argument can be shown in the financial sector by "Dollar Cost Averaging" vs. using your credit card.
How active have the Patriots been in free agency the last several years? They fill key positions and wait. Winning franchises wait for teams to overpay and be out of cap room so when the second cuts come they have the ability to improve their football teams. What is Pittsburgh doing this year? Winning teams focus on maintaining their key players and building chemistry. The Packers have cap money, I forecast our GM's best moves to come the next two weeks. I look for him to sign an offensive linemen and cornerback. I bet then he will switch gears toward the draft and then wait. I predict Mr. Thompson to trade back in the second round and get at least a late second round pick for Javon Walker.
We need to give him credit and realize that his recipe for success is the same as the NFL's best franchises. How can we be sure that he has the ability to build a team? Well, the Seahawks just went to the Super Bowl! Review last year's draft and the impact his late-round players made on our team! Real GM talent is shown on the second day of the draft!
The Packers overpaying free agents will not persuade Brett Favre out of potential retirement. No. 4 is taking his time making a solid decision, the same as what Mr. Thompson is doing on his free agent acquisitions. Our tradition is great! Our history is long! The Packers future is bright - only if we patiently rebuild. Give Ted some credit, we just need to watch and support the team in a "CASH" rich environment. Whoever said having money in the bank was a bad thing anyway?
Bob King, firstname.lastname@example.org, Nashville, TN
Enough with T.O., Longwell and Walker
Wow, I find it hard to sit and read some of these letters that are being printed. I know it's tough to sit there and watch some good free agents pass by, but let's look at some of them. First off the biggest loser out there that I actually heard some say we should have signed … T.O. - Tantrum Outburst. Please tell me they were just trying to get a laugh. This guy has so much talent it's not even funny and I thought that he was turning around after he went to the big show with Philly. I mean his determination to rehab and then the way he put it all out there was amazing. Then he TO'd the next year. We don't need that in our locker room.
Next was another old kicker from the Pats. I really wasn't that upset with our baby leaving for the Vikings. I mean he blamed everyone else in the kicking game except himself. What happened to being a man and just saying, ‘You know what? I shanked that and I take the responsibility for it.' I mean he was more than happy to spout that when he won games with 3 seconds to go.
I agree we need a couple more playmakers and I think TT can address that in the draft. I think we need a new CB to replace Mr. Hands Carroll, either Super Mario or Hawk and then look for some quality O-linemen. Let Walker stew and sit. I mean why pay a baby unless he hits the field and earns his money. I think he may still be worth a contract … wait a minute on second thought refer to my thoughts on T.O. because that is Walker's daddy.
In closing I'm really looking forward to see how the new staff does. I really am excited because I think the old staff had gotten boring and cautious. I think Mike and Ted are looking to put some exciting young players out there with a core of proven vets such as Brett, Henderson and Driver and see where we can go. I think if we avoid the injuries we will be very happy and will let Brett hang up the cleats at the end of the season.
Steve Slagoski, email@example.com, Navy Chief in Jacksonville, FL
Woodson a good signing at the right price
Nice article. Obviously, Woodson would be a great addition and would make our team better right off the bat. However, what kind of money is Woodson going to be looking for? We obviously have the money to offer him what he wants, but what kind of shape are Tampa and Seattle in financially?
I'd love to see Woodson wearing the Green and Gold, but I don't think he is worth getting into a bidding war over. If we did sign him, what kind of shape are we leaving ourselves in financially?
Kevin J. McHale, firstname.lastname@example.org, Dunmore, PA
Woodson is believed to be seeking a contract that averages $4 million a season. His price tag could go down, however, the longer he is on the market. Green Bay and Tampa Bay are the only teams seriously interested in him at this point. We'll see.
Thompson is making a mess of once proud team!
To the Packer Report Staff,
Enough already! Wake up and realize what Mr. Thompson is doing to the team. The only plan I see him with is the total destruction of the team. In just one year he managed to take a 10-6 contender, to a 2-12 joke. The only reason they weren't 1-13 was Holmgren gave Favre a sympathy win. I hate him for leaving but I respect him for that, he did not have to do it.
Thompson's record of "success" at Seattle - was it a fluke, or was it Holmgren? It reads more like blind luck. He comes to Packers and lets BOTH starting guards go and wonders why Favre had no time to pass, and the running was weak. Heaven knows the Packers really needed the third best QB in the draft. Does he call a seventh round guard (Whitticker) a skill pick, or blind luck? It is hard to think of what the line would have been, without him?
Remember the people of Green Bay own this team, not some XXX like we have in Washington. It is for sure the Packer management that has failed the fans. Matt Tevsh's article should have been titled, MAN WITH NO CLUE. I understand about wishful thinking, but now is the time for the fan owners to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
David Crandall, email@example.com, "A 55 year Packer Fan" from Gainesville, VA
E-mail your thoughts on the Packers to PackerReport.com and Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city/state and e-mail address at the end of your letter.