One of the things the Packers have done well most of the time is not spend too much money. They avoided getting behind the eight ball by not signing guys like Mike Wahle, or Marco Rivera, and getting rid of dead weight like Cletidus Hunt. They also have made smart moves, like not getting into a war with Javon Walker and at the same time rewarding Donald Driver and Al Harris for their outstanding play. They deserved new contracts and the organization did it because of the fact that they earned it. The other thing about those moves is that they weren't replaceable. As I see it right now the Packers have no running game, so their hand has been forced. Let me explain!!!!
The Packers now have to pick up a top-notch running back. Let's not be fooled into thinking that this is the Denver Broncos who have made a history of taking 6th round running backs or free agents and turning them into superstars because this team isn't them. This is the Green Bay Packers that have a young offensive linemen that had a good year because they had running backs behind them that could make people miss or run through arm tackles, as well has having a veteran quarterback that knew how to get rid of the ball.
Let's give Ahman the respect he deserves. Remember that he is only 46 yards short of Jim Taylor's rushing record, so this will be a huge loss. Now what do the Packers do, especially when there really isn't anyone out there as a free agent that can replace him. Travis Henry was available until Denver signed him Monday, but his running style doesn't really fit into the Packers' zone blocking scheme, anyway. He is more of a between the tackles runner. He's a quick-cut guy and in the zone blocking scheme you have to be real patient and cut at the last second. So with that said the only option that the Packers have is to go get someone in the draft, but who and how do they get him?
If Ted isn't going to spend money at running back in free agency, spend it somewhere please. Again, I do understand not spending on an aging running back, but then spend it on a top notch safety, or go get the best tight end available. Sometimes you just have to spend some money and, trust me, I don't want them just to spend it foolishly. This team isn't going to get better just because they try harder. They have to have the players to help them get better.
With Ahman Green gone the last thing I want them to do is sign some retread from another team. As I see it the Packers might be forced to do something they haven't done in a long time and that's take a running back on the first day of the draft. Not only that, but they might have to move up to get one of the top two. The top two at this point are Marshawn Lynch of California or Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson. It's a while before the draft, but the Packers might have to get on the phone and find out just who might want one of these backs and move up in the draft to get the one they want.
Of the teams that would have been interested in a running back in the first round would have been the Denver Broncos but they signed Henry, so they are out of the mix. One mock draft has them picking Peterson the first round another has the Cleveland Browns picking him, and another mock draft had Peterson going to the Texans, but that has changed with Green's signing.
Also, as much as many mock drafts have Peterson going by the time the Packers are on the clock, they have Marshawn Lynch still being available which would make any first day draft decision a very simple one. If Lynch is there at number 16 he should become a Green Bay Packer plain and simple. They should want Peterson but they'd be happy with Lynch.
So as I see it Ted Thompson couldn't afford to keep Green because of all the right reasons and because of those reasons he now has do everything in the organization's power to walk away after the first round of the draft with the new face of the offense, just like he did last year for the defense when they drafted A.J. Hawk. It will come down to either Lynch or Peterson. This offense needs someone to take the pressure off of whoever the quarterback is because this running back is the future of this organization. He will help all aspects of the offense, so Ted Thompson you must GET IN THE GAME.
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at email@example.com.