Thompson declined to address trade offers during his pre-draft press conference today at Lambeau Field, but he did acknowledge that he expects to hear from 31 other NFL teams before Saturday's draft. The Packers have seven selections in the draft, including the fifth pick overall. They also have two veteran players who aren't exactly thrilled about playing football in Green Bay next season. Other teams, no doubt, will be calling Thompson, AKA Trader Ted, before the Packers are on the clock to suggest potential swaps.
Thompson is known for wheeling and dealing to obtain more picks on draft weekend, so why not throw in Walker and Favre into any pre-draft offers? The Packers would be much better off getting something for one or both players while they still have some value, though tarnished. Walker is coming off a serious knee injury, and Favre is near the end of a Hall of Fame career and a season in which he threw 29 interceptions.
Still, both want to play for a contender, and the Packers simply will not be contending for a Super Bowl in 2006. Thompson said that neither player will be a factor in how the team selects because "Draft decisions are based on what's best long-term for the organization, so it doesn't have an effect on what we're going to do Saturday and Sunday," Thompson said.
So why not pull the trigger and trade Favre and, if possible, Walker? Why not? The Packers' roster is under reconstruction. There are needs galore throughout the lineup. The organization would be best served with more selections in the draft rather than attempting to appease two players that do not want to be in Green Bay.
Sure, there would be upset fans if Favre was dealt way, but many already are upset that he has yet to commit to the Packers. Many, in fact, are beginning to realize that a trade would be best for the Packers, and Favre, who admitted recently that the team hasn't done enough this off-season for the offense to make the team a serious contender. As for Walker? The Packers have all the leverage, but if he indeed wants out that badly, he'll either not play in 2006, or just enough (six weeks) so that he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2007 and be free to sign with any other team.
The Favre and Walker saga is old and, at this pace, will not change. Thompson has the power to do something about it by boosting the team's chances of selecting an impact player in the draft through obtaining more picks via a trade or two.
While it seems unreal that the Packers would trade Favre, it's part of life in the National Football League as we know it. That's not exactly the farewell for the Hall of Famer that we all envisioned, but it's turning out to be reality.
And if the Packers can get something of value in return for their unhappy employee Walker, all the better.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.